It was an awesome couple of days at church this weekend. Saturday saw the official kick-off for our building fund campaign. A couple of hundred or more people showed up for a tailgate party on the grounds that included grilling, games, a chili cook-off, vehicle decorating, Dixieland jazz and a well orchestrated "pre-game show" featuring coach Maul and coach Black - loaded with classic football cliches and exquisitely redundant analysis.
Tim and Rebekah have excellent interactive "chemistry" in front of a crowd. They took the natural "banter" that works so well on Sunday morning, and mixed in every lame sports cliche they could think of. They really got the crowd going, and a casual observer would have been hard-pressed to come to the conclusion "Presbyterian" based on the clapping and shouting and general crowd participation in the church!
Sunday morning the enthusiasm continued. Here's my "status update" from facebook yesterday: "Derek Maul is proud of is wife, Rebekah. If you'd like to experience world-class preaching in a mid-sized church - now you know where to come... I'm just saying..."
Fact is the messages we get from the pulpit Sunday mornings are consistently awesome! Both Rebekah and Tim are interesting, inspirational, in-touch and illuminating. (There, I did it; I didn't start that phrase intending to go for alliteration, but after "interesting" and "inspirational" the challenge was on!)
Add to that Rebekah's inimitable (another "i" word) enthusiasm, genuine passion, heart-wrenching story-telling and can't-fake-this authenticity, and you can see why I'm genuinely puzzled she's not on everyone's short-list for conference keynoting and "must have her preach at our next big event" invitations.
My real question, however, is why it's not like that at every church, of every denomination, every Sunday morning? Rebekah may have above average gifts in communication, but at the heart of her message there is a vibrant living relationship with the God who called her to share the Good News.
I'm thinking that - while the level of giftedness in communications may vary from preacher to preacher - the same good news is available to each one of us, and there's no excuse for not allowing the good news to speak loud and clear through the message on a Sunday morning?
I'll take genuineness over polish any day. Rebekah happens to have both, but for those pastors who lack the skills, please oh please at least allow the Holy Spirit to animate your life and then don't be afraid to let it show during church!
Enough for today. The adventure continues - DEREK