With the exception of a few overly serious commenters, my blogpost on preaching distractions last week was a lot of fun. In that post, I reported categories of preaching distractions from a number of pastors I surveyed. Over the past week I have received numerous actual stories of distractions.
In honor of those great stories, I have compiled my own top ten actual examples. Some of them came from the 100 plus comments; others were shared with me via Twitter, Facebook, and in-person. I have put the stories in my own words while trying to be true to the facts.
Feel free to add your own stories to the list. Your story may even move into the top ten. Enjoy!
10. Crazy as a bat.
“A bat started flying low while I was preaching. Many people were screaming. Finally some of the men captured the critter. They actually had prayer over him and released him toward the Methodist church.”
9. Lazarus come forth!
“While I was preaching on John 11, the story of Lazarus, a 100-year-old woman lost consciousness. Our organist, a nurse, went to attend to her, and whispered ‘no pulse.’ The story does have a happy ending though. The lady survived.”
8. Don’t Pledge the pews!
“Our new custodian decided to impress everyone by putting Pledge on all the wooden pews. While the preacher was preaching, there were repeated sounds of crashing and thuds as people were unable to hold their posterior on the piney Pledged pews.”
7. Chemical spill!
“I was not the only one who smelled the chemical odor while I preached. Indeed I started getting worried, as I got more and more lightheaded. I would learn after the service that a woman was taking off her nail polish with nail polish remover while I preached.”
6. UFO spotted.
“A child kicked off a tennis shoe and it landed right next to me while I preached. The kid claimed it was an accident.”
5. How many men does it take . . . ?
“During my sermon everyone was distracted as one man after another disappeared from the sanctuary. Finally I learned that we had a leak in one of the restrooms. Eight men were trying to fix it and ten men were observing them.”
4. Semper Fi.
“Everyone has experienced cell phones ringing during sermons. What was unusual about this one was that it was playing the Marine Corps hymn, and no one could find the phone while it was ringing.”
3. No it’s snot.
“During a point of real emphasis in the sermon, a choir member let go of a huge sneeze. That was distracting enough, but she failed to cover her face, and a huge pile of mucus landed on the shoulder of the preacher’s coat. He didn’t realize it at the time. Many in the choir had to leave as they couldn’t stop laughing.”
2. An arresting moment.
“The pastor was ten minutes into his sermon when two police officers came in the service, pointed to a deacon to come out of the pew, handcuffed him and took him away. I thought the amazing thing was that the pastor kept preaching, but I was even more amazed that the deacon’s wife stayed for the entire service.”
1. It’s a gas.
“The seven-year-old preacher’s kid was a bit of a troublemaker, but he was in rare form on this particular Sunday. Right in the middle of the sermon, he stood up, then bent over and yelled ‘Thar she blows!’ It was one of the loudest moments of flatulence I’ve ever heard. The service ended at that moment with the preacher exiting with his precocious son.”
Thanks for the great stories. I hope you readers can add even more.
Posted on April 22, 2013
With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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