Posts Tagged ‘busyness’

I preached an experimental sermon this past Sunday. And I got some amazing results. In fact, they were results that I never thought to anticipate.

Inspired by a book I had read (The Art of Curating Worship), a friend of mine who is a gifted leader of creative worship, and by a conversation with the staff member at our church who is responsible for crafting a new kind of worship service, I set out to experiment with a participatory sermon. I had my fair share of time to talk, but I involved the congregation in several ways.

The text was Mark 6:30–34, 53–56, the story of the disciples and Jesus responding to the needs of the crowds swarming around them. Inspired by another friend’s exploration of the Greek, I called attention to the different pronouns that Mark uses in the two halves of the reading. In fact, this was the first bit of participation (more…)


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I heard the story of a pastor who was cloistered in his office for prayer. A member of the congregation stopped by, looked in the office and saw the pastor, hands folded, head bowed. He knocked on the doorframe as he entered, saying, “Oh, good, Pastor, I’m glad to see that you’re not busy…”

Someone also told me about a curious difference between Americans and Tanzanians. When we part company, our farewell is often, “Take it easy.” When Tanzanians part company, they often say, “Work hard.” Neither farewell seems to be effective. Tanzanians continue to struggle with productivity, and Americans continue to struggle with an addiction to busyness.

A couple years back I was invited to work with a church council in a small town in rural Iowa. To give you an idea how rural this town was, my cellphone could not pick up a carrier. We’re talking seriously off the beaten path. In the course of our meeting, congregational leaders complained that they couldn’t get members to participate in ministries because—you guessed it—”everybody is so busy.” After the meeting, I remarked to my wife, “Since when did the culture of busyness invade (name of town withheld) Iowa?”

“I know you’re busy, but…” How many times have you heard (or used) that introduction to an invitation to talk or to do something? Have you ever wondered why we assume that everybody is overly busy to the point of not being able to pay attention to us?


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