… a lot of inspiration
Every once in a while, I run a one-day workshop for preachers on “refreshment”. Amongst many practical tips such as ‘the value of the nap’, I also urge every preacher to ensure that they are fed by the creative inspiration of others. Whilst relaxation itself is important, it is also vital to feed the mind. Anyone who peddles words must make a regular and concerted effort to observe how others are using them. Short stories can often be a good source of inspiration – since their shorter form bears more relation to the sermon than the longer form of the novel.
At this point I would like to recommend the investment of a few minutes to visit the ‘story tree’ pictured below (you can visit it by clicking the image). Despite everything that the prophets of doom tell us about the death of verbal creativity as young people are drawn into a catatonic stupor by their video games – this tree suggests otherwise. Earlier this year BBC Radio 2 launched a competition to write a 500 word story. The competition attracted 74,000 entries from young people aged 13 and under. This seems like quite a tally for a supposedly dying art!
Go on – plunge in and pick a story or three. I have already shed a tear over Al Cappucino, and smiled at the cow on the bus – but to tell you any more would be to spoil the fun…