Thinking Out Loud

August 13, 2009

Christian Author ‘Superstars’ Charge for Lecture Series

rob_bellSo there I was, on the telephone, trying to explain to an older pastor who Rob Bell is, describe his preaching style, and explain why he is charging $20 per ticket for people to come and hear him.

“But the gospel should be free;” he interjected, a couple of times.   I made no further attempt to try to defend what would always be to him, indefensible.

Bell’s Drops Like Stars tour is already underway, continuing into July 2010; while Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years tour — with tickets at a more modest $15 US — rolls out next month.    Both consist entirely of spoken word content; there isn’t a band opening the shows.

Bell has done this sort of thing twice before, touring major arenas, concert halls and theaters with his The Gods Aren’t Angry and Everything Is Spiritual tours.   Both tours were made into full length videos by Zondervan running approximately 70 and 80 minutes.

donald_miller_Miller has done fewer videos than Bell;  doesn’t pastor a church; and his full-length (61 minutes) DVD for Bluefish TV, Free Market Jesus, doesn’t see the wide distribution of Bell’s two lectures, or Bell’s 24 short-form NOOMA videos.

Both authors write/speak with a postmodern audience in view, and both use provocative titles for their books and lectures.   It’s possible that this kind of audience isn’t as responsive as their parents were to the concept of a “free will offering” or “love offering,” but don’t mind the ticket option at all.

Just try explaining all this to my pastor friend.

Donald Miller – A Million Miles… tour dates
Rob Bell – Drops Like Stars tour dates

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