The last few days of Poets, Prophets and Preachers are done and I’m sitting on my deck reflecting on my take aways. It was a profitable couple days, since I will soon be returning to preaching on a regular basis after a three year hiatus as a staff pastor. I won’t give too much on content. If you want more specifics, a few others took very good notes and are available @ http://adammoore.us/post/136370065/blogging-poets-prophets-preachers. Apparently, those bloggers disobeyed the “no laptop” rule or are outstanding note takers and have a way of transcribing very quickly. I, on the other hand, am a spineless conformer.
There were several things that struck me as odd about the conference; the aforementioned technology ban, the choice of songs for worship which were highly contemporized ancient hymns, and guided imagery and controlled breathing seminar by Shane Hipps on Tuesday afternoon.
However, I resonated with the heart of the speakers and regained focus on several preaching issues that will prepare me to return. I especially enjoyed Peter Rollins and his hyperkinetic presentation of seemingly random thoughts that challenged my heart nearly as much as the mind. I can see why he makes the institutional church nervous, but it needs to be kept on its toes. As an unexamined life is not worth living, an unquestionable church is not worth being part of either.
One last disturbing observation. Nearly everything Rob Bell taught to this new generation about sermon preparation, I learned from John Maxwell and his cohort a couple decades ago. They havereceived new labels, but are essentially the same lessons: Study hard, dig deep, collect thoughts and ideas, plan well ahead. I guess that should give as much comfort to the old guard of the “pulpit” as it probably unnerves the emerging generation. Some things don’t really change all that much, they are just reborn.