in february, alan l, came on board with the youth ministry as the assistant youth minister. when he started one of the things i wanted to happen was for us to swap off speaking at the view every other month. before alan arrived i had been speaking consistently with a few other people every now and then. now i’m speaking one month and then listening to alan the next month.

at first, i didn’t really like this.

after years of preferring small groups (small groups have feedback and interaction while large groups don’t) i’ve finally gotten to the place in ministry where i enjoy speaking in front of larger groups. so, at first the thought of speaking for a month and then listening for a month wasn’t that thrilling. i felt like it threw my groove off.

that was before i went to the national youth workers’ convention and heard rob bell do his critical concerns course (8 hours of conference) on having “a revolutionary voice”. during the conference he talked about letting messages and ideas “ruminate” in your head for awhile. i’ve tried to do this before by having my messages planed out for a while. yet, i have never done this anywhere near as well as rob bell. he said he never speaks about anything unless it has been bouncing around in his head for 3 to 6 months. the advantage of this is that GOD starts to provide teachable moments and ideas during this period of “rumination”. these things then relate to your messages and add freshness and depth to them.

this “rumination” is what has changed my mind concerning speaking every other month. during my off month i have the time to simply listen to GOD concerning what HE wants me to speak about during the next month. i’ve planned out by prayer what i will be speaking on through november of 2005. everything i read, watch, listen to, and experience has the possibility of becoming something that GOD can deliver the message through. having the extra month gives me the time to figure out how to communicate what needs to be said. i throughly believe that my messages are getting much better simply because of the fact that i have the time to let them simmer a little while.

i am very thankful for this system now.

i kind of think that this might be a good system for churches. have two main speakers and have them swap off months or message series. in order to do this you would have to have two people who were very secure in their positions and humble. it would have to be two people who would not end up in a sense competing against each other. i know a few ministers and unfortunately i think it would be hard to find allot of people who would fit in this system..

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