i’ve certainly heard plenty of really crappy speakers in my church experience (sometimes by merely listening to my own talks!). i mean, we usually have one or two at our conventions who really miss the mark. so it was no suprise or reason to judge the event that soulsurvivor had an awful speaker last night (though that is certainly only my opinion – most here seen to think he hit it out of the park. he was a skilled and funny communicator, but his message could be loosely summarized as:
“you suck. you sin all the time. this makes god mad, and you don’t want to end up like jonah. now who would like to come forward to repeat this prayer after me and become a christian? come on. come on. come on.”
so, i started doing what i normally do in this kind of situation: stewing, pissing and moaning, judging, being hyper-critical. but something weird happened to me. i started crying. not big croc tears or heaving. just surprising moistness catching me off guard in the corners of my eyes. it was really ticking me off, because i wanted to get on with stewing and feeling superior. but the little buggers wouldn’t go away.
so i started praying – not knowing what i was praying about. i think i started by praying some nasty things about the speaker. but eventually i discovered (it wasn’t really my intention) that god would protect students from the spiritually damaging message, and, that god would still somehow work in and through it, despite it (really, if anything good comes from my talks, It’s basically the same process).
it sure felt like a more helpful way to spend 45 minutes than in stewing!
anyhow, this is probably a “no, duh” to everyone but me. but it was a good growth moment for me.