Definition of Communication
A pastor is able to persuade others with respect to biblical and theological truth through oral, written, and electronic media.
Overall Reflection Statement on Communication
For my competence in communication, I am submitting one audio recording and seven PDFs which demonstrate my versatility, capacity, and potential. I have selected a recording of my guest preaching at Yegua Creek Evangelical Free Church, two additional sermon manuscripts, two position papers, one technical commentary, one exegetical commentary, and one creative writing project. Each posed a unique challenge. Before seminary, I had never composed a sermon. Before seminary, I was without the language skill set and the theology to engage theological discussions with much more than my own opinions. These assignments pushed me to use my new skill sets and knowledge in preparation for leading in the church.
As I have developed and demonstrated my aptitude in communication, I learned that I have a gift with words. Before seminary, I did not consider myself a writer. In fact, I shunned writing like the plague. About six months before seminary began, I took to writing prayer letters and blogging as my wife and I journeyed through the death of her mother and the arrival of our firstborn and her major heart defect. Through those outlets, I began to put my heart into words. Then in seminary, I started to mix knowledge with wit, wisdom with heart, fact with application. Professor after professor has lauded my work, and I no longer shy away from writing assignments. When it came to preaching, one professor said of me, "When you preach, not only do you strive to present the author’s message, but more than that, you offer yourself—the authenticity of a life being transformed by Christ."
Lifelong Development Statement
As a result of the experiences documented by these artifacts, I will continue to develop in communication by continuing to write and by taking on more preaching and public speaking opportunities. I don't know where the writing will lead, but this is a gift which I intend to steward for the blessing of the church. Both writing and public speak are natural expressions of my thought-leadership, so I purpose to grow in them by doing more of them.
Preaching is communicating the truth of God's Word to an audience in a way that relevantly connects with the heart, mind, and soul of the hearer. In preaching, what was written to inspire faith and obedience in audiences thousands of years ago is translated and contextualized in order to have the same affect on today's listeners. The preacher is part bridge between two cultural contexts, part conduit for the Spirit's work and power, and part illustration for the audience's edification.
Below is a the audio recording of my sermon on Micah 6:1-8 that I gave when guest preaching at Yegua Creek Evangelical Free Church on October 20, 2013.
|Do Justice, Love Mercy, & Walk Humbly with Your God - Micah 6:1-8|
|File Size:||13829 kb|
If you would like to have me fill in as pulpit supply for your church or parachurch ministry, please connect with me on my Speaking Request page.
I have written four sermons for the Chairman of the Bible and Theology Departments at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston. His comment on the two below were, "Loved both sermons!!! Wow, you are definitely gifted in this area. You are going to be an awesome preacher!!!”
Position Paper 1
The Bible says some things that are hard to understand. As a thought-leader, I need to be able engage those passages with diligence and address the difficulty with a well-reasoned, articulate response. Jonah 3:10 presents one such difficulty: does God change His mind? A question with deep theological significance and ramifications, I have included my answer. The professor's feedback was, "This is excellent! You write well and your argument is nicely made. A+"
Position Paper 2
Having already posted one position paper, the question must be asked, "Why post a second?" My answer is that sound theological thought-leadership needs to be anchored in the exegesis of specific passages, in an understanding of the meta-narrative of scripture, and in the history and tradition of the faith. The paper below is my synthesis of all three in order to make the case for premillennial eschatology--a case which received a perfect score.
The art of communication is all about knowing your audience. Sometimes a playful, casual style is appropriate. Other times, formal and technical are the style du jour. Moreover, it's not just style but content that varies by audience. To preach the morphology and syntax of Greek and Hebrew will at best elicit a yawn from a congregation. But failing to dialogue with critical work on a passage earns an automatic dismissal in scholarly circles. As a thought-leader, I want to be able to interact with the scholars and the congregation--each benefiting my interaction with the other. To demonstrate my ability to handle the intellectual demands of scholarly work, I have included a technical commentary on Ephesians 2:11-22. Of the 40 grading criteria, I scored 'excellent' on 37 of them and 'good' on the remaining three.
But can he convert the jargon of technical research into a meaningful discussion and explanation of the Bible for a non-academic reader? This paper is my answer to that question. The assignment was to write a commentary that would make sense to any adult Christian in, say, the church I would pastor. The work must be readable while at the same time integrate thoughtful research and scholarly due-diligence. Scoring 98 out of 100, the grader remarked "This paper reflects a careful interaction with the [Greek] text. It presents a detailed analysis of the argument and flow of this important transition passage in Romans. Your work shows creative and independent thinking ... Your paper was a pleasure to read."
Creative Writing Project
As I looked at these artifacts, I felt that while representative, they missed a piece of me. Yes, I am intense. Yes, I am intellectual. But I wrote a poem about my wife that reflects a little more of my heart and personality. Inspired by Proverbs 31, it was an assignment I enjoyed and one that brought tears to my wife's eyes. Beware, though, it is at least PG-13 in content. After all, it's about this husband's view of his wife.