Tuesday, July 05, 2005

getting a [preaching] life #2

Jordon posted a great comment about the freedom people have to walk out of movies in contrast to church. The irony is, someone did walk out on Sunday.

It happened like this:
I start speaking by giving out pipe cleaners – Make what you like with them during the sermon, but at the end, I will ask you to twist it into a prayer for your future.

I start reading from Book of God I will give a candy bar to the person who 1st guesses who “my Bibical hero is”.

The answer is Nehemiah, so I talk for about 5 minutes about how Nehemiah has faith in a hard place – exile, pluralistic, influential. I give a contemporary example and then ask – so how do you sustain faith in a hard place?

Silence as people shuffle and think.

Tobacco, a visitor in the front couch announces. Tobacco. And gets up and walks out.

So, all you who judged me harshly/told me I was rude for playing with my email; do you extend the same judgement to this person?

For me, I think it takes real guts to do that, real character to be different from group norms. Surely the person should be honoured for showing real courage.

Posted by steve at 10:36 AM


  1. As a fellow smoker, I congratulate that guy. The only thing that makes me crave a cigarette more than listening to someone’s sermon, is suffering through delivering my own.

    Comment by Paul — July 5, 2005 @ 3:25 pm

  2. People drift in and out of our services all the time. That doesn’t bother me. Young people sit during the evening meeting (mainly adult) and play with their laptops and games consoles. That doesn’t bother me either.

    I’m sure its a matter of expectation. If we were a cafe style church and someone was checking their e.mails that would be fine. If we were an traditionally styled inherited church and some one were checking their e.mails I might be a little disturbed that that person doesn’t have the courage to tell me I’m boring by leaving.

    I wasn’t surprised that someone commented on your apparent rudeness, because you were in an environment where the expectation is that you sit, listen and take notes. It strikes me that it is an issue of culturally expected norms.

    Comment by Graham Doel — July 5, 2005 @ 8:08 pm

  3. Isn’t it rude to tell someone off from the front anyway? Would it not have been more appropriate for the person who rebuked Steve to say something to him quietly afterwards?

    I know what it is like to feel self-conscious when speaking, and what it is like to see every distracted member of the audience as a sign of how monotonous my Derek Prince impersonation really is, and I was/am wrong to do so.

    Young people do lots of listening to lots of conflicting messages, they can’t help it. Those messages grapple with each other for attention all the time.

    In church there is much less vying for their attention, perhaps two or maybe three things. Interactivity enhances, for many people, the relative “volume” of the message over and above other things.

    When we have interactive worship etc at Opawa the kids with the cellphones do it too, they stop txting and partake in the worship.

    You cannot be part of a TV programme, an advertisement, or even a computer game (which merely creates the illusion of interaction), in the same way as you can in interactive worship.

    Good preaching requires good listening, and I think you are good at both Steve.

    Comment by Paul — July 6, 2005 @ 1:08 pm

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