As soon as Under Armour hooks me up with a robe, stole and shoes, I'm having a pro day. I guess the more traditional way of doing things still works. One has to update a resume, locate some good sermon recordings and videos, dust off the network and depend on the connections. There are, however, certain "intangibles" that good ministers bring to Sunday morning which can can go unnoticed because when they're done right everything runs smoothly. When they go wrong, it can be pile up to rival any opening scene on an episode of CHiPs. Don't rule that out, though, especially of you're interested in attendance figures, folks love to stop and watch a good one.
In addition to vertical leap and a 40 time, if I were a scout, here are some things I'd like to see in a preacher's pro day:
- Comfortably wearing the Bobby Brown "It's My Prerogative" head set version of the wireless microphone. Extra points if you can dance and sing--I mean be mobile.
- Demonstrating patience with the volunteer operating the sound board, yet making sure we get it right next week.
- Successfully resisting the urge to look at one's watch while someone else is speaking at the pulpit.
- Sitting up front and not rolling one's eyes or shaking one's head while the ushers/deacons manage to take up the offering or serve the communion elements in a manner that is nowhere close to how it was rehearsed.
- Being able to pronounce proper names from the Bible. The title of the last book is RevelaTION.
- Leading a children's sermon without using a rhetorical question. They're children, if you ask a question it will get answered, and you deserve the answers you get.
- Welcoming and incorporating the sounds of a crying baby into sermon content.
- Never offering a weejus prayer. "Lord, weejus wanna thank you..."
- Accepting last minute announcements with grace and actually sharing them with the congregation.
- Get folks out on time.
- Keep folks 10 minutes longer without them noticing.
- Shaking hands at the door and not clotheslining the congregants who want to compare your sermon to the TV preacher they watched before coming to church.
- Tell one of those old jokes, make it work and make people laugh at it.
- Wear one contact lens for distance and one contact lens for reading and not pass out.
I am sure I've left something out. Please feel free to add your suggestions, and look for me some late night on ESPN8 "The Ocho".