Working on upcoming sermon

Most of you guys know I’m preaching on September 4th at church. Pastor Rol will be out of town Labor Day weekend, so I’m gonna “bring it.” ;) Usually he finds other guest speakers from outside the church to fill in while he’s away, but this time it’s me. The message will address the issue of “spiritual worldliness,” what it means to be in the world but not of it. The idea of how I’ll communicate comes from a number of sources I’ve picked up over the years, i.e. professors at PBU, radio shows, youth culture articles, and others. Without going into my whole philosophy of education, I’m not a huge fan of the passive learning we assume takes place on Sunday mornings in church services. People don’t learn best by sitting still and listening to someone talk for a while — people learn and retain information much better when they participate and interact with the material. That’s no huge revelation to anyone, but yet churches seem to be stuck in a passive approach to education. So, without freakin’ people out too much on September 4th, I plan to make this lesson a little participitory. Some might feel uncomfortable because, “This isn’t how church sermons are supposed to work!” but that’s good! At least they’ll remember it a little longer than an hour after the service, huh? :)

Another part of my philosophy of education is that visuals enhance retention. However, if it’s just a bunch of bullet-point text that you’re gonna end up reading back word-for-word anyway, then it’s pointless. There’s no need to insult people’s intelligence by parroting back what’s clearly written on the screen, unless you’re reading a quote or something. Imagery sparks more imagination, is more thought provoaking, and communicates much more effectively than text, which is why many of the best speakers use a lot of imagery in language. Based on this, I wanted to create an image that summarizes my sermon’s lesson aim. After a little bit of thought and some time with Photoshop, I created the following graphic to use for my lesson’s PowerPoint background (click on it for the full-size image):

Sermon PowerPoint Background

The black box will come and go depending on each individual slide’s content, but that’s the gist of it. At first glance it seems pretty straight-foward with the sermon title. However, it probably leaves a couple of subliminal questions too, which is good! As I go through my message the graphic will make more and more natural connections including the biggest one at the end, which I won’t divulge here, but I trust it will be inherently clear by the end and won’t require any comment on my part. David and Adrienne will be there (I think Becca, one of Adrienne’s bridesmaids too?), so I guess they can give you an objective report on how it all goes. 8)

I finally finished the youth group video from our missions trip in July. The team gave our report to the congregation this morning, which was fun, and we also showed the video of the trip. It’s posted on our youth group website now. Use the following link to check it out: CREW Missions Trip Video: Breakaway 2005

Posted on August 15, 2005

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