i’m an idiot

so, it would have slipped by with only a few of the boys noticing, but i was stupid enough to call it out…

i’m speaking to 140 high schoolers at mount hermon, for a “leadership retreat”. they are, theoretically, student leaders from about a dozen churches. and i’m talking about moses. this morning is did the excuses talk — i’m sure every youth pastor and pastor in the world has given this talk, but it seemed to apply well to this context (you know, moses’ five excuses in chapters three and four of exodus, as to why he was not the best choice as a leader). and i get to excuse #3, where moses says “what if they don’t believe me”, and god gives him these two really cool parlor tricks — the staff that changes into a snake and back, and the hand that goes leprous and back. neat stuff! and then i talked about how god gives us transformed lives instead of parlor tricks. but i was winging a bit of dialogue between a couple imaginary teenagers, and i said (idiot that i am): when one of our friends says, ‘i don’t believe you’, it’s not like we can just say, ‘then look at my snake!’

yes, i actually said that.

and if i’d moved right on, like a reasonable speaker, a few of the high school boys would have given each other knowing smiles and maybe laughed about it later. but no. i paused. for a long time (contemplating my gaffe), and then said, um, that didn’t come out right. which brought riotous laughter, and looks of concern on all the faces of the adult leaders in the room.

9 thoughts on “i’m an idiot”

  1. It’s so healthy and fun to say something ridiculous like that isn’t it! I believe some of my most memorable experiences in worship with my kids is when I said something that stupid, enjoyed a great belly laugh all around the room, and then moved forward with ease and comfort knowing that I was among friends!

  2. I am laughing out loud. Had a similar experience when talking about sexual boundaries. I compared establishing boundaries to driving a train. The thing about a train being the further and faster you go down that track, the harder it is to stop. (I said it better than that I promise..and it was a train town). But then I said that you may get so much momentum going with a train that you might have a difficult time stopping when you need to (it takes trains a long long time to stop once they apply the brakes). Then I said if you were not careful you might have a hard time applying the brakes without “slipping right into it”. That also brought riotous laughter. But at least they understood the point.

  3. I feel ya. Once I was talking about dating and said, “You shouldn’t do anything on a date that you’d be embarred about to give a blow by blow description to your parents” They lost it.

  4. I once was preaching about tithingd and quoted Malachi 3:10-“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse.” But messed it up and said, “Bring the stole tithe into the whorehouse. Oops!

  5. I was once preaching on the Exodus, and the Israelites murmuring about the leaks and onions they had had in Egypt, and how they wanted to go back. And in an imaginary conversation between Israelites, said “Oh I really want a leak right now”.
    The congregation lost it, and so did I.

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