First off was Victor Pentz. He preached about how Christians need to go outside the church. That reaching out to others is no longer about being attracting people to come to us, but that we must go to the people. He did so much more elegantly than my synopsis might suggest. I really appreciated his style and passion.
Next up, Craig Barnes talked about the need for pastors to engage the text of the scripture we are preaching in constant dialog with the context we are serving. The metaphor he uses is the pastor as minor poet. He expands more on this concept that he gets from TS Eliot in his book, The Pastor as Minor Poet. I really appreciated his style and dry sense of humor.
Will Willimon was the last speaker before lunch. He challenged us as preachers not to try and uphold a false unity that ignores obvious differences between people or groups. Rather, he suggested that if the Gospel is preached this will create division.
After a fantastic barbecue lunch, Adam Hamilton took the floor for the afternoon.
He talked about structuring a preaching plan based on the congregation's mission, vision, and plan to achieve them. He offered several fantastic ideas for sermon series ideas. His books Leading Beyond the Walls and Unleashing the Word contain many of the concepts he shared today, however his talk was peppered with fantastic and inspiring illustrations. Towards the end of his talk he took some Q & As. One of the things I really appreciate about Hamilton, having heard him speak several times before, is his transparency and authenticity.
So, a great day of engaging speakers. Lots to think about. All this creative energy is great! Maybe I can channel it into writing Sunday's sermon tomorrow.