The Art of Possession, which is not the same thing as ownership.
I loved every moment and every lesson and every story of his talk. Bell’s message is on point. His delivery is conversational. He’s funny. He understands people.
One of his true gifts is his ability to teach and present. He engages the audience in so many ways, not just through his content (although that is a wonderful start), he does so through his rhythm and timing, through his body language, through the tone of his voice. He is so amazingly talented, not just in his interpretation of scripture and spirituality, but also in engaging his audience in the challenge of his words.
Bell is phenomenal at what he does, whether it be teaching sermons at his home congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, or writing books like Velvet Elvis and Jesus Wants to Save Christians, or touring different cities and helping people to come to comprehend the purpose of suffering as he does on the Drops Like Stars tour or just inspiring regular folks like me.
If you’re the least bit interested in anything I’ve had to say about him, next time Bell is in Kansas City, I highly suggest going to check him out. You won’t be disappointed. And I will most certainly be there.
The theme was “Give Your All” and the focus scripture came from the 12th chapter of Mark â€” the story of the widow’s mite. And while I love that story, it was used enough in the service (including in my children’s focus moment right before my sermon). I wanted to bring something a little different.
I will say this, however. For the five years that I’ve run this blog, I’ve never actually posted video of myself giving a sermon. I’ve posted partial contents before and I’ve given a bunch of sermons at different congregations, but never actual video. This is kind of a momentous. So please be nice.
I was introduced to Rob Bell through his NOOMA videos and I’ve been listening to him since. Velvet Elvis is one of the best books on Christianity that I’ve read, not because it is cool, but because it is true.
He puts scripture into context (and man, is he ever versed in scripture), he uses wonderful analogies to make points and he challenges his audience to think critically about their faith. I like that.
This week, I listened to the audiobook Jesus Wants to Save Christians, the terrific book he wrote with his friend Don Golden. How can you go wrong with chapters named “Swollen Bellied Black Babies” and “There’s Blood on the Doorposts of the Universe”?
Bell is a voice of Christianity that is tolerant and aware, but also extremely well-versed. He uses scripture in a relevant way that puts it into the context of the age in which it was written to help us understand it and apply it today. Some of the voices I listed at the beginning of this post can be a bit extreme and some of the best intentions can get lost and they can drown out people like Rob, who really need to be heard.
Every few months I have to remind myself why I blog. Today, I’m here to tell you that I’m not sure I can answer that question to my own satisfaction anymore.
Last week, Alli and I had an amazing time at our church’sCongregational LIFE Workshop, a week dedicated to spiritual growth and helping leaders learn some tactics to implement in their own congregations. I’ve come back with a new look on a lot of things.
In sort-of-related news, I’ve been feeling a strange disconnection to my own blog lately and I’m realizing that I’m not doing it for the reasons I started it for originally. I’m not sure that I want to go back to how it was 4 years ago when I started, but I’m also feeling that I need a focus to my blog rather than it being all over the place. I’ve got some ideas, but nothing concrete yet.