There is absolutely no doubt. I am my own worst critic. I will pick apart anything I create and find each and every little mistake. I can’t even call myself a “perfectionist” since nothing I do is ever perfect by my own standards. I’m just a hack.
So it’s easy for me to look over these sermon reviews and pick them apart. I was a bit tongue-tied in my transition from the introduction to the first point. I got a bit lost during my visual aid (a spotlight pointed at the cross behind me) and, at one point I made one of those goofs that everyone noticed.
I quoted a statistic that 75% of attendees of mega-churches admit that they have no personal relationship with Jesus Christ (I’ve tried to find a citation for this stat. It was given to me by a mega-church pastor). I attempted to emphasize the point by saying, “That’s three quarters of all people in those seats.” However, my brain wasn’t ready for the math and I ended up saying, “That’s two thirds.” Yes…people noticed. It was frustrating.
It’s frustrating to put in the effort on a message and instead of hearing what you’ve worked so hard on people only hear the mistakes. I know they’re not all like that, but many of the vocal ones are.
Thankfully, since I’m my own worst critic I’m also my own best editor. So the offending fraction has been removed (along with a few coughs that I thought were a bit annoying).
So why am I admitting to my own infraction here? Because this morning I was listening to a sermon from one of my mentors. He was preaching on Hosea and how he married a prostitute. He mentioned, “With Gomer he had three children and at least two of those weren’t hers.”
And he left that in his podcast? Rather…his editor did?!?!
Maybe it’s time I stopped taking myself so seriously.
It’s been a while since I preached a sermon with this impassioned of an evangelistic call. And yet, no one responded. Actually, I had a few conversations at the back door with some people who are ready to say “yes” to Jesus. One of them is making plans to be baptized in a couple weeks. But it left me wondering–if it’s abnormal for people to respond after a sermon why keep asking for responses??
I have read about large churches with mass baptisms and how these events are orchestrated–people are planted in the congregation who will respond and then others follow. I can’t imagine using those kind of tactics to get a response.
Our last two baptisms have happened at our more intimate and worshipful Wednesday night service. We’ve been able to take time to celebrate the decisions with food and fellowship. I really think that’s the direction we need to go with the call for commitment.
I would welcome any other suggestions in the comments.