The Art of the Sermon Part Three: Coffeeshop

Always looking for a gimmick for the blog, and constantly being asked about it, I've decided to work on a two-week series called "The Art of the Sermon." I'm going to walk through step by step everything I do for a sermon, from two weeks out until Sunday morning at the Bridge. I will then post a youtube video of the sermon, just in case you can't make the Bridge. If we do it right, this will be fun and educational! Come along!

Good morning bloggers!
I am sitting at the Barnes and Nobel at the Waterfront. I had to fight incredibly hard to avoid the temptation to order a Peppermint Mocha. The holidays are trying to sneak their way into our world incredibly too quickly. Until the first snowfall, or the moment they discontinue the pumpkin spice latte, I will not purchase anything Peppermint. This is important for us to all understand before I begin.

As you may have heard, a few weeks ago my macbook took a turn for the worse when some Gatorade was inadvertently spilled upon it. I had a back up plan, which was to use a desktop computer for work, and to just get by without a laptop. In that time, I learned many valuable lessons, but probably the biggest of them was that I am completely incapable of writing my teachings or sermons in our office. I don't know why, but it's true. I tried really hard to write sermons in the office, and failed miserably. It was rough.

I've learned that I do some of my best thinking by getting out of the office and writing in a coffee shop, or in this case, a bookstore. You could argue that there are more distractions here than there would be in my office, but I seem to be pretty impervious to them. In fact, they actually seem to influence my writing. I tend to write better in a place with cool music and a warm cup of java in my hand. I swear, I wrote the best stuff in my life when I was within walking distance to Tazza Doro. I still get pretty mad at myself that I can't find those writings...

Today is Monday, which is my day off, so I'm not intentionally thinking through the sermon. I have some ideas rattling around, and have picked up a few books to kind of help out with that. But really, I'm here to write some other stuff. I am still working on a book (and the proposal that goes along with it), so I've got that going for me. I'm also starting to plan the recording of the Bridge CD for this fall, so I've got that on my plate. The writing is going well today too. I might stay a bit longer than expected!

But the point is this: in those moments where you feel stuck on a sermon, get out. Maybe you dig coffee shops as much as I do, or maybe you're more a library type person, or a parks and recreation person. But wherever you feel your creativity let loose, get out and get there. Our sermons must be creative. Our sermons must be interesting. I am absolutely tired of putting people to sleep with the stories of God. They deserve better than that. So wherever your creative passions are let loose, get there to write your sermons. Your congregation will thank you later!