How Many Words is a Picture Worth

Many preachers are burned out and seek revitalization. Is it possible to breathe new life into these servants?

Choosing the perfect images for marketing is never an easy task. You want the picture to communicate the intangible thoughts in your head. You struggle to find the colors and form that seem to speak the words you can not speak. The image bears the weighty burden of transforming a dream into a visual reality.

This same struggle often paralyzes preachers as they prepare for Sunday morning. For those who use media in their services, it is often difficult to find the perfect image – the image that wholly encapsulates the message you desire to communicate to the congregation.

This struggle is the same one Dr. Michael Quicke and I (Lauren Visser) encountered when trying to visually communicate the vision of A New Kind of Preacher (NKP). The image below is the one created for NKP, the new continuing education program at Northern Seminary. It was created by David Pohlmeier of Rhyolite Design, who was able to turn our vision into an actual, tangible image. (For the record, Dave is a genius.)

NKP-webFor us, the NKP image demonstrates joy, excitement, movement – and so many other emotions.

When you look at the image, what do you see?
What stands out to you?
What reactions does the image prompt?

For Quicke, the image is colorful, dynamic, and untidy. Some might even say that it is chaotic! For those who want to become new kinds of preachers, this is exactly the experience they will encounter! The process is colorful and dynamic, encouraging movement and collaboration. But when new ideas and perspectives collide, things often become untidy. And yes, they may also become chaotic.

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But from the chaos comes energy, excitement, and life. For me, this is the greatest part of the NKP program. Many preachers are burned out and seek revitalization, and Quicke and I believe it is possible to breathe new life into these servants.

Yet the new life doesn’t come from new preaching mechanics or from solitary study. Instead, it comes from within the preacher, from rediscovering who they are within God’s community. Can you see this hope in the above image? All the figures are joined together in a living and breathing community, working together to advance God’s kingdom. The preacher is no longer a solitary figure, laboring away in isolation. Rather, the preacher belongs to the body of Christ, and that body is enveloped in worship!

As Quicke and I look at this image, we remember that our marketing dream became a visual reality. But more important to us is that our preaching dream becomes a living reality.

We dream of preachers who are enveloped in worship, collaborating with others, in order to proclaim God’s word to His people. We dream of preachers who move out of the pulpit and into the community, living as missionaries to everyone they encounter.

The process is colorful, dynamic, and untidy.
But it is also energetic, exciting, and life-giving.
Are you ready to become a new kind of preacher?

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(by Lauren Visser, with Michael Quicke)

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