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15 - How to be a Music Maker

Sean Nebblett Esther Louw Kaleb Genstler


Music may be one of the highest forms of worship and yet the creative arts is an area that is seldom discussed in the Adventist community at large. In this interview, Kaleb Genstler and Sean Nebblett share both philosophical and practical perspectives regarding the place of music-making within the mission of the Adventist church. 

Resources Mentioned:
GarageBand - https://www.apple.com/mac/garageband/ 
Dorico - https://new.steinberg.net/dorico/ 
Sibelius - https://www.avid.com/sibelius 
Forte - https://www.fortenotation.com 
Scripture Songs - https://www.mybibleguides.me/scripture-songs 


  • July 5, 2019
    3:45 PM
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Have you ever wondered about how to go about preparing a sermon Hi I'm Joe moves right and you're listening to learn and share podcast in today's episode Michael gets answers all the questions you ever have about preaching. Michael thank you so much for joining were excited and today we're talk about something that many people cringe at and that is preaching but we know that as Christians were called to take the Gospel to the world and one of those ways is through. Proclaiming through the spoken word I thank you so much for joining me yeah I think you know I'm a person off just want to ask you how do you get into preaching your pastor now when people think that all pastors were given the talent and the skill of naturally from God to preach to preach tell us a little bit your background with public speaking and why you got it involved with it and how you enjoy it and I started. So of course it's tandem with public speaking and pastoral ministry kind of and hand in glove but in high school I had a teacher 2 teachers Bible classes that. Would refer to me as pastor gets and like my sophomore junior year and I thought it was cute and and fun. But then they started a ministry called SAWYER Oh why and it stood for as an acronym for serving other youth and we want to be on the northwest of the United States doing soit programs serving other youth and the invitation was why don't you give a little presentation everybody cycles through doing different parts of the program and so we did we did a program and somewhere in Washington State and walked away from it. Actually it was Moses Lake Washington Moses Lake Washington and I walked away from it with a sense of how I could I could do that next week sat down with a pastor there at the academy and just said man I don't want to spend my life living off of the offerings that we collect each week I totally misunderstood how how the ministerial. Profession was compensated and paid I just assumed it was from the you know whatever you got me offerings and he walked me through they said no you know God will take care of it and this is how it works and then from there invited me to do an evangelistic or be one night in and of Angeles Dick series and so I took it up said all right I'll try this again went and preached preached on Revelation 18 come out of her my people and with a team of other young people mostly part of the same soil team and the 2nd sermon my 1st of Angela sticks around to my 2nd sermon. Which. Crashed and burned on the appeal I was on my way where in the van back when people rode in 15 passenger vans. But I'm in the front somebody in the back says have got a great story for you let me tell you you fit into your appeal was great thanks for the help they tell me the story I don't know what I heard but it wasn't what they didn't all come through and some telling this upfront tell the story about a famous painter that I thought they had said was named Ram brains and I'm just I had to China and the people there are just the heads are tilted and up and I still tell this story that I still use the illustration of course now correctly with the name of the painter being a Rembrandt. But it just it the appeal people were chuckling and I could Aha so I walked away from that scene got on never do it again but he tapped me on the shoulder and said. I want you to give it one year so I took one year after high school and went got trained and I said God I'll give you one year and he took that one year and turned it into a. Life lifelong calling as powerful as similar to Moses you know he had stammering tongue you know yeah he didn't feel qualify as embarrassing I mean the 1st time I preached a sermon and it was not pretty. But you know it is kinds of practice it just comes with serious and shot uses that let's talk about why preaching maybe and from a biblical perspective why the proclamation of the word through the through through through voice so I I don't know where it started because I there's this always been this sense of preaching being at the center of our world our corporate worship service preaching being. A huge mode of vandalism. But I didn't I didn't have any real context and so I got into it thinking man there's just something there there's something there and you hear the good in the bad and with all my love and respect for for all the pastors that have ever been called to my church as a young person I just I remember what I've just what was that what was that and just not feeling this and so I've always had this burden if if if it's if there's something there let's go for broke and if it's not then. Then maybe we should just do a little 10 or 15 minute. Nature now gets and and call it good it. So I wrestled with that and getting into ministry just kind of always lingered there and then when I I came to the point a crossroads it was well either figure this out or not and so I dove into a doctorate in homiletics and preaching and I had never realized it before the deep theology of God from Genesis one of the primary thing besides being a creator that we find out about God is that he talks he talks a lot he speaks things happen his word is powerful and he's a communicator and so that just begin to overwhelm me and I just said man I want to invest deeper and deeper into this and then to find out that from the creation to the 3rd angels message including Noah the prophets the early church all the way through Scripture the primary means of communication of seeking and saving the last was the verbal expression and I know that we want to clarify early on that this is not just pulpit preaching this could be a mission trip preaching this could be a Sabbath school teaching this could be children's presentation but that's the verbal proclamations I don't want to just isolate preaching to this very singular event but it's the verbal proclamation maybe it's a small group even that God has always used and and here's what caught me he's going to use that. What somebody does in response to the verbal expression of his word he's going to hold them accountable in judgment and I'm just now I'm overwhelmed thinking wow God based on what a preacher says or a teacher or a small group leader a Bible study leader says the response to that God will hold those people accountable to their response to that that must mean it's his best shot because why would if otherwise would get to heaven and God would say you know we could hold God accountable and say God you didn't give your best they could have had another opportunity no he's going to be able to tell us I give my best the verbal expression of my words what is a Biblical examples that inspire you in the area of great speeches or great oral communication. Peter probably. I love his X. His early on X. What is it X. 3 his sermon just saying let me be plain with you brother it's so he's preaching he's giving this this whole context of Jesus and then he just he's just a very real communicator no pretense and and that's something that a lot of people walk away from wow he was really down to earth and Peter just strikes me as that Paul on the other hand Paul you'll hear him talk about his own he'll tell stories on himself Peter not so much. Policy you know he was beaten I was I was shipwrecked if I'm the chief. Peter was just this seemed to be this very upfront preacher is a you know exactly where I'm standing and I've got nothing to hide here I'm going to tell you what I really know and Paul of course is a great preacher as well but Peter I think inspires me that's that's really quiet Peter is one of my favorite characters I personally resonate with him a lot let's talk about breaking down sermons and presentations different styles I know that there are some people that just do illustrations all day long like make a point illustration make a point etc There's other people that go deep theological exegetical you know Bible study and it's sometimes hard to pay attention and cetera what's the balance between those what are the different kinds what's the balance if someone's looking to preach how do you find your style you know a more practical like Paul a given person examples others are different what your thoughts on that OK the old version of you get 3 points and a poem and then you've got a sermon isn't what people talk they make fun of it isn't what people talk about anymore but there's still some value to that what I would say is that you picture an arrow and that arrow is it's driving at one point sermons that have multiple. Points have a place but they are like salt to be sprinkled about you want a sermon to come down to an appeal it it it's like a mission statement needs to be the main point needs to be written out on a napkin and and they've often used this the S S S single simple sentence you need to be able to boil down to a single simple sentence so then beyond that whether there is too illustrations or one illustration or 3 illustrations the components of the different aspects of preaching you it's just really. Like a canvas where you learn to memorize something you do you do it and then it becomes your own and then you can almost adjust it a little bit when you're presenting it so there are great storytellers that tell more stories and some people tell less stories I do think that stories and illustrations are are have been lost to a great degree. But you can certainly over overuse them so what's the balance go to your text 1st find out what it's trying to communicate and then bring in as much as you need but no more and that is that is even probably something that the best of preachers struggle with I should have not done that extra story at the end was just not helpful. Let's talk about the importance of scripture in preaching OK I know that many times like you said that you know giving illustrations and I like to do that sometimes as well I'll pick one point and I'll illustrate it and you know stick with it the called the golden thread having that as well there are some people that use a lot of secular illustrations quotes from other people is that wrong or should it only be scripture what about Spirit of Prophecy using it to prove points give us a balance there OK So again this is. This is all in and it's do time and place there does seem to be a let me just talk to the culture of today in Adventism or let me just deal with my own faith community here for a 2nd the spirit of prophecy had a culture a wind that blew through that was very cautious to it the high school students of today I'm finding in a work on a high school campus are again ready to take a fresh look at it they don't have the baggage that was there a decade ago or 2 decades ago. However what is often the case is if you bring in a C.S. Lewis quote and use that to underline or to support or to guide your point and then you bring in Ellen White It just it fits and people will just roll with it if there's only spirit of prophecy then then people the you start to get a few of the reactions now I'll just admit I get a note every once in awhile saying you know maybe these authors that you quote you know maybe we should just have spread across in the Bible so there's never going to be a perfect spot you're always going to have some of that feels a little bit more or a little bit less is going to be. But when we put spirit of prophecy in the mix with with other authors not saying hey everybody's equal here I don't want to communicate that at all but to show that look we are this is this is a wider thought these are other thinking people have have arrived at these conclusions as well it adds validity it adds It's a it's a draw in so as far as quoting external biblical external authors or Spirit of Prophecy. To use them to season people like to know hey there's some there's some great authors or or thinkers outside of Adventism that are thinking this this makes sense to a wider community what's the ratio with Scripture then because some people like to do all you know they'll use one verse let's say preach on you know slogans 16 or something like that but in the US all this other information what's what should we be careful about when preparing sermons ring speeches to make sure to not give the wrong idea where our Were our support comes from Yeah excellent if I walk away from from the sermon from the presentation. With the feeling that there was any. Close 2nd on the authority that that that author or this other author was was really where the springboard came from then it's been a failure. How much Scripture as you know a narrative passage is obviously going to be longer than then maybe 8 Beatitudes where you're just going to focus on that one beatitude but you can do it in such a way you can read multiple versions of the same text you can repeat the text 3 or 4 times and in the sermon you can do it in such a way that it emphasizes the absolute authority and power of the Word of God. Because anything else with that. Diminish the whole and so how much is helpful that So here's a practical point that maybe. I am a huge encourage your. Writing the manuscript of at least a 75 percent meaning scripture which means that there may be small connector words or or parts of the sentence that you don't have to flush out but about 75 percent of your your words and your points right out what that does is allow you then to reflect take a step before you present it and look back over it and see that OK this clearly is spring boarding off the scripture off the Biblical passage and it gives you an inability to say how many times do I mention C.S. Lewis or how many times do I mention him bounds. Vs the this scripture passage it's if you do it just done a little outline off of kind of a knee jerk you can end up with a with a mis balance now I appreciate that one more question before going to the practical on how to put together a presentation how long should then be because you know you've been in church and some people say you know I feel the Holy Spirit blessing here can I continue and then what are people going to say no you know you know some people to preach along to short What's what's the balance and when you're up there preaching how do you know when to quit perfect so there's there's several. Parts of that one is the that you never. And it's just a simple rule you never apologize you never ask for permission because it's just it's a poor way of communicating so to ask can I can I go longer right you place everybody in a very awkward and terrible place and then. You never apologize for being unprepared and just all of those just leave those alone just don't know disclaimers you talk to stop it. On the length I just read they took This is outside of Adventism Obviously they took the what they considered I believe as Christianity today took the most popular. Preachers in North America currently and averaged out their sermon times and with the exception of 2 in the top 10 they were all passing 40 minutes and that surprised me because in a culture that we're all talking about short fast easy these guys are preaching longer and so I think there is something to say there that doesn't maybe mean a longer worship service we we punish ourselves in this I know that we're not talking about worship services here but the way we do worship services we draw things out unnecessarily where there's so many different pieces and so. The trend is more to to reduce the number of pieces but lengthen the significant. Preaching of the word maybe the worship element so how long should it be well that is the $1000000.00 question. But I would say that in a very practical way you're probably wanting to be between 25 and 35 minutes that seems to be across the board very acceptable in the culture where you've got a lot of North American preachers going over 40 minutes and they've got the big churches. So it's not pushin that but it's not reducing it down you want to make you say what about a 10 or 15 minutes that's fine once in a while but you're wanting to make the Word of God substantial and part of that is a time element. So we want to be aware that if I spend 5 minutes on the Word of God. It it will not say the same thing over the long term as 20 or 30 minutes let's get really really practical and talk about even just your routine what you normally do when preparing were literally going how to pick a topic how to study that topic in the word how to find resources illustrations writing it out practice etc Let's start with topic so if if you've been called to preach sometimes they give you a topic sometimes you can pick it what's your what's what are some principles what do you pray about like what do you actually do to ask God to help you find a topic or to do that with them when they give you a topic OK So 1st of all if they give if there's a theme of a camp meeting conference week a prayer whatever I would plead with anyone follow the theme. We've all sat and can't meetings and there's a huge banner behind the speaker that says Jesus is coming soon and there's no there is 0 connection right so please please follow the theme OK as far as preparing the topic I'm a list guy so I work on a surmounted calendar I brainstorm out list I do a survey with my home church every year where I ask them for themes we've got a pastoral team I interview them ask them for themes and then I take the stuff that's rising to the top out of that and put that on a list. See how it fits. I I'm looking 6 months ahead so I know what I'm speaking and. Preaching about in March what that does for me though is as I'm reading as I'm listening as I hear a story or as I as I'm doing my personal devotions I'm coming across stuff and because I know it's like the brown shoes I'm wearing today I told my wife I said since I bought these brown shoes 2 weeks ago everybody bought brown shoes like and all these guys are where I thought they were all wearing black shoes and it's this as soon as it's on your radar you start to pick up stuff so if you say something about marriage and family that's an April sermon series for me I'm going to I'm going to collect that information I'm going to put web links I'm going to book titles I'm going to put people I should talk to or interview and I just create this document that 6 months out is is just a mosaic is just a list of a bunch of stuff and then as I come into it outline the series. I take the week of and sit down Thursday is is morning tonight it's just writing day is totally taken off the calendar I don't go into the office I don't have appointments I just write from beginning to evening morning to evening and flush that up that allows me Friday then to look it over to review it to to assess it to make sure that it's balanced to make sure that it's Biblical and that the Biblical has a precedence. I like that because that principle you're a pastor and you have you know to preach every Sabbath some of the people here might not be doing that but they might be called to give a vespers or they might have a small series you know youth led series at their church and they might have to give one sermon and one I like that idea of just literally just picking a topic praying but then just start collecting data even if it's like 3 weeks ahead and one week ahead even if it's like an hour ahead think about all the things that you know about the topic and resources and verses and start compiling that. What what about practice so you've been you've been writing it out you've been or organizing with a main point what about practice how important is that you do you do it. Yeah OK So Malcolm Gladwell he wasn't the researcher but he was the one that made it popular the 10000 hour rule the 10000 hour rule says that in order to become proficient at a complicated task you have to spend 10000 hours invested in it and the research that they did was based on chess chess players in order to become a master chess player they said you got to have 10000 hours invested in it take that into the arena of public speaking in one of the most complicated exercises that we can engage in in the sense of you have one shot there's no not a lot of dialogue people can't ask questions you have one shot to communicate it and you you've got to communicate in an age of distraction with our cell phones you've got to communicate in an age of perspectives of a very divisive polarized world where where we'll take one line and we'll kind of hole up and so it's very complicated but you take that. And it's a it's a complicated exercise so the invitation then is is to practice it absolutely it's necessary to practice here's my argument for practice if there are 10 people in the room and you have 20 minutes that means you're going to be using up 200 minutes of people time 200 minutes of life and so don't you don't think of it it was just a little church is a little Busters it's a small group No 10 minutes or 20 minutes with 10 people that's 200 minutes you want to come in sharp. And you want to come in excellent the line today there Morse in an age of distraction the only thing we have going for us is excellence and creativity That's his line excellence will breed creativity we and let me just throw this out there and then let you take us from there we we often have just assumed unset unspoken rule is that the Holy Spirit works at the 11th hour I'm arguing that the Holy Spirit works 6 months ahead 9 months ahead. A year ahead a week ahead we don't have to wait to Friday night to prepare the Holy Spirit can work well in advance and that gives us an opportunity to be creative and to be excellent I think people underestimate the importance of practice and yes you know like I like that illustration the 11th hour that's really really good Finally let's talk about the clothes because let's close with the clothes I guess because that's one part that a lot of people neglect in their preparation and what is the importance of clothes and how can you make a good clothes. So everyone walks away from every. Every presentation every Bible study every sermon every Vespers with the question so what and so you've got to make make it real here's here's my personal experience as of late with with appeals and closing. That an appeal. Committee a even if nobody responds to the appeal an appeal communicates to every listener that this is important enough that we should be making a decision about it today. And so even if it's a little thing even if it's a little step and this goes for bible studies too you can't get to a major life changing doctrine and ask for a decision when there have been no other decisions along the way it's just it's it makes it more difficult and it's not impossible God can reconcile and redeem and he can fix our blindspots but we've got to be asking So what does this matter to every listener God has brought us together for this moment whether it's a bible study or us or an evangelistic series or sermon in a church service God has brought He's orchestrated that moment so what an appeal actually enforces the the idea that what you had to say was very important so the closing of the opening. It's been said that our minds can just grab the beginning in the end and they've done a little studies in a little games on this one of my favorite pictures is a picture of a well drawn face a pencil art everything is just beautiful and then. The the left eye or the right eye is just scribbled really quick and somebody wrote in this is the end of most presentations like we just we wear our selves out we run ourselves. To the last minute and we don't have time and so we just write at the bottom of our sermon make appeal. And what a misuse of that opportunity so the landing at the take off in the landing the beginning and the end are are your 2 huge opportunities would you tell us a story in closing where someone has been impacted and then appeal to us to get involved with preaching to take opportunities to get out of our conference on public speaking is everyone's fear appeal to the young person to get involved and maybe even to share a story sure so the the Biblical precedent the Biblical teaching as it were the theology of preaching is that God has chosen his voice his word to be the primary communication Romans Chapter $101.00 of the most beautiful passages on preaching. They're called and then they speak and then people believe and because or they hear and then they believe them because they believe they're saved and there's this very Paul does outlines this if the people that are called Don't say anything then the people at the end won't hear and won't believe and won't be saved at the end and so this whole this is salvific the fact that if we don't speak up their salvation depends on our speaking up and and so I say speak up in whatever context and don't we don't need to force our way you know God God hasn't called me into the classroom gods called me into the church and saw I know that I know that and it and some of it's trial and error God where you call me to try it though try it and let God put on your heart this is it this is it because we've all found out that some of the greatest preachers are Enter averts so that that is a couple that clearly is not the benchmark while men enter verse and oh it's clearly some of the greatest preachers are entered and so the invitation stands not from me but from God in Romans Chapter 10 go go say something speak up for me and His Word is just as creative as it was in Genesis chapter one his word is still that creative and there's the stories could just take us take us till next Christmas and we just past Christmas to tell all of the stories but my own story is that I'm sitting there and I'm listening to the Word of God. Being preached by this old pastor and he's preaching his heart out and I know I know there's something something happening in my in my heart he then. I I I don't respond to a call but he comes and takes an extra step and sits down with me one day just swings by unannounced swings by and and sits down in a chair next to me and just says when when will you make your decision and a middy at least I knew God was speaking to me but it was this man's voice and the very next. I heard in church it all came together and so the reason I wanted to share that story was. It's not just in the public speaking but it's the one on one that God will use to change the direction and the eternity of one other person or a multitude of people even but my life I clearly saw both the public presentation and and and a pastor's willingness it could have been my parents it could have been my friends but it was a pastor in this case that just slid in unassuming and just said I believe in this stuff what do you what are you going to do about it and so God used the public presentation and the personal private but it was the verbal verbal communication appear from his from his word thank you so much for joining us and for inspiring us I know that all of us can continue to use our talents and to go outside of our comfort zone to spread the word of God thank you. Thanks for listening don't forget the heads of scribe and share this episode with your friends to learn more check us out at learn and share podcast dot com.


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