709

practice

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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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39 Responses to 709

  1. Caroline Too says:

    Oh, how (when I was preaching) I would have loved someone to say that!

  2. AnneDroid says:

    I’ve often thought that too.

    And most often when I’ve had that thought I’ve been the one doing the preaching, which is a bit of a worry.

  3. Never mind last week’s, the week before last, and the week before the week before last….

  4. I’m waiting for the Swine Flu ASBO post.

  5. Mike says:

    Great one. You nailed it. Discipleship is about living out the teaching. This can only be worked out over time.

    A weekly sermon does nothing more than give information, we do not always find a pathway to practise.

  6. jonbirch says:

    i was told a story a couple of weeks ago. can’t remember who told me, but they told me in response to me having said something similar to what the cartoon demonstrates.

    a minister got up to do his sermon. he said ‘love one another’ and sat back down. some were very annoyed at this while others were perhaps delighted.
    the next week he did the very same. he said ‘love one another’ and sat back down. as before, some were annoyed and others were pleased.
    he repeated this performance week after week, until those who were angry before were now raging and even the ones who were previously happy were now somewhat perplexed.
    after more of the same, one week, after the rather short sermon, a furious member of the congregation piped up. ‘what sort of joke is this!? week after week the same few words… what are you playing at!?’
    the minister calmly responded. ‘when i see signs that we have really grasped what it means to love one another, we’ll move on.’

    thought provoking story i thought.

  7. dennis says:

    I had to back to this one as I thought it was the preacher who said that he needed to put last weeks message into practice first. It is interesting but we would never get anywhere would we but do we ever get anywhere anyway?

  8. Perhaps if the ‘sermon’ was more of a discussion we could have a conversation about how we are getting on with the Christian life rather than every week being told what we should be doing.

  9. marcus says:

    “let us live up to what we have already attained” – there’s enough there to keep a congregation going for years – think I’ve just found me a sermon worth repeating ;-)

  10. Lewis says:

    Haha, if only we had…

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  12. Rockingrev says:

    I have so often thought of doing that from the pulpit. It is so tempting. But then I find that so many people when they hear a sermon that strikes home they will say, I wish my neighbour was here to hear that and they never think it is aimed at them.

  13. Rockingrev says:

    Isn’t that what small group ministry tries to do? I try to preach sermons to inspire and instruct to a degree but real discipleship is a product more often of small group discussions.

  14. Robb says:

    I see what you are getting at. However, when I am given Sunday lunch, I can’t remember what I ate last Sunday. I certainly can’t remember what I had the Sunday before. I can remember the amazing Sunday dinner I had a few months ago when we went to the pub in town.

    I know that my life is a lot better for having eaten a few nice meals in the presence of friends and family. For having shared them together, digested them together. Those meals have brought us together and made me who I am today.

    When the preacher gets up and preaches, I may not remember exactly what she has said by the next week. But over the course of my life I must have picked something up as I am now a different person to who I used to be. My relationship with God is completely different now that 10 years ago when I first started following Jesus.

  15. Robb says:

    I think it depends on how it is done. I come from a tradition where that was a requirement of membership. However, it was a very difficult to sustain and very difficult to become part of because it is based upon friendship relationships.

    When the housegroup grew too big to fit into a room it split into two smaller groups. All of the regular attending friendship groups gravitated towards one of the halves. The other half folded because some weeks there would be 2 people (the leaders) and some weeks there would be 10 people who don’t know each other well enough to be open and honest in a safe environment.

    The number of people who couldn’t break into those strong friendship groups in the other half and were excluded was quite high. People would just metaphorically bounce off of the outside of the group.

  16. jonbirch says:

    robb @ 12… good point well made.

  17. jonbirch says:

    notice, i’m ignoring the ‘reply’ buttons. :-)

  18. herbeey says:

    Oh. That’s what’s going on.

  19. Pat says:

    Robb @ 12: I would agree with the general idea in your last paragraph in as much as that often, the evolution of faith and practice takes an incremental (and sometimes the individual steps are infinitesimal :-D ) path.

    However, I guess I’d also want to say that one shouldn’t just assume that absorption takes place without active particpation on our part in the process (I’m not saying this is what you think :-) – only that it could sound like that).

    I also agree about the value of shared meals :-D

    …..and with various comments about the potential irritations of the reply buttons :lol:

  20. Robb says:

    @pat 16 – You should know me well enough by now to know that it is the last thing I would advocate.

    I was accused by a very accademic peer [people should only be allowed one title, Revd or Dr. Both and you expect me to preach? "????!"] of preaching “the cuddly Jesus who comes and cuddles up to us in bed” when I recently had Jn 1 on the lectionary. I had to point out to that this was the only time he had ever been there and that it was a bit of a departure for me. Normally Jesus looks like this when I read the bible.

    Active participation is what we are all called to.

    The shared meals were just a metaphor – but on reflection, a vital part of my christian journey. That said, whenever we went to church with my inlaws we would then go and have lunch together where we would sit and pick at the preachers sermon. Always fun to pick at someone elses preaching….. given that the vicar is my father in law ;)

    The principle of the theological college:

    “We gather round the Lords table together and we continue that worship around these tables as we eat together.”

  21. miriworm says:

    Why is the Pope, or is it Cardinal Richelieu sitting in the back row? :-)

  22. Pat says:

    Robb: I thought I’d made it clear that I wasn’t saying that unthinking passivity was what you seemed to be advocating, but maybe I didn’t :-? – in which case my apologies. But then…maybe I’m over-interpreting your remark :-? aaaargh ….I hate electronic communication sometimes!

