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Home > Trend Watch > 2014 > April 9 > Preachers: Your Church Doesn't Need a TED Talk

Trend Watch

Perspective on the buzz

In a recent post, blogger Karl Vaters argued that churches do not need TED Talks from their pastors. He's referring of course to the popular (and often brilliant) series of brief speeches on Technology, Education, and Design that communicate "ideas worth spreading" to an expanding audience. The talks follow a rigid six rule format: Distill your life's work or experience into a 3, 6, 9 or 18 minute talk, Be authentic / vulnerable, Convey one strong idea, Tell a story that hasn't been told before, Tell and not sell, Absolutely and positively stick to the time limit.

Vaters says that instead congregations need "God-and-you" talks:

"No pastor should be held, or should hold themselves to standards like that. They're easy to ask for, but they'll kill you if your try to fulfill them. And they're entirely unnecessary. No one needs a TED Talk from their pastor every week. But here's what we do need. Whether we're a spiritual seeker, a new believer, a frustrated church member or a mature disciple, we want one thing from our pastor's sermon above all else … A genuine expression from where your heart has met or is struggling with the heart of God is more helpful than a finely crafted sermon that someone else wrote."

Whether or not you agree, one thing is for certain—today's communication trends put new pressures on pastors behind the pulpit. How do you respond?

Have a thought or response to this trend? Thoughts on how changing expectations impact communicating for preachers and teachers in the church? Send us a note.

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