Willow Creek Summit Observations – Part 2

August 20, 2005 — 3 Comments

Rick Warren had a lot of great stuff in session 2. You can get a pretty good outline of it on Kem Meyer’s blog, here.

What I think I loved the most was his quote he attributed to Einstein: “You can be the smartest person in the world, but if you can’t communicate in a simple way, it’s not worth much.”

I have always taken this approach to me teaching/preaching. You can “wow” someone with your knowledge of original languages (and having that is good, don’t get me wrong), but at the end of the day, if the cookies aren’t on the bottom shelf where they can be taken and eaten, what good are the cookies?

I’m sure I will get a comment about the value of stretching people… making them reach for and work for the cookies. I agree that people need to be challenged. But the reality is that, if in our communication of the greatest truth ever know, if people don’t get it, “it’s not worth much,” (at least in the practical application of that truth).

Pat Callahan

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I'm a picker. I'm a grinner. I'm a lover. And I'm a sinner. I make my music in the sun.

3 responses to Willow Creek Summit Observations – Part 2

  1. I agree – it has to be simple for most people to get it. I think you can make things simple and still be able to challenge them in such a way that they will stretch and grow – baby steps

  2. To often I believe we treat people as if their spritual babies too long. A person at one point or another needs to come to a realization that he/she must stand up and grasp the truths of God's Word. There is much at stake here, if one truly believes that we can know God and what he is like through his revealed Word! We cannot spoon feed people forever, and I think we do this all to often. Annette-I do agree with baby steps, but we cannot stay babies forever. One final thought-what do we do with those people who don't need to spoon feed anymore? Send them to another church so they can be feed by the in-depth teaching/preaching of God's Word? Pat…keep the good blogs coming!!!!!!!!!

  3. Please don't misunderstand what I am saying. I am not saying that we must spoon feed people. Neither am I saying that we "water down" the truth of Scripture. Simply, I am advocating a simplicity of style that allows people – at all levels in their spiritual journey – to UNDERSTAND the truth. In fact, simplicity does not keep people from wrestling with truth. On the contrary, in increases the likelyhood that they will. When you understand the truth (and isn't that the purpose of preaching/teaching – to help people understand the ruth… to reval it to them?) you are moved to make a decision about the truth. Sometimes – even ofetn – that decision will require you to give something up or stop doing something that you've been doing. You are faced with a choice… a crisis of faith, if you will.That choice to follow truth or to not folloow truth – obedience or disobedience – is precipitated by understanding. Understanding comes when truth is communicated in the "language of the people."I could tell you that if you are struggling with circadian rhythm disorder there are certain things you must do. Would you know what I'm talking about? Would you know if that "truth" was for you to apply? What if I told you that you had jet lag? Would you understand me the?Both phrases mean the same thing, however one communication style will be more readily understood and so more easy to act (or not act) upon.Simple does not equal simplistic. It means not complicated – although acting on "simple truth" may be extremely complicated – it may involve letting go of an action or lifestyle that has become a big part of our life. I now fear that in writing on simplicity, I may have said too much and am in danger of becoming unclear. So now, I will simply stop typing.

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