Jason Miller had some great tips for teaching—from the platform, and in day-to-day life. Here are the bullet points of my notes from his talk yesterday.

I didn’t leave music to teach, I took music with me into teaching.”
Great dynamic for teachers to think about:
  • piano – tender moments that feel like a one-on-one conversation
  • forte – reinforcing important points
Learned to write sermons as songs
  • Country song, “You’re Gonna Miss This”
    • Every good pop song has a chorus it comes back to
    • Winston Churchill says “When you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.”
    • Sermon as song structure idea: Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley
      • 3-point message should probably be a three-week series

Message/Song Structure:

  • Intro – build affinity with crowd; realize why I need this teaching; great songwriters write from their experience
  • Verse 1 – 1 & 2 are building the case for your message;
    • good if it has polarity (-) half the room might relate to the valley, half might relate better to mountaintop
      • from recent message: Jesus learns of John the Baptist’s beheading
  • Chorus – three times to hit the point home
    • should be explicit and precise
      • “Community with God is the lifeblood of your soul” – Jesus sought solitude with God no matter the circumstance.
  • Verse 2
    • (+) polarity
      • Jesus feeds 5,000
  • Chorus
  • Bridge – application: unpack what you’re saying and what you’re not saying
  • Chorus
1 Timothy 4:9-16 – Jason’s go-to passage
“‘Don’t let people look down on you because you are young’ doesn’t just apply to your age, but to your level of experience as well.”
  1. When you apply yourself to the work God’s called you to, your pride will take some hits.”
  2. Sometimes external factors
  3. Elusive impact
    • our level of impact isn’t quantifiable not because it’s flimsy but because it’s so dramatic and huge.
    • a society is more than its GDP
    • a community is more than the number of jobs in that town
  4. Any investment made into your work is more costly because the rest of your work doesn’t stop.
If you can’t sense the ways that what you’re doing for God is drawing you deeper to the heart of God, it’s time to call a timeout and figure out why that is. Refocus, reassess, etc.
Volunteers:
If you’re feeling your work is elusive and slippery, your volunteers probably do too. They work 40-60 hours/week. We need to give them specific positive feedback to reinforce the impact they’re having. Be aware of the work they’re actually doing. When we’re not giving good feedback, we shouldn’t be surprised when they’re experiencing challenges.
The reason volunteers are on your team is because they believe in it. Sometimes they need to be challenged.
If your gospel is narrow, you don’t have much to stand on in helping your volunteers appreciate the work they do. If it’s so narrowly wrapped around a future destination rather than the holistic vision of the Gospel as building God’s Kingdom here on earth, it might be difficult to cast vision effectively. Effect of work is often immeasurable/unquantifiable. Look up Scot McKnight for more on this concept.
Acts, along with the gospels of Matthew, Mark, etc, speak of two things:
  • coming of king Jesus
  • the redemption of the World/renewal of all things: light where there was darkness, truth where there was deceit.

Jason Miller is the Pastor of Arts and Teaching at Granger Community Church.

Make sure to check out the rest of the Blogs from ReInnovate Conference.

One thought on “Teaching with Your Life – Jason Miller

  1. I do wholeheartedly agree with all of the ideas you have presented in your post. They are very convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are very short for novices. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

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