I’ve been in this D.Min. course for four days now. I didn’t know what to expect. Over the past few days, I’ve watched grown men and women with years of ministry experience reduced to despair, some more than others. Talk about humbling. Today, after class, a group of us sat in the cafeteria and laughed like crazy. I think you could call it stress relief. Haddon and Duane have been challenging us to take a text (a textual unit), and to really understand the big idea of that text. Sound easy? You’d think so, especially at the doctoral level. I’ve been amazed at how often we’ve been off the mark. Way off. Then, we’ve been asked to outline what we need to communicate from that text. A lot of us went right for shallow platitudes and the type of drivel that you expect to hear in church. Utter crap. As someone said today, “What I have learned so far? I’ve learned why I’m such a crappy preacher.” We’ve learned that it’s hard to think in a straight line, and we’ve also learned that we tend to be undisciplined thinkers. I don’t think anyone has emerged unscathed. But there’s hope. We’re starting to see what it can look like on the other side. Haddon is one of the best communicators I’ve ever seen in action. Better, he knows how to teach others to communicate. I love that he isn’t asking us to adopt his methodology or style. He’s smart enough to avoid cheap formulas. Instead, he’s asking us to be rigorous in our thinking. I’ve met some great guys. My roommate’s hilarious. I’ve also met Rick McKinley of Imago Dei Community and Acts 29. My brain is tired.