Recently I read a newspaper article that talked about how the comedian Michael McIntyre is “mocked”, and “derided”, “abused” and “criticized”, even by members of his own profession. Apparently it’s not just because he is very successful but that he is “safe” and states the obvious. Now, if Michael can be the recipient of so much hate for trying to entertain lots of people, what chance have the rest of us got of avoiding scorn. If middle of the road comedy polarizes opinion in such a sharp way, how much more will preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It’s been a while since I watched Rob Bell’s seminars on preaching but here are some more of my notes:
“When you preach you are opening yourself up to misinterpretation and confusion and anger and ignorance and fear and jealousy and opinions and evaluation and critique and agendas and baggage and convictions and projections and
the possibility of
truth and light and hope and repentance and desire and compassion and longing and revolution and confession and inspiration and comfort and solidarity and salvation and resurrection.
[But] you don’t get to pick one or the other….if I am going to give a sermon, give part of myself, I am going to open myself up to all sorts of things. And that’s just how it is. We can’t resolve this one. They tried to kill Jesus and eventually they did. That’s strangely inspiring and at the same time a bucket of cold water. Acts 17 (some sneered and others wanted to hear more)”
He goes on:
“The bible begins with a poem ‘and God said'”
“Words create new worlds.”
“There is a divine, redemptive nuclear power in words.”
“Why would anyone want to give a sermon?”
“My hope is that these are talks that start talks”
Me – That last comment is so wonderfully emerging church! Just a thought though – sometimes the emerging church guys are slated for not stating their doctrine clearly enough but Jesus didn’t always answer questions straight though did he? A little evasiveness can be a good thing in some situations, where traps are being set or the questioner can’t see their own faulty presuppositions. Some things seem to lose clarity the more they are clarified. On the other hand, Paul stated some things very clearly when he was writing to teach Christians.
Rob goes on to say :
“with Jesus its less about having the last word and more about having the first word…a bit less about ending the discussion and more about starting it”.
“if you can resolve a sermon by the end of the sermon then there is something inherently wrong with the sermon…it [needs] to become incarnated…talking about generosity [leads to people] becoming generosity”
You preach “not because you have to say something, it’s because you have something to say…I refuse to just give sermons”
He says something along the lines of “there are things to do that take 5-10 mins every day rather than 40 hours to make sure there is always stuff going on in your head and you have things to talk about.” That’s helpful. I have found that blogging does that for me. Everyday I’m thinking about something in a concrete way. Advancing my understanding of biblical truth. When it comes to preaching and teaching there just seems to be more there to come out.