I’m in a strange career. I love it and it’s nothing short of a calling. There are amazing parts of my job… things that I get up every morning for. And then there are other parts that I really have to struggle with and work at. The biggest thing I struggle with is ‘feel’ or ‘atmosphere’. It’s hard to get several hundred people on the same mental/emotional/spiritual page in two minutes or less. I really have to hit the stage running when it comes time to start. Things that are said have to be thought out and practiced. Well, maybe just thought out. I think I do a pretty good job of getting people together from the stage. There are always verbal responses when I’m doing my thing, and I share 99% of the time to draw people in, to help them get from the parking lot to the focus point of the day.

1. If you’re speaking on stage, have a reason. Too many times I’ve seen and experienced people take the stage, grab a mic and spend half of their stage time deciding what it is they’re trying to say. If you’re stepping up to the plate, please, please have a bat.
2. Notice the feel of the crowd/event just before you take the stage. If people are quiet and reflective, you may not want to jump around or scream or make a big fuss. Same with the other way. If things are loud and people are clapping, it may be a little too jarring for you to break into a whisper. You’ll confuse people.
3. Prayer is NEVER a backup plan. If you don’t have anything else to say, get off the stage. Along with that, don’t assume that because you’re praying from stage that people will respect you for it. Prayer and respect have nothing to do with eachother. Whatever Deity you may be praying to probably doesn’t like being your fall back.
4. If you’re faking something, it’s probably painfully obvious to everyone watching. Shaking your head or making noises in agreement to statements that don’t require them only makes you look ridiculous. And if you think that it helps your pastoral image, it really, really, really doesn’t.
5. Uh is not a word. Using it helps justify peoples’ reasons for not liking you.

Obviously these are sarcastic. But there are truths to all five. Maybe they can help somebody outside of my arena.