What Leaders Can Learn from Rob Bell

20 Jun

Leadership Journal recently came out with an article called “What Leaders Can Learn from Rob Bell” which is probably worth checking out for any communicator.

My thoughts on the article are this:

1) The author notes that during Bell’s 90 minute talk he saw only 3 people leave. One for the bathroom, another with a baby and a third with a beer. Bell has tapped into a communication style that people find hard to ignore.
-One of the ingredients that go into him tapping into your imagination is not necessarily him being an expert in all the fields that he is talking about but by weaving these different fields together. Another ingredient is a well placed word. Some people lose us because we know what they are going to say next, however Bell has the ability to be “post-tacular” (spectacular but afterwords), taking something you thought you knew and seeing it from a different angle.
-He also, seems to be genuinely excited about what he talks about. Excited enough to share a 90 minute talk 30 days in a row which I believe ties into the next point. Not using notes (even in normal messages). I think that is ok to use notes, but we could rely upon them a lot less if we prepared more. However, I think that the first objection to not relying upon notes is that we don’t have time to commit to it is just a surface issue. It’s not a time thing actually, I think that many preachers don’t put a lot of time into their messages because well, their messages are bland. Possibly they are just as bored with their talks as their people are in listening to them. I would suggest that if you grow tired of hearing yourself rehearse maybe what you are saying isn’t that exciting?

2) People either love Rob Bell or hate him. Both sides are equally missing the point. The author of the article puts it this way:

“I suspect that Bell frequently rouses two useless responses among church leaders. Some will sit on the sidelines, buy his stuff, marvel at his ability, and applaud his efforts. Others will sit in the peanut gallery, heckle his success, and condemn him for what they deem poor theology or inappropriate this or that. I’d encourage church leaders to find a third response: learn what we can from Rob Bell, then get off our keisters and do something. After all, perhaps the best lesson from Bell is that he’s attempting something for the kingdom.”

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