Article by Ed Stetzer
A month ago, I was preaching at College Church in Wheaton, IL. They gave me 30 minutes to speak and I always try to finish on time, as a means of serving my hosts well.
I usually preach longer than 30 minutes, so I took my iPhone, set the countdown timer for 30 minutes, so I could be in the prayer by the time it hit 30.
And that’s what I did. At 29:50, I started praying to close.
The only problem is that the iPhone countdown timer has a very loud alarm when it hits zero. So, when I was just 10 seconds into my prayer, it went off. College Church is too dignified for me to stop, so—while still praying—I reached over and turned off my phone. I kept praying until I was finished and hoped no one looked up and thought it was someone else’s phone.
Thankfully though, I’m not the only one to have something distract me like that from the pulpit. I took to Twitter to ask some pastors and bible teachers what sorts of distractions they’ve experienced while preaching or teaching and received an overwhelming number of responses. I’ve narrowed the list down to the top 20 stories and list the first 10 here in no particular order.
Believe me, after you read these, you’ll know it was impossible to pick just a few standouts.
1 – A 5-year-old sitting in the congregation was playing with an iPad during the sermon. Somehow, my voice triggered SIRI and she responded aloud saying, “I do not understand what you are saying.”
2 – One time, I tried to preach while sick with a stomach bug. The sound guy fell asleep and I walked off the stage, passed out, and puked into a live mic. When I woke up, the personnel chair and the deacon chair were scrubbing the floor around me.
3 – My young daughter escaped from her mother while I was preaching. She ran up to me and climbed inside the pulpit and stayed there for the entire sermon; while there, she proceeded to untie my shoestrings.
4 – I was preaching a wedding and several minutes into my talk, I noticed the wedding planner in the back of the crowd. She was waving her arms and jumping up and down. I ignored her for a few minutes, assuming she was crazy. But, as it turns out, I had forgotten to have the congregation sit down.
5 – My wife went into labor in the middle of my sermon. Apparently, she tried to hold out until the end but then the senior pastor came up and said to me, “I think it’s time to go.”
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Source: Christianity Today