Willow Creek Preaching/Teaching Conference
Let me start with what was great -- the multimedia system, the drama, and the worship. OK. I'm out of breath (sarcasm).
Not for what wasn't worth $305, which I didn't pay.
Bill Hybels "Disciplines for Communicators"
Bill spent 30 minutes talking about how his life got out of control in the eighties. He spent $10,000 on two Christian counselors who got him to get a life. Then he spent 45 minutes talking about how we could work harder at preaching. These was such basic stuff. I hesitate to give the list. And of course, you'll find stuff you will say, "Yeah I ought to do that..." but for $300 bucks...
1. Study same place same time 5 to 6 days per week. Pick your highest energy time of the day.
2. Forced reading program - 30-60 minutes per day.
3. Very careful filing of ideas and quotes.
4. Write full text of sermon, but don't necessarily use it to preach.
5. Carry pen and notebook all the time. (My friend Joe taught me that)
6. Pre-talk ritual to get you "into the zone"
7. Pray over preparation so it burns within
8. Listen to other great communicators as often as possible
9. Seek continual improvement
10. Carry a template in your mind of a great sermon
Next Ed Young Jr from Fellowship Church in Dallas
Ed said, "Its about the weekend stupid." I quit listening.
He talked a lot about creative collaboration, then showed a video that showed he had a great creative team, which he bullied and used to stroke his ego. (That might be a little strong, but it isn't far.)
Erwin McManus -- Speaking to Mars Hill
McManus was by far the best speaker in my mind, though he didn't prepare at all. He said the goal of Sunday morning is to create a moment of encounter with God. I liked that a lot and is probably the # 1 thing I brought home.
1. Stop preaching - start sharing your life. If you don't have one, get one.
2. Let people see through you.
3. Tell them what you want them to care about. (Hybels had said tell them what you want them to know and tell them what you want them to do.)
4. Take the long journey home.
5. Learn to speak human.
Lee Strobel - Passing the Seeker Test
Strobel started breaking down the six steps to conversion. I quit listening and worked on my Sunday sermon.
Larry Crabb -- When the well runs dry
His topic, seemingly unprepared as everyone else, was not on When the Well Runs Dry, it was on how to have healing relationships. I suppose they tie in, but they weren't quite on target.
Soul Talk - How to speak; how to think; learn to be curious; not to fix
1. Think beneath -- see the real problem
2. Think Passion -- what's happening inside you
3. Think Vision -- what could the spirit do
4. Think Story - listen for the rest of the story
5. Think Spirit - expecting the Spirit doing something
Get a soul friend. Good stuff really. Then he brought on a guy and interviewed him. I might be wrong, but it seemed like he had an agenda with the Willow Association rather than with me.
Richard Allen Farmer
This guy was prepared, but I'd rather read his book. I don't know if he has one. Hybels loved this guy and made a point to tell us.
Ken Davis - The Power of Focus
This was the most unfocused talk on focus I've ever heard. Ken is a great guy and a masterful communicator, but I thought he was just rehashing Haddon Robinson's stuff. Buy Haddon Robinson's book and rent Ken's DVD.
I did come home refreshed, but mainly because of the time spent with my good and refreshing soul friend Tom Toner.