    I think the ‘shared meals’ motif works on all sorts of levels. You’re very brave (or foolhardy!)deconstructing your father-in-law’s sermons; although having said that, i always enjoyed quizzing my dad on his!

    On one level, I really like the ‘revolutionary Jesus’ image (and I once saw it used as part of a very moving ‘Station of the Cross’) – but at the same time it fills me with all sorts of thoughts and questions and a wish to probe deeper into what is really being said here. Something for a conversation some other time I guess.

  23. Robb says:

    Pat (19) – it’s only the internet. Not worth getting to steamed up over :D Appologies not needed, just clarifying that the revolution will not be televised, the revolution will be live!!

    Surely the image has fulfilled its purpose if it has filled you with thoughts and questions. The christian advertising network do their best to be provocative in a world filled with “away in a manger”, “silent night” and “bleak midwinter”‘s [how typically seasonal this conversation has become. Where are my shorts?].

    Deconstructing my father in laws sermons? That is one of the first things I was encouraged to do when I first started to follow JC. My father in law would usually come home and go “so what did you think of the sermon?” and the discussion would continue.

    I did once stick my hand up when he was preaching and ask him a question :D

  24. Pat says:

    Robb :lol:

    I’ve always liked the CAN posters – and been amused by te negative comments they’ve attracted from some sections of the church community – and think this one is particularly provocative in the best possible way :-) Perhaps this ought to be how we do our sermons more often – presentation of an image/idea followed by the invitation ‘discuss’. I’ve only preached on a handful of occaisions, but have always enjoyed those where people actually participate – even though it sometimes feels like standing on the edge of a volcano!

  25. Robb says:

    Pat – my Father in Law recently retired from full time parish ministry. The last sermon I saw was “here’s two minutes of ideas, what do you think” followed by a 20 minute discussion on the topic of “vision”.

    All good stuff.

    Don’t like hawking my own blog but how about this idea about Jazz Preaching?

  26. beatthedrum says:

    Jon I love that story Its one I have often used to illustrate the point you make.

  27. beatthedrum says:

    I think its important that people get to work through the previous weeks sermon.

    This is best done in a combination of small groups, one – one discipleship and in solitude and it takes time.

    Therefore I think it is good for church to preach through a topic and make it pertinent to the situation that people are currently facing.

    An example of this would be Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill who preaches thropugh a book but usually looking at specific aspects of real life.

    He also produces notes for the small groups to work through mid week and personal application stuff. On his latest one he has even produced notes for family discussion around the dinner table.

    But we forget that Sunday is the SMALLEST part of our walk with Jesus not the MAINEVENT.

    Until we get over that hurdle the race is going to be painfull

    http://www.beatthedrum.wordpress.com

  28. Pete says:

    Not that I preach every week but I’d be SO pleased if someone actually remembered last week, let alone thought about acting on it.

  29. Caroline Too says:

    well, I think that’s very mean of you JB!

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  31. jonbirch says:

    damn! you’ve made me respond with the ‘reply’ button!!!!! i hate it, hate it, hate it!!!!! there was nothing wrong with simple and linear… i could follow that! aaaaaaaaaaaaagh!!!!! go away, you horrible ‘reply’ buttons!!!!!

    i think i’m gonna see if i can email wordpress and ask them if they can get rid of them on this blog. :-( :-( :-(

  32. Robb says:

    Jon – to kill the silly buttons go to your dash board and click this. Then uncheck this. All our problems will be solved!!

  33. jonbirch says:

    thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you, robb!!!!! :-) :-) :-)

  34. Laura says:

    Robb= I like the idea of “Jazz church”. It works really well if you’re in the same neighborhood as the people you go to church with I think. I’m wondering how people think you could incorporate that idea if you’re not living in the same area as the people you’re in “community” with though.
    I’ve found myself in the bizzare position of, after being out of church forever, finding a “home” at a church that’s for the most part physically in another state.
    We’re a small number of people, but spread out across the globe.
    Guess blogging is pretty much the only way to do that huh?
    not sure who that is addressed to exactly…just sort of thinking out loud…

  35. Pat says:

    er…..I think he appreciated it Robb!

    I like the ‘jazz preaching’ idea, although I fear that certain (time-related)aspects of it would perhaps be a little impractical unless you’re a idle student (like me :-) ) But yes, the idea of really taking the time to break open the word together (however one does it) as part of our gathering together as the Body of Christ, is enormously appealing. And appropriate too of course, since liturgy is ‘the work of the people’ …..

  36. Robb says:

    Jon – You’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome….

    Laura – Area is a problem. Time is always a problem. It doesn’t matter if you are doing it by your self or not, preaching is going to take up a lot of time!

    As the Church of England (the bit I’m in) moves towards team ministry, I suspect that it is easier to find the time than in another context. However, I bet it would take the same amount of time as prepping a sermon by your self – but spread out amongst 2 or 3 people sat drinking coffee.

    BTW – thinking out loud is all I ever do!

    Pat – “the work of the people”. Exactly! Like I say, I reckon that 6 hrs writing a sermon vs 2hrs sat with two others chatting works out the same if you can manage to find time to get together.

  37. danielg says:

    As a teaching pastor in my local church (but not the Sr. Pastor), I have often said that we should have Sunday church less often (like twice a month) and give people the other two Sundays to practice BEING the church by doing something ‘spiritual’ with their small group or family. Go serve or evangelize, or get out in nature and appreciate God.

    People don’t need a new ‘to do’ every week.

  38. Probably the reason I’m not a pastor is that I’d set homework, then have a ‘naughty pew’ for those who didn’t do it.

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