Models of Mission: Preaching relevantly

This was a good seminar, by Gavin Calver, from Youth for Christ, especially in the context of what Rob Bell had said on Friday at the early day (I will post more about that later).

Gav obviously believes that preaching is still highly relevant but that it should only be done by those with a calling to it, there are too many people who are doing it who aren’t called to do it. Preaching is a difficult calling – we are called to practice what we preach, or in other terms, could you preach what you live without being X-rated or embarrassed. We should be a communicator (Gav believes Tony Blair is the best in the UK, even though he disagrees with his politics!) but we also desperately need that anointing of the Holy Spirit.

With regard to whether preaching is relevant – we examined statistics that show that we remember 12% of what we hear, 56% of what we watch, but you can gain a further 50% depending on how the preacher uses their voice, and body etc., i.e. preaching can be better than watching a film.

He highlighted the importance of the Spurgeon Ideology – Bible in one hand, newspaper in the other. We must have the balance of culture and Bible. He spent much of the rest of the session highlighting practical ways in which we communicate, for example, tone of voice, breathing techniques, choosing your shirts based on how much you sweat etc. He put a strong call on people to remain true to their personality – especially given that people always need a variety of styles so don’t worry if you aren’t like your church leader or other local youth workers.

It was a good session and although it didn’t teach me anything new it was great to hear a summary of what we should be doing. My challenge now is to ensure I file my sermons, and possible illustrations in a helpful way so as to be able to use them more clearly in planning new talks.

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