Sermon List Tops 10,000

May 13, 2012

One week ago the sermon email list went over the 10,000 mark for the first time. That’s a significant milestone that was 14 years in the making.

I started sending out sermons by email in 1998 shortly after we returned from a trip to India. I started with about 20 names on my list, a handful of friends who wanted to read the sermon they heard me preach on Sunday. 

After a few months, the list had grown to a hundred. It took several years to reach 500 names. I just checked an old file and discovered that in February 2001, we had 743 on the list. By September 2005, there were 2142 on the list. At that point most people on the list had some connection to the church in Oak Park or to our contacts in the Chicago area.

Since then the list has expanded to include names from every state and from many countries around the world. That is the beauty of the Internet. I can push the “Send” button wherever I happen to be, and within seconds the sermon goes around the world.

We know that people love to read the personal comments before the sermon. If I mention the weather or bike riding or where we’ve been or personal notes about our family, people notice it and comment on it. 

And the messages still seem to minister to many people. Today we received a nice note from someone whose name I do not recognize:

Dear Ray,
I would like to thank you dearly for the time you take each day and week to minister to strangers like us.  From the time I joined your mailing list my life has been enriched beyond measure because of the kind of teachings I get from you.  What a blessing you have been to me this message and the one last week speak to my struggles on a deeper level as I am going through a rough time at the moment.  So thank you for helping me view my suffering in a new light.
May God Bless You and keep you strong. 

I’ve only met a small percentage of the 10,000 people on the list, but that doesn’t matter. They are part of the Keep Believing family, joined electronically through the Internet and spiritually through the sermons.

If you happen to be one of the 10,000, thank you. I didn’t keep a record of the folks who received the first sermon in 1998, but if anyone out there was on the list, thank you for hanging around through all these years and all those sermons.

One final note. I’m sometimes asked who types my sermons. The answer is, I type all of them myself. I never thought I’d still be doing that, but I’m happy about it and glad if anything I write encourages anyone else to keep believing in Jesus. 


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