Last week was a busy week for me. I led a seminar entitled, “Connecting he Sermon to the Small Group.” This seminar introduced pastors to the concept of reinforcing expository preaching with sermon based small groups. The seminar went well and I’m looking forward to doing it again at the Small Church Leadership Conference. I’m trying to finish a doctorate and this small groups study has been life giving to me.
Another highlight this week was the privilege to go to the National Conference on Preaching. This was the best preaching conference I’ve ever been to because of its diversity in ethnicity, theological stances, and denominational communities. The ethnic diversity was great. And the diversity was not based on politics. While politics divides people (even Christians), scripture unifies people (especially Christians). Although there was a diverse presenter team and crowd, the theological differences were respected while not abused. The cardinal doctrines of the faith were evident. The event was beautiful, refreshing.
Here are my takeaways:
1. Exposition is still the way to communicate with authority in the church. It can be done creatively and yet still be true to scripture. This conference reminded me of Haddon Robinson saying to preachers,
Do you bend your thought to scripture or scripture to your thought.
2. Kay Arthur reminded me of the need to always dig in deep to a text before preaching it. She is an excellent scholar and models expository Bible study.
3. Ken Ulmer modeled how exposition of a text and communicating it through planting and painting the text works. He’s got unction and is truly an artist with a Bible.
4. Len Sweet reminded me of the need to know the difference between the Guttenberg world and the Google world. I cannot stay in the Guttenburg world while living in a Google world. Culture has shifted. Even Walter Kaiser and Elmer Towns used power point.
5. Elmer Towns challenged me to do something big for God that requires faith. His great quote was regarding small groups
The body grows by the division of cells.
The conference was excellent. I’ll be a better communicator of the word because I went. I recommend you go next year.