The Pastor's Buzz

Pastor Buzz Trexler's blog for God's people in The Meadow.

My Photo
Name: Buzz Trexler
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Journalist for 29 years; married to Donna for 28 years; parent of David, 27, and Elizabeth, 24; pastor of Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa since 2002.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Preacher podcasts prevent pileups

Every teacher needs a teacher, every pastor needs a pastor, and some of us preachers like to listen to someone else’s preaching.
At least, that’s what works for me.

The problem is this: I’m preaching on Sunday morning, so it’s difficult to catch someone else’s stuff.
In the past, radio preachers did it for me; however, today they mostly stick to the same, old modernist themes. My congregation will testify that their pastor goes for something a little different — and Christian radio doesn’t do well with "different."

So, in past years, it pretty much came down to feeding what my wife probably considers an extreme case of bibliomania. The growing additions to my library have only been slowed by the need to limit my reading to current sermon themes or class work.

In addition, since I’m a newspaper editor, there is news and publishing-related reading that I have to do.
Up until recent years, my theological interests were pretty much in line with the norm — well, at least the norm for me. You could expect to find books from, among others, C.S. Lewis, A.W. Tozer, Malcolm Muggeridge and Henri Nouwen (OK, I’m, Protestant, but some Roman Catholic writers understand the mystery of God in ways that we Protestants have forgotten, or even dismissed.)

In the last five or six years, my favorite reading from contemporary Protestant theologians has included, among others, Leonard Sweet, Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo. (I keep adding the "others," because while it takes time to sit down and read a book, those of us with ADD sometimes read three books at once. No kidding.)

But a couple of years ago, God revealed a "new thing" to me: Podcasts and MP3 files. And since that revelation, the six-CD changer in my Honda is no longer totally filled with the likes of Third Day, Casting Crowns and Rich Mullins. It’s had to make room for preachers who do not have to pass through an editorial gateway.

Because while I enjoy the printed word, there’s something about "hearing" someone preach that appeals to me.
Rob Bell of Mars Hill Bible Church, one of those preachers in my CD player, puts it like this: "Of course, good preaching gets me fired up. It’s the original guerrilla theater."

I would agree.

Scripture aside, it’s sometimes difficult to translate into text what the Holy Spirit does through preaching. You catch the inflections, the pauses, the accentuation of certain points — and I’m totally into that aspect.

Plus, it’s hard to read while driving down Alcoa Highway.

Trust me.