Tuesday, May 29, 2012

sermon hecklers

sorry I didn't blog yesterday..hope everyone enjoyed a great Memorial Day and spent some time remembering. Sunday's second service presented a challenge right at the beginning of my sermon. When I began my sermon, I heard someone yell our my name (that's what I heard at least) and so I asked, "Did someone say something?" As I scanned the baptistery side of the congregation, I noticed an elderly gentleman in the lower balcony standing. He was nicely dressed in suit and tie and so I asked, "what was that?" He said something that was not inappropriate (though yelling out during the sermon is not normal by any stretch)..something like "Hear the voice of the Lord" or something like that. When I responded with an "amen brother" or something, I thought we might be done, but then he continued to ramble, and I couldn't really hear exactly what I was saying. Our security guys were moving in his direction, their communication channels buzzing and the young man next to him was tugging at his arm trying to get him to sit down. What passes through the preacher's mind in these split seconds? *Are the people I'm preaching to in danger? *Is this man dangerous? *Is the Holy Spirit trying to say something through him? *Where in my sermon am I at? *Are the security guys going to have to physically remove this man? *Is he troubled or in need? *Is this a visitor? *What would Jesus do? *Please don't allow anything stupid to come out of your mouth? All this is a matter of seconds...so I asked if the man would sit down so we could go on with the sermon. I could see he left...still muttering loud enough for me to hear and know that he wasn't happy. I tried to proceed with the sermon...my only regret is that I didn't stop and pray and just skip the introduction and get right to the text. I could tell the listeners were extremely uncomfortable...so I was trying to gather 1,500 people back into the sermon and away from the man. Come to find out, the grandson of this man led him out and the security guys met up with him in "the well". Unfortunately, the man had come to church drunk, but with a religious background was saying some "holy stuff". So, the family was totally embarrassed and I was hopeful that I had not said something stupid or offensive to their grandfather. Just goes to show you...never know what's going to happen. Not the first time I've been "heckled" during a sermon, but I hope it's the last one for a while.

No comments: