Preparing vs listening.

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Pete, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. Pete

    Pete
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    As per "GENERAL GUIDELINES" post I checked with Dr Bob before posting this.


    I was just chatting with a friend in Brazil last night and I said something along the lines of "I find sometimes I learn more by preparing things myself than listening to someone else preach..."

    Eg, sometimes I've spent a few hours writing a 5 minute puppet show for Sunday school kids. Looking up different translations, seeing what Hebrew or Greek words were originally used in passage, generally making sure I wasn't going to mess it up because I've read all of God's warnings to teachers. Used similar approach when I was writing young peoples (early teens) Bible studies at another Church.

    My friend in Brazil said they had taught kids Sunday school and found the same thing themselves sometimes. Then I had the brilliant idea of checking with the Pastors here to see if they went through the same thing.

    So that brings us to the question: "Why are we kids Sunday school teachers just so great?"

    No, kidding, real questions are:
    </font>
    • Do Pastors find the same thing? (get more out of preparing than listening)</font>
    • Or does it perhaps depend on who you are listening to?</font>
    • Have Pastors ever considered maybe once a month or every few months getting laymen off their big fat pews, into the Word, and then behind the pulpit?</font>
    • ...or maybe setting "homework" for the congregation to write sermons or Bible studies themselves? To get them deeper in Word and show what Pastor does go through in preparation.</font>
    .....and any other related question you can throw in that I might have missed [​IMG]

    I guess my answer to my question is: it depends a lot on who I am listening to. I can think of a few off top of head who I've had privilege of hearing that I learn more from in a 30 minute message of theirs than I could in 30 hours of preparation myself.... [​IMG] and some others where the numbers are reversed [​IMG]
     
  2. exscentric

    exscentric
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    I'd guess this is true of most people, at least those that have any knowledge of getting into the word.

    One time I put together a Sunday School series with assignments every week. Not all participated, but those that did had a ball and their work, at times, was deeper than mine and I learned from them.

    I think the church has blown it in this area, we expect nothing and get nothing.

    Those laymen that I've heard preach do as good as many pastors I've been under - not the polish and three points, but content is just as good.

    I've also heard more than one layman tell me they love the preparation and preaching, just don't want to get into the pastorate due to the other stuff that goes with pastoring these days.
     
  3. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    I read an entire text book one time to state three sentences. However, the long term payoff was good in that it led to a deeper understanding of things later. By explaining the info to the congregation, I could later make a single statement that was understood by everyone.

    One thing that I've learned is that when someone disagrees with something that I've taught, one (or both) of us will come to a deeper understanding of something.
     
  4. Mexdeaf

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    You always get more nutrition when you chew your own food rather than someone else's.
     
  5. Pete

    Pete
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    Mexdeaf, great illustration....but now I need a shower.... [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. MattC

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    Interesting questions. My answer is that it has to depend. I had a theology prof in college from whom I learned a great deal. He was able to make a lesson come alive.

    I don't know about other pastors, but I find that although my preparation time for sermons and classes teaches me a great deal, it isn't as personal as my devotional time. So, while I'm learning the material, it's different than when I'm sitting in a bible study discussing and listening or when I'm studying and meditating on the Word.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    I love training men. Met last night with two "elders-in-training" who will be preaching in February while I'm in Panama. We translated the text from the Greek and came up with outline ideas and shared. They then will move on to "flesh out" and "apply" the Word.

    I have great confidence in them. Now, I would think it great to have 10 men each give 3-5 minute "sermon" on occasion, with discussion afterward. We learn by DOING (not just preparing, but delivering).

    Hence SS teachers and children's workers need to be in the Word and anticipate questions, thoughts that might arise from their ministries.
     
  8. j_barner2000

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    My secular job allows me to spend a lot of time listening to the radio... I learn from both preparing and listening. It all depends on the learning style and the speaking style, if you know what i mean.
     
  9. Brother Ian

    Brother Ian
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    I personally get way more out of preparing a message or lesson than listening to one.
     
  10. Pete

    Pete
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    Great addition Dr Bob. The delivery is when I REALLY start learning. I either find myself at the front of a room full of gray-haired saints, or a room full of 8-12 year olds... (no-one my age puts up with me [​IMG] :D )

    (I'ld rather work with the kids, if I do a bad job I find out VERY QUICKLY from that crowd [​IMG] With the oldies have to wait for months to notice the knives in back... :rolleyes: [​IMG] )
     
  11. Rhetorician

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    To all who have an ear:

    I would use another analogy.

    A cow is always chewing her cud. She eats it, swallows it, then brings it up again and re-chews it.

    That is the way it is with me in some respects. I have theological questions that I have pondered over and over again for years. My understandings grow as I continue to research, listen, and talk to other preachers about the topic.

    Secondly, I find that I really do not know an issue, topic, or scripture until I have taught it. I especially found this true when I started to teach college. I have a Master's in History of Christian Thought. I am teaching a survey of Church History to my SS class. I find that I have really had "to get up to speed" to teach the material. It has been quite difficult and quite a bit of work on the one hand; but very rewarding and fruitful on the other.

    I find that I am the one who gains the most overall for the personal study done.

    Connected to that, I am an "auditory learner" and really do my best learning when I am made to use more than one faculty rather than just one by itself.

    I hope all this helps!

    sdg!

    rd
     

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