2. You might watch this video on strategic listening by business author and consultant Tom Peters. Those of us who are ministers really need to pay attention to what he is saying about the critical importance of learning to listen. You can find the video here.
3. I am reading The Drama of Scripture by Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen. Excellent! I am reading this as a part of my preparation for a series of messages this fall on the big story in Scripture. During the months of June/July/August, I will be preparing for this series, which will begin sometime after Labor Day. Years ago, I learned that it was much easier to present a series of messages by preparing months in advance instead of living from week to week. Some people preach only “microwave” messages. On Monday or Tuesday they decide what they are going to preach the following Sunday. Then they scramble for a few days to prepare the message. There is not much time to let it “cook.” Now that is a difficult way to live from week to week.
I have found it to be far easier and more satisfying to use the crock pot as my primary image for preaching instead of the microwave. With “crock pot preaching,” messages are begun far in advance. There is time to read, think, and simply let ideas and thoughts soak. Yes, this takes some discipline, but this allows one the time to really think through what is going to be presented. It is also a much less stressful way of living.
4. A very significant article, “The End of Men,” has just been published in the July/August (2010) edition of The Atlantic Journal. Note these opening lines: