A couple of books have converged in my world to impact what I do as a pastor recently. First is the book I've almost completed called "Why Johnny Can't Preach". It's basically a book by a man on his death bed lamenting the fact that preaching in our American churches has sunk to an all-time low in terms of quality. The other book is a biography of the famous Great Awakening preacher from the early 1700's New England by the name of Jonathan Edwards (google "sinners in the hands of an angry God"). Anyway, here's how these two come together...
one premise about why Johnny can't preach is that Johnny (in fact all of our society) is driven by a media that constantly distracts us with "sights and sounds of inconsequential trivialities". In other words we have greater access to more useless information than ever before (don't get me started about twitter...do I need to know that you are going out to walk your dog? NO!). Simply the preaching in our churches often focuses on the trivial and unimportant and talked about instead of the eternal constants and deep things of God.
the book about Jonathan Edwards comes into this conversation because his life was filled with notebooks and journals and logs that addressed the deepest questions of his day from a theological and scientific (the age we know as enlightenment was happening in Europe where scientific discoveries and theories were proposed daily). His effort was to address from a biblical point of view all of the world's mysteries. He wrote about deep stuff like what the discovery of an ever expanding universe means about God and how gravity and God go hand in hand. His mind simply covered every important question of his day.
So I'm inspired to be a Jonathan not a Johnny. I'm committed to addressing the things that are important to our culture...the ones that will last for eternity, not the trivial junk that will be over when the next fad comes along. I have committed to write every day and I'm trying to make these writings about the significant stuff of all of our lives. I challenge all pastors and teachers to do the same. We have enough junk writing and media...maybe we should offer something different.
Also, this is where you as the leader may be helpful. What is important right now in our culture? Anything that I could study, research, and address from a biblical perspective? Let me know.