Not the Last Word

Image by AKMA via Flickr

After the urging of a colleague, I went ahead and purchased Rob Bell’s Poet/Prophet/Preacher seminar DVDs.
I watched the first session, and I really learned a lot. Of course, I’m a bit biased, but I did learn a great deal from the first session.

The thing I walked away with most is that the sermon is not the “last word.”
Perhaps many of us approach preaching thinking that it’s the last word to hear before you leave the church.

But Rob was saying that the sermon shouldn’t be the last word, but the first word.
He hopes that his talks are talks that start talks.

He reminds us that sermons are less about ending discussions and more about starting one; less about the last word and more about the first word.

At first, I was like, “well, yeah, that’s kinda obvious.”
But the more and more I let it float in my head, the more and more I wondered how often I approach writing my sermon with that thought in mind.

How many people actually go talk about the sermons that we preach after church on Sunday?
How do our sermons inspire more discussions? Outside of, “Oh yea, she was good today,” or “he did a real good job.”
How many people hear our sermon as one of the first words on the topic rather than the last words?

I know that I still have a long way to go in becoming a better and more effective preacher.
But tools, ideas and discussions like Rob Bell’s Poet/Prophet/Preacher will help challenge me into becoming a better preacher.

4 thoughts on “Not the Last Word

  1. Just a humble suggestion… stick to the Word … Please don’t run the Scripture through the sieve of Rob Bell or anyother human… Thanks and God Bless…. Old Man Moses

    1. I never said that I’m not sticking to the Word. Or preaching from the Gospel of Rob Bell or any other people.

      There are so many DRY and BORING sermons, sermons that it feels like the pastor thought of as s/he was driving to church…

      And so many people in our churches can view the sermon time as “30 minutes until lunch!”

      It’s sessions like Poets/Prophets/Preachers that help us to take the Word and preach it in a way that it gets people talking, thinking and excited for the Word of God.

      Anything to help me get better at preaching the Word, I’m like a sponge.
      In fact, when I first started seminary, I studied standup comedians in learning how to preach, because they have a way to really connecting with the people they talk to, more than preachers.

      So, no, I’m not straying from the Word.
      But yes, I’m learning different ways to present and deliver the Word.

  2. Thought you’d like to know that your sermons usually do lead to insightful discussions in my house! Keep up the Good work!

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