My Sermons

Behind the Scenes

This sermon is called “Behind the Scenes”. I originally gave it on Memorial Day 2010.

It approaches Psalm 22 as though it were a 3 act play. Like many Psalms, it is a mashup of faith and lament, acknowledging suffering while choosing to trust.

The theme is seeing God’s perspective while you pray painful prayers, and the central image of the sermon is pulling back a stage curtain to see what’s happening behind the scenes.

Listen to the sermon audio

Behind the Scenes

Download the Word doc

Behind the Scenes Manuscript

Download the PPT file

Behind the Scenes PPT

Download the video clip Zig Ziglar Attitude Makes All the Difference (I edited this clip down to 3 minutes to use it the sermon. I can’t post my edit due to copyright restrictions, but you could edit this clip sown to 3 minutes as well.)

Pastors, Sermons and Sermon Series Ideas

Lent Sermon Series

Download the six-week Roots: A Wesleyan Lent Growth Guide PDF.

At Stonybrook, our Lent 2011 sermon series is entitled Roots: A Wesleyan Lent. We’re discovering how Jesus cultivated the spiritual life using what United Methodist Church founder, John Wesley, would later call the Means of Grace.

Wesley listed many Means of Grace, ways that we respond to God’s grace and grow. We will unearth six of them throughout the weeks of Lent- Prayer, Fasting, Scripture, Sacraments, Service, and Community.

This Lenten season, we’re returning to our roots, our roots as United Methodists and, more importantly, our roots in Jesus Christ.

My Sermons

Love, Sex, & Marriage: The Bible and Divorce

This manuscript and PowerPoint is the unedited version of my sermon, so they contain material not in the sermon audio.

Listen to the sermon audio The Bible and Divorce- Rev. Ryan Gear

Download the Word doc The Bible and Divorce Long

Download the PowerPoint The Bible and Divorce PPT Long

Leadership, Pastors

Prayer Request Card

You can download this 2-sided prayer request card I adapted for Stonybrook. It is an almost exact replica of the prayer request card used by Church of the Resurrection, so they deserve the credit for designing it.

This prayer request card allows the person requesting prayer to specify a hosptial visit, surgery date, etc. and to request a call from the pastor. 

The person requesting prayer can check a box indicating that the request should be kept confidential, and the card includes a disclaimer that the church reserves the right to not print the name of the person for whom prayer is requested if we believe it is appropriate.

It also serves as a recruiting tool for the Prayer Ministry.

Download a PDF Prayer Request Card.

Sermon Illustrations


This weekend, I’ll be teaching on “The Bible and Divorce”. My hope is that it will be a thoughtful and healing talk on one of the most painful topics in life that is often mishandled by the Church.

In short, there is a debate within the Bible itself regarding divorce. There is no one definitive statement in Scripture about divorce, and that debate continues today as various denominations and non-denominational churches take different stances.

There is a general movement in Scripture, however, in the direction of elevating marriage while acknowledging the brokenness of humanity and the occurrence of divorce. While I do not blindlessly follow the declarations of any denomination, I believe that the United Methodist position expresses reality well:

“In the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church, we find the following statement regarding divorce: ‘Divorce-God’s plan is for lifelong, faithful marriage.’ The church must be on the forefront of premarital and postmarital counseling in order to create and preserve strong marriages. However, when a married couple is estranged beyond reconciliation, even after thoughtful consideration and counsel, divorce is a regrettable alternative in the midst of brokenness. We grieve over the devastating emotional, spiritual, and economic consequences of divorce for all involved and are concerned about high divorce rates.”

As you might expect, the position of the United Methodist Church regarding divorce has evolved over time. For more information, click the following link to go the United Methodist Church website:

My Sermons

Love, Sex, & Marriage: Sexual Intimacy

Listen to the the sermon audio

Love, Sex, & Marriage_Sexual Intimacy Feb. 6 2011 Rev. Ryan Gear

Download the Word doc

Love Sex & Marriage_Sexual Intimacy PPT Manuscript Rev. Ryan Gear

Download the PPT file

Love Sex & Marriage_Sexual Intimacy Rev. Ryan Gear

Leadership, Pastors

Church Business Meeting Timesavers

Tired of spending too much time in church business meetings?

Time is perhaps the most valuable commodity we have. So, most of us want to make sure that our time is not wasted. Paul tells the Ephesian Christians to “redeem the time” (Eph. 5v16).

Church meetings are notorious for taking too long to accomplish too little. More than that, unnecessary time we spend in meetings is time we spend apart from our families.

Wasted time in church meetings often involves:

  • Unnecessary or fellowship-oriented discussion that takes the meeting off agenda
  • Participants showing up after the meeting has started, forcing others to repeat to them what they missed
  • Agendas that attempt to accomplish too much in too little time

I put together some Church Meeting Guidelines to schedule and use church meetings efficiently (and with this discipline your churh will probably accomplish a lot more than before). My guidelines use the United Methodist terminology with which I am most familiar. Substitute “Elder Board” for “Church Council”, etc. to fit your context.

If you don’t adopt my guidelines exactly, how could you still implement a new church meeting schedule that values time more than your current one?

Download a Word doc of Church Meeting Guidelines.