I’m writing this on Sunday morning, watching Edublogger’s latest keynote – or second latest or whatever – and growing slightly concerned by the realisation that I’m preaching in just over an hour and I haven’t delivered the sermon to the mirror, or even timed it. I usually do this, but I’ve had friends staying for the past three days and time has flown, in talking, walking and – inevitably – catering.
I have been thinking about this sermon, however, for the past three weeks (that’s when I found out it was my turn). And for once, almost all of my subject-matter is my own – either self-generated or springing from conversation with Kimberly – with one theological area which was new to me but which made something else fall into place.
And where does Ewan’s video come into it? Well, I still hanker after the ease with which I used to teach my own subject – that total familiarity which allowed for a rapport with my students and the chance that I too might enjoy the experience. The audience in the video is an adult one, as mine will be in – woops – an hour. I have my bullet points, and the full script as backup. But I know that something vital to the process will be missing.
No-one will put their hand up. No-one will volunteer an answer to a rhetorical question. no-one will burst out laughing – though that will probably be because I’ll be inhibited too. And no-one really imagines that I have any authority to be telling them anything.
I’m an English teacher, not a theologian. I’m a good teacher, I have expertise in language and literature – but few people recognise that there is skill involved here. I’m perfectly happy talking to adults, but I’d find a crowd at a demonstration less challenging than a tiny congregation who have known me for years. And so I’ll stick to my bullet-points and not make any asides, and I hope I’ll not be boring and that maybe – just maybe – some Good News will seep through the cracks.
Here we go.
Footnote: I've often said that we of the Lay Team should be subjected to the equivalent of a student teacher's Crit Lesson - a Mystery Worshipper sort of thing. Today I had my MW in the shape of the Primus. Beware of what you ask for ....