The old adage goes “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. “ Of course this is more of a self pep talk than actual truth. Anyone who has ever related to another human knows truth looks more like “sticks and stones may break my bones, but I’d much prefer that to insults, gossip, and condescension.” Telling someone with little discernment or common sense to “use their words” holds as much risk as it does wisdom.
When I get to do leisure reading–reading that isn’t for ministry or school–I usually choose biographies. While I love to read about a wide variety of people, my favorite are American Presidents. I just got back from vacation where I consumed the very interesting book, Ike and Dick, a recent work focusing on the relationship between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon.
I know. It’s an obsession without a cure. I’m a nerd this way. But indulge me for a moment and let me tell you what energizes me about reading presidential biographies. Reading history reinforces to me the grand narrative of the story the Bible tells. Here are three reasons.
This week modern worship received some attention from an expansive platform. NPR (National Public Radio) produced a piece on modern worship music and its influence in the church. See the link here. As an introductory view of the landscape of church music, the article proposed, “There was a time when hymns were used primarily to drive home the message that came from the pulpit. But then came the praise songs.” With one eye on the modern hymn and another on the modern praise chorus, the article featured Keith Getty (Songwriter), Mike Harland (President of LifeWay Worship), and Ed Cash (Producer and Songwriter).
Here are a few observations on the feature that may be helpful as we think through these matters.
Whether it is best to manuscript or to outline your sermon is an ongoing conversation. Everyone is different. Driscoll goes up with post-it notes, Piper takes a manuscript. Figuring out which is right for you takes time and experimentation.
I just preached back-to-back Sunday mornings while our lead pastor was out of town – the first with an outline, and the second with a manuscript.
For me, it’s case closed: I’m a manuscript guy. Not a hide-half-my-face-while-I-read-word-for-word manuscript guy. I actually read very little of it. But the process of writing a manuscript is massively beneficial to me. Perhaps it would be for you, too. Here are five reasons why.