Someone I knew recently spoke to a small gathering. Afterward he was greeted by an older gentleman who said to him, “That was a Western Union message, pastor.”
“Oh, really? How so?”
Here are a few other ways we might be more creative in telling a preacher thanks for a good message.
“That was a Panasonic sermon. It gave me ideas for life.”
“Like Allstate, you helped me realize that I’m in good hands.”
“I felt like the guy on the Verizon commercial, because I can hear you now.”
Of course, this could be pushed too far. You may not want to approach a pastor after a message on tithing and, like a Capital One viking, ask ,”What’s in your wallet?”
Being somewhat animated during a message can be helpful, but we must be careful of distraction. A friend of mine still likes to remind me of the time I was encouraging the congregation to think. I must have put my index fingers on my temples to emphasize this. Problem was, I did not take them down for a really long time. She said she wanted to come up there to pull on my arms and see if my fingers had gotten stuck.
My wife had to stay home from church recently with our youngest who was ill. I came home that afternoon to find her listening to my sermon on the internet. Not only was I amazed again at the technology to make such things possible, but I have to confess some pastoral pride begin to swell in my heart. She paused the message and I noticed a little smile on her face. Figuring she was finding humor in one of my clever anecdotes, I asked her what the grin was for. “You mispronounced maniacal.” My bubble burst. Penance was listening to this about fifty times.
I have a preacher friend who used to stand in front of the congregation waiting for the ushers to bring the offering back to the front. Fortunately someone took him aside and encouraged him to do something different with his hands while he waited. The problem? He had been standing there rubbing them together.
“Natural humor may possibly be consecrated and made to wear the yoke of Christ, but he who apes it is no true man.” –Charles Spurgeon, The Eccentric Preacher