Most of you will think I’m a whacko for even thinking this, but one of my favorite things in the world to do is preaching.
I remember my first shot at public speaking. I was in grade 12 and I was preaching in a chapel service at my Private Christian High School. I had just given my life to Jesus and was mortified with the party-hard behavior of the so-called Christian kids in my grade. Filled with righteous indignation (and nervous indigestion) I took the stage and attempted to speak my heart out.
Yeah. In theory, at least. I very quickly realized that the moment I looked up, trying to make audience contact, my notes became possessed by the devil or perhaps transmogrified into ancient sanscrit and were no longer readable by me or any other alien life form. So I ditched the audience, looked down, locked ferociously onto my notes, and read my entire message word for word. But then something else happened. As I read, gripping the pulpit with both hands, I had the distinct sensation that I had lifted off and was floating in zero gravity all over the auditorium. I mean, I was leaning, listing, and doing cartwheels as a a human gyroscope. Come to think of it, that’s probably what kept their attention (the astronaut on drugs routine). Even more unbelievably, someone actually came up to me afterwards and said something like, “You should become a pastor.”
What? Are you on crack?
Fast forward: Today, there is almost nothing I’d rather be doing than standing in front of people “in the zone” and pouring out what God has given me to say. Hopefully God’s heart and my heart have met intimately and the result is something both powerful and real. There’s nothing quite like bumping into someone who says, “Three months ago you preached on ___________________, and the other day I was in the parking lot and remembered what you said and so I knew I needed to ____________________.” First, that they even remember; secondly, that they are mysteriously able to connect the nugget with their real life; and third, that their real life decisions and destiny are shifted even kind of slightly because God saw fit to use my fumbling words to make a difference to them. Is that cool or what?