Thursday, July 12, 2007

COLLABORATION IN PREACHING


From Preaching magazine (5-6/07)

In an interview with pastor and author Dave Ferguson, he talks about the collaborative process his team uses in developing sermons: “A lot of churches have teaching teams like baseball; ours is more like basketball. The teaching teams that are more like baseball teams have a teaching rotation; this guy is up this week, this guy’s up the next week, lefty is up on the third week. You have your four man rotation and you start all over again. Each of them goes up and does their own thing and they are on their own.

On a basketball team, everybody plays every game. Only one guy takes the shot, but everybody gets to touch the ball. Our teaching team is a collaborative effort that works much more like a basketball team. Every week we work together -- actually we work about nine weeks in advance, starting three weeks in advance on the actual manuscript. We all work together to actually create that manuscript. We call it the 105 fastest minutes of your week. . . .

The first five minutes is what we call focus. Here is the big idea that we are working on, that we are going to have to do a sermon on in three weeks. Then we have what we called the Desired Outcomes. We go around, everyone is responsible for bringing something that will relay what is the desired outcomes that we want to have. You have to rethink very simply in terms of head, hearts and hands. How are we going to get people to think differently, how do we want them to feel, what do we want them to actually do differently?

Then we start brainstorming. What are the possibilities? Anything goes. We use big white sheets and put everything up on the board. This usually lasts about 45 minutes. We have enough stuff for at least a whole series. One of the things you discover with a collaborative process is there is never a time when you don’t have enough content. . . . Then the next thirty minutes is how do we put it into some kind of structure. Depending on what the topic is, how do we most effectively communicate that?

About ten minutes we spend in consensus vote -- is everyone really sold on this? Will we all really buy into this? Once everyone is on board with that, then the last five minutes we divvy it up, we divide up the message. . . . So around the room each of us takes a section and they all agree to write that part of the message. They all have a week to write their part of the message, they email it in, and Tim edits the whole thing into a manuscript. That is what we call our 1.0. We actually have our 1.0 done at least two weeks in advance before we have to deliver it. That gives everybody a chance to go out and let it marinate, to live with it for awhile. Then we can make it more our own throughout that creative process.”

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