Thursday, September 13, 2007

More Rick Warren Wisdom

Rick has posted another tantalizing tidbit for us poor preachers who don't know our own jobs. Now I am going to offer up my witty remarks about his points.

Right from the bat it becomes clear he thinks we are boring. Obviously, he has not heard me recently as I do wild and crazy things such as introduce the sermon to the theme song from "Mission Impossible." So he gives us the insightful tidbits such as add illustrations to your sermon, Humor, and special features.

1. Illustrations - O.K. does anybody not use illustrations to make a point? If you don't, the line for brains starts on the right. Even the dimmest bulb can see that a good illustration makes it easier to relate a point to people and aid them in understanding. He goes on to tell us to throw out our illustrations books they are written by guys a 100 years ago and are irrelevant to today. Ok. I will go throw out my Bible because it is 3000? yrs old and therefore it must be irrelevant. Warren, of course, tells us to use t.v., magazine, newspapers, movies, and everyday experiences for our illustrations. He even includes using actual clips, not a bad idea, I know some of my old school preaching brethren will scream and yell about using clips and such in a sermon, but sometimes telling about the scene isn't nearly as effective as watching the scene. Just make sure it fits and is the best way to illustrate your point. Too many people who use multimedia use it just because they feel they have to use it.

2. Humor - Humor is an effective way of communicating something that would otherwise turn people off. How often have you caught yourself laughing at a situation to then realize you are guilty of the same thing. I know I have. What this doesn't mean is that you need to be a Jeff Foxworthy wanna be or worse Larry the Cable Guy. Just don't be afraid to smile and use a bit of humor to get your point across. What ever you do don't smile like Joel Osteen. I just might have to come and wipe it off then.

3. Special Features - Here is where it gets fun.
Testimonies - Yeah, this will make any confessional Lutheran squirm because it just smacks of Bapticostalism. However, there is nothing wrong with people telling about how God's grace in word and sacrament affects their lives. Word to the wise, videotape my friend, its an easy way to control length and edit out those non-kosher statements.

Skits - Just make sure they are relevant to the message and your actors practice. Nothing worse than a group of people getting up there and reading pieces of paper, believe me.

Interviews - Unless you are interviewing Jesus, what is the point? I mean really? What is the point. The sermon is the time to call people to repentance and proclaim the Gospel, so why waste your time on a pointless interview.

Film Clips - see my comments under illustrations.

Interspersing Songs - This is a fun way to make your point and with the rich hymns of the church, well I think you get my point. Our senior pastor did this for a funeral for one of our members, it was very cool and a great proclamation of the Gospel.

Tag Team Preaching - Umm. No. Need I say more, last thing we need to do is give Gerry more bad ideas.

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