Last week, I was surfing around the Internet for sermon stuff and also for stuff to make me giggle uncontrollably. I don’t know how those went hand in hand, but I’m always looking for a good laugh.
For the record, I can’t figure out which, out of the two, is my favorite so here’s both:
During my surfing, I ran across Rob Bell’s tumblr. I did not know he had a tumblr page. But he does. On his tumblr, he said that Barnes and Nobles had asked him about his favorites reads.
This guy has always fascinated me. And I know he’s a polarizing figure in the Christian circles. But, then again, who isn’t? There are people who adore John Piper and those who don’t. Same with Mark Driscoll. And Francis Chan.
… And Jesus…
The way he communicates has always impressed me. I went to his Drop Like Stars tour and realized that he had spoken for almost 2 hours. Yet, it didn’t feel that long. Sometimes, I sit through my own 20 minute sermons and it feels like eternity and I want to personally apologize to everyone who had to endure that on Sunday morning.
I went to the link and ordered 4 of the 6 books he recommended. More than anything, to see what inspires him. To see what helped mold his thoughts and theology.
I finished his newest book, and started on “God Was in This Place and I, i Did Not Know” by Lawrence Kushner. So far, it’s been a great and eye-opening read.
Then I remembered what my preaching professor told us over and over: As a pastor, you have to always study. That’s why the pastor’s office is not called an office, but the pastor’s “study.” (He also always repeated, As a pastor, you need to be ready to preach, pray, or die at a moment’s notice!)
The word “study” has never been a friend of mine. Neither has the title “student.”
But I am (re)learning the importance of reading and consuming and digesting and discerning information, thoughts, theologies, ideas, writings, challenges, and so forth.
There’s a difference in having something to say vs. having to say something.
The more I “study”, the more I’ll have something to say on Sunday mornings and other moments vs. saying something because I have to say something.
So here’s to reading and learning which has to be partnered with doing and practicing.