So . . . that was a little awkward . . .

Posted: April 8, 2008 in church, religion
Tags: , , , , , ,

I would have liked to have post this a couple days ago already, but I’ve been playing nurse-maid for my sick wife and son.  They only have colds, so it’s nothing serious, but we all need a little love and care when we’re sick so I’ve been doing my part.  Anyways, on to the main point here . . . my sermon about missing the point.

I made a couple of posts last week about my thoughts and sermonizings on the Emmaus road story from Luke (I just realized on Sunday I had misspelled it “Emaus” in all my posts sorry).  I was a little nervous about preaching it because I thought it may make some people angry.  Thanks again to all of you who gave me your input on the topic, it was all helpful in getting things finalized and ready to share with the church.  It’s only fair that I let you know how things went on Sunday to put your wandering minds to rest on the topic of the journey on Emmaus road.

Things went completely normal for the 25 minutes or so that I was speaking.  The got the jokes and I think they got the point on my sermon on missing the point.  Everything went well for 25 minutes, and then it got awkward . . . there were applause when I finished.  What do you do when people applaud when you’re finished?  I know from my experience singing in jazz groups and choirs that when you’re done and people applaud that you take a bow and walk off stage.  Preaching isn’t like a singing performance though . . . people don’t EVER clap when you’re done.  I don’t know what the precedent for this is.  I just kept walking off the platform and took my seat and the applause stopped pretty quickly.  What do you do in that situation?  It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, it was just like I said: awkward.

So all that being said, I guess things went pretty well.  I haven’t received any angry anonymous letters yet, and I have got a few really positive comments and notes.  Not that these are the benchmarks for a good or bad sermon, but it certainly is nice when it happens.  I’m up again on April 20, so if you can let me know your thoughts on how to handle post-sermon applause in the next few days I can be prepared for a week and a half from now.

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Comments
  1. bradmoffatt says:

    Good to hear that it went well for you. I find it funny that a sermon that you thought would offend actually brought applause! Makes me think that your people wanted (needed) a little challenge.
    What would I do if the congregation applauded? If I were you, I would walk out of the sanctuary (making sure my microphone was still on) and yell “Ben Kramer has left the building”.
    Good job on Sunday. Keep it up.

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  2. knotter says:

    Yeah…we’ve had a few of those awkward clapping moments around here too. I know some people just genuinely mean well and it’s their way of saying “amen” and “I’m with you”. Other people clap because they can’t avoid an opportunity to make noises with their hands. Those are the people that clap when they are by themselves watching TV and they see an audience applaud during American Idol. It’s a default motion. One that can only be corrected by amputating the arms.

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  3. Jared says:

    Next time you receive applause – throwdown and breakdance right there. Headspin for Jesus!

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  4. Greg says:

    Wow… applause. Weird.

    Are you sure it wasn’t a political / state of the union address?

    Perhaps a youth rally and you said stuff like Jesus loves you (clapping)…. God has a wonderful plan for your life (more clapping). Clap if you love Jesus 🙂

    Maybe you said something that people have been waiting for a long time to hear. Maybe you’re a revolutionary??

    I know at our church there is an awkward silence and people wondering if we should clap for an offertory or not. Usually if it was a fast & up beat song, they clap. If it’s slow and thoughtful there is silence. Maybe you had a fast & up beat sermon. Slow it down a bit and then they won’t clap.

    You should have had someone come up after and say. “No if you want to vote for Ben, text 256-5767 (BEN-KRMR). Tune in next week to hear the results.”

    Greg

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