Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Advice from an Old Guy

Young Man, you sound irritated when you preach.

Certainly, I am not.

But you come across a bit vitriolic, like you have something to prove.

No, nothing to prove. It must be the eyebrows.

Eyebrows?

Yes. They naturally slant downward, making me look perpetually peeved.

I would submit there is also a bit of downward slant to your voice.

Really?

Have you listened lately?

To myself? No, but we record the sermons.

I'd suggest you watch, and, more importantly, listen.

What am I looking for? Overused hand gestures and that sort of thing?

Not exactly. Look for the tone of love beneath the words of truth. Listen as if you hunger and thirst for righteousness, and crave intimacy with God. Listen as if you're tired, heart-broken, and insecure in you walk with Jesus. Listen as if you have been hanging on for six days, hoping to make it to this hour where a hallowed moment of song and Scripture might provide the answer to the weight in your chest. Listen as if you're desperate for grace and truth.

But most people don't come on Sundays feeling desperate.

That, Young Man, is why you sound like a prophet and not a pastor. Desperation is the deepest feeling--your voice (a conduit of the Spirit's) should draw them out. A commanding posture elicits insecurity and rejection; a gentle word will raise people up.

Whisper to them. Allure them. Love them.

Thanks for the tip, Old Guy. I'll take it to heart.

And there's one more thing, Young Man.

Yes?

Work on those eyebrows.

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