A microphone on a stage means that something is going to be said (or sung) to communicate with a large number of people who can't hear you in your normal voice. When I walked into the Heartland Community College Cafe' for a fundraiser I had volunteered for, a single mic on a stand on a well lit stage marked the place where I would soon speak and it was the microphone that divided up my three speaking events this past weekend.
On Friday night, I was one of six amateur "comedians" slated to help raise money for the Challenger Learning Center. People ask me if it makes me nervous ...YES! It is much easier to preach and say something occasionally that might be considered funny than to stand in front of people who are expecting you to be funny for 8-10 minutes straight. I really have tried to use my sense of humor to hang out with people that I normally wouldn't come into contact with otherwise. Just trying to be a little salt and a little light in this world....and be funny. By some grace of God I won the critics award (a panel of judges decided the winner). Hopefully, I represented my Lord and my church well.
On Saturday morning, I was at church to kick off our all church prayer and fasting event with a 1/2 hour prayer time. Several hundred participated (many didn't sign up), and about 150 were able to make it for the Saturday prayer. I was really encouraged and as I knelt on the stage in the auditorium with a microphone leading our prayer...it occurred to me how different the setting was from the one I was in the night before. Not trying to make people laugh, but tryhing to direct our thoughts to God. Not in front of complete strangers with an open bar, but in front of family members with an open heart.
On Sunday morning, I was preaching in two services with my usual lapel microphone and the message was different still. A sermon on the Holy Spirit and how he worked miraculously in the lives of the first believers to give them words. I was reminded as I preached (very much more aware than usual) that the words coming from my mouth were powered by the Holy Spirit. So, not my trying to be funny words, or leading in prayer words, but words from the Word of God that the Holy Spirit somehow speaks through even me. Which microphone would I rather be behind? If you know me, you know the answer is Sunday preaching. But somehow, I hope the other mics were not a complete waste of God's time.