Monday, August 2, 2010
Monday Morning Preacher: Getting Emotional
I had used the exact same reference at the early service with no problem. But for some reason, at the second service, it just knocked me for a loop.
I just think it's not fair to the congregation to get caught up in my stuff. I hate it when I'm maudlin, whatever Mary Magdalene might say. I have a real problem with this: getting choked up or teary in the middle of a sermon. I don't like it because I don't think the sermon is about me, and getting all tearful suddenly makes the sermon about me. I just don't think the congregation needs to be spending its energy worrying or wondering about the preacher.
Despite my best efforts, I still get emotional when I'm preaching. It frustrates me deeply. Now, I have to take a moment to console myself with the fact that I have been preaching fairly regularly for about 10 years not, and it's not like I cry every time I get in the pulpit. But still. A couple, three times a year, I find myself getting all verklempt in a very unseemly fashion.
There are things I've learned to do to forestall this: practicing being the main one. If I think something's going to get me going, I make sure to get those emotions out ahead of time alone or with a friend.
But it's the sneaky ones, the ones I don't realize are affecting me. Not much to be done about it in advance, but it seems like whatever causes the waterworks is something that ought to be addressed afterwards. I'll be working on it personally so the congregation won't have to. But then, I always ought to be working on my own stuff, oughtn't I?
[My sermon will be available in audio form in a couple of days--yikes! I'll keep you posted.]