Sometimes, despite our best laid plans, things can go wrong. Here are the five funniest moments I’ve had while preaching.
5. The Silly Walk
During one of my sermons while youth pastor at Caringbah Baptist everyone suddenly starts laughing. I haven’t said anything funny. I check my fly – it’s done up. Only at the end of the service do I discover that one of the particularly witty young adults has done a John Cleese style funny walk across the stage behind me. He meant no disrespect. It was just funny.
4. The Sink
I had just finished baptising someone. In Baptist churches our baptisms are by full immersion, so the Baptistry is a large tank, about the size of a small spa. It is usually filled before the service and emptied afterwards, but unbeknown to me ours has sprung a leak, so the guy looking after it pulls the plug straight away.
I have started my sermon. I’ve begun with a powerful and moving story. I pause to allow the story to sink in. Right at that moment a huge gurgling sound fills the church, the sound your bath makes when the draining water reaches a low level. It was the draining Baptistry. We wait five minutes for it to finish draining before the sound finally stops. The impact of my powerful story is lost.
3. Dr Who
We had just held a brilliant youth outreach event. Four hundred people had crammed into our church hall to watch “Bill and Ted’s Spiritual Adventure”, a very clever and riotously funny show put on by our young people. The show finished with me stepping out of a tardis dressed as Dr Who and giving a short evangelistic talk. I had worked and reworked every word and had it down to exactly four and a half minutes. I noted this in my introduction and invited the group of Twenty or so primary school kids sitting down the front to time me. Big mistake. I went for four minutes and forty five seconds. The final fifteen seconds consisted of me trying to talk over a bunch of kids animatedly pointing out that my time was up.
I was preaching a sermon series on Ecclesiastes and telling a story about going to the beach with my kids and building sandcastles. “This is one of my daughters favourite things to do” I said, to which my six year old daughter loudly replied “No it’s not!”
1. Easter Interjections
It was a Good Friday, one of the most solemn days on the church calendar. I was preaching on the death of Christ. I had just made an important point and paused to allow it to sink in. The room was silent. And it was at that moment my pre-school age daughter turned to Sandy and in a loud voice broke the silence with “When is daddy going to stop talking?” She backed it up two days later when, during my Easter Sunday sermon, during another pause for reflection, my daughter broke the silence with “When’s the Easter Bunny coming?”