I bet each of us has at least one or two areas where we consider ourselves aÂ connoisseur. You usually hear that word used to describe someone who can fully appreciate a good glass of wine, or some type of art, or maybe just food in general, but I think it could apply to many areas of life.
Anything that you enjoyâ€”usually more than other peopleâ€”could be in this category. One of them for me is a good sermon. As a preacher, I love hearing from other preachers and learning from other styles. I usually have two reactions when I’m listening to a phenomenal sermon:
- I can’t wait to try that myself.
- I should quit.
It’s a surprisingly fine line between points one and two. When I hear a tremendous sermon my first reaction is to see how I could learn from it. It doesn’t take me long into that process to then conclude that there is no way I could ever be that good. That leads to the “I should quit” feeling. I bet you’ve experienced the same in your own field.
To give you an example, the above video is a sermon from a conference that I went to a few years ago. It was so good that I still think about this sermon. Judah Smith is the pastor of The City Church in Washington. Stylistically, he is much different than me and this was the first sermon I’d ever heard him preach. When he started and he came out with a mellow vibe I was convinced it would be hard to stay awake for his entire message. By the time he was done I was ready to give my life to Jesus…again.
So whether or not you appreciate a good sermon, I’d encourage you to watch the above message. But beyond that, how do you deal with the two reactions from something that you are trying to learn from? What’s been your experience learning from people who are better than you?