Who said there are no perks in preaching at emerging churches? I had such a good time at Kubik church in Germany last week, that i want to offer their example of how to treat an emerging church preacher as a benchmark for other churches.
1. The best seat. They have a comfy armchair up the front for the old tired preachers when they come through. Best seat in the house and one that i would have chosen. . . although green rather than pink would have been fitting.
2. The best coffee. Kubik has an underground coffee shop - at least it will be underground until they receive their license to open publicly. These nice people also gave hot chocolate to my kids. Their expresso machine is by far the most expensive piece of equipment they have - something common in emerging churches with a coffee shop theme, leading me to observe that the expresso machine has become the new organ.
3. A virtual camp-fire, even if it is only a looping video of a fire, is a nice touch to have next to the preacher.
4. My own personal DJ. I could have chosen my DJ but DJ List10 was scheduled to back up the preacher last week and I went with what they offered. He was great . . and it was so nice not to lay my own audio tracks while i told stories from the gospels - its a real luxury to have someone do it for you and DJ List10 was great - he also told me that laying down loops for an English speaking preacher was much harder than a German speaker.
5. An offering. They took up an offering for our family and gave us the whole thing. I have not seen such generosity since my experience with the Pentecostal churches. The fact that these young people wanted to give to us was more important than the gift itself.
6. Freedom not to give a sermon. I didnt have to give a 3-point sermon and did not have to show off my oratory skills (i retired my preacher voice 10 years ago). Instead, I had the freedom to simply tell about Jesus, read from the Bible, and say directly what God wanted them to hear and respond to. No packaging. No long intros. No silly anecdotes or illustrations.
What did I preach on? John 3:16 - I told them about Jesus, about what he did and how he calls us to follow him and give ourselves away to the world. Its a chaotic, messy calling, but God will take care of us.