Carol over at Tribal Church is asking lots of good questions about leadership although the comments seem to be all about what is good preaching, which makes me wonder a lot of things.
1. Does great leadership equal prophetic preaching? What about leaders who lead in other ways - as great teachers, for examples, or excellent administrators (I mean, it's not very sexy, but if you can run a meeting you can rule the world. Which is why I'm not not ruling the world.).
2. One of the comments equates prophetic preaching with really getting into The Issues. Personally, I've heard hundreds of sermons about issues, and just a few about Waking Up, so a really prophetic sermon for me is one that gets me all fired up about walking with Jesus and seeing where that takes you - which may be protesting the war or may be holding the hand of a young man dying of cancer. Both change the world.
3. Also, I'm reminded of my own love/hate relationship with The Sermon, which might be why I'm struggling with the preaching part of my job most right now. I mean, I love to hear to a good sermon as much as the next church geek. In fact I listened over and over to the cassette of the sermon that BBT preached at the FTE conference in, I think, 1998 (is that the year More Cows? do you remember that one? about how we were called to be Peter, not Jesus? it sounds obvious now, but at the time I thought I would die from relief.). But honestly, we know so much more about how people take in information now that we used to, and sitting and listening to someone else talk for 20 minutes (or even 12!) is just about the worst way there is to learn anything. I try to have people do stuff when I preach just to engage their other senses (have a drama, get them to talk to each other, walk around and look at pictures, close their eyes and pray, tie a piece of string, whatever) but it doesn't always work out and sometimes even that feels a little gimmicky or something.
4. Which is why I'm planning to go to the Festival of Homiletics in May -- it seems that a new sermon is pretty much expected every week, and having run through my Greatest Hits, I'm looking for inspiration. Any of ya'll planning to go? It would be good to see your faces.