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Pastors swap pulpits to spread the good word

POSTED August 21, 2009 9:29 p.m.
Pastor David Larson posed a question to some of his fellow Turlock ministers earlier this summer. If they could only give his congregation one message, what would it be?
Larson then invited three of his fellow ministers to share their answers with members of New Life Christian Center. Steve Carlson from Turlock Covenant Church, Ken Van Vliet from Monte Vista Chapel, and Rusty Lyon from Calvary Baptist Church all agreed to share their “S.O.S” message with Larson’s congregation by giving guest sermons during the month of August. Larson offered to give a guest sermon at each of their churches if they wanted him to.
Carlson traded pulpits with Larson two Sundays ago. In an interview before that exchange, Carlson said that he had his S.O.S message all planned out. His sermon was going to be about the parable of the Good Samaritan. His over-all message was about reaching out to people who are different.
Larson said that he started the S.O.S sermon series and the pulpit exchange so that members of New Life Christian Center could hear the messages that were most important to other churches. Larson and his three guest ministers are all members of the Turlock Evangelical Association of Ministers. He said the swaps also give him a chance to reach out to other congregations in the Turlock area.  
“We are not in competition. We all want to extend God’s grace and love to the community,” Larson said.
On Aug. 8 Ken van Vliet shared his S.O.S message with New Life Christian Center. While he was giving his sermon, Larson spoke to the congregation at Monte Vista Chapel. Larson said that he enjoys speaking at other churches, and he hopes that members of Monte Vista Chapel gained something from the experience as well.
“I get to see that the Church is bigger than one church. God is bigger than one location,” Larson said.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail agoodwin@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2003
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