Each Thursday this particular series “Ministry Inside,” is published especially for church leaders, pastors, ministers, elders, etc. That doesn’t mean you should pass on reading this if you are not in one of these roles. You might find this interesting.
1. The following interview is with Nancy Duarte (author of Slide:ology and Resonate). Her material is basically geared toward business presentations. What she says could also be very helpful to preachers. I’ve learned from listening to and reading Nancy’s writing. Notice what she says about some presentations.
In particular, notice what she says about presentations that are broken. It is as if the presenter is thinking: “Well, this is really dry material and I have to present it as dry.”
I’ve seen this again and again. A person is going to preach regarding money, the budget, elders, etc. You can almost pick the subject. The preacher begins his sermon telegraphing to the church that he is not excited about this subject at all. What happens? The church takes their cue from the preacher and they check out. The preacher then ends the sermon and talks later about how the people are not interested in that subject and how they zoned out. Yet, the truth is, he contributed to that response.
2. Do you write it down? I love to be in the company of people who continue to learn. A man I have long admired is my friend, Dr. Willis E. Kirk is a former minister, counselor, and educator. For years, Bill and his wife Virginia have been a part of our church family. Even in his 80s, Bill often stopped by my office early in the week to ask a question. He regularly asked about books or other resources I had referred to in a sermon or class. He might take a card or pad from his front pocket and write down the information. Or, he might ask me a question about the best book on a particular subject. Bill is constantly learning.
I try to practice this discipline as well. I keep my moleskin notebook with me most of the time. If it is not with me, I will speak or write a note into Evernote so it will be there for me in a file. I write down titles of books, author’s names, a story, or a particular thought. Sometimes I will write down a phrase that someone is using. Let me encourage you to not assume that this information will necessarily come from a noted speaker or scholar. This information may come from a conversation with a business person or a talk given by a college student. In fact, I will sometimes tell a college student: “Please send me the name of any book or author that you think I need to be aware of.”
Years ago I was in Bethesda, Maryland, in a seminar with Dr. Edwin Friedman. There were about twenty people present and there was much discussion. At one point in the discussion, Friedman said “Wait, I need to make a note of what you said and how I responded. I don’t think I have ever expressed this point quite like this.” He then paused and made a few notes. I was impressed that he did not want to miss the value of that moment.
3. I will be at the Pepperdine Lectures next week. I always enjoy meeting people who are readers of this blog. If you plan to be there, I would love to meet you.