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.