This past weekend I found my blogging experience to come in handy. Why you ask, well because I was asked to team preach with our senior minister. The only problem was that we hadn't had a chance to talk about what we were going to talk about until last Monday, and as I mentioned in my last post, last week was honestly one of the busiest weeks I can remember for me. So I didn't get a chance to prepare until Friday night and into Saturday. I was still struggling with the main focus of the message on Saturday, largely due to a rather ambiguous title with very little extra help. The title of the message was, "There is no place, any place like this place, so this must be the place." Or something like that, I can't really remember. Which if you react to that like I reacted to it you are probably saying, "Well that clears it up." Needless to say, I was lacking in the departments of clarity and direction with this one.
I had two 7 minute segments to fill and nothing to go on...
So, what did I do, but turn to some recent blog posts and allow my "sermon-in-a-bag" skills to take action! I'll come back to the "sermon-in-a-bag" in a minute.
I figured that some of the things I have recently posted about have been on my mind a lot lately and they could fit together in some sense to talk about our mission statement as a youth group, which is, "To lead students in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ by creating environments where students can wonder who God is, discover Christ's purpose in their lives, and develop a passion for the lost."
I focused on creating a time where students can really step back and see God working in their lives (previous blog post). And I also talked about how we need to embrace change and how it is necessary to get where we need to go (a couple posts ago;).
Now, what is "sermon-in-a-bag"? Well, my friend group, who I hang out with most of the time, will get together occasionally and for entertainment we give one person a topic (typically something completely random, i.e. picture frame, spaghetti noodle, coffee, sprained ankles). This person has thirty seconds to come up with a sermon based on that topic. They can use it however they want. Then another person will introduce them as if they are a guest speaker at a church service. By the way, not much of this is ever taken too seriously, like I said, it's for entertainment purposes. We usually get some good laughs out of this and it serves as some good clean, nerdy preacher wanna be's fun.
However, it's not just fun, but it has really trained me to think on my feet and be able to put together thoughts on the fly while I am speaking. It is quite fun now, but I assure you, I was about to wet myself the first time I did this just in front of my friends. But I have actually picked up some skills from it and have been able to fill in for people on the spot and have been ready, largely due to this exercise we use as fun. It has come in handy at least three times that I can recall off the top of my head. One day, at Beavercreek, Jason, the youth minster, asked me if I wanted to teach 2nd hour. Which is fine, the only catch is he asked me at 11 am Sunday morning and our service started at 11:15. He told me to teach on servanthood. I'm still not 100% sure why he asked me to, but I love to teach, so I took the challenge. I enjoyed it and my "sermon-in-a-bag" skills really paid off that day. Some people even said it was one of my better lessons.
All this to say that things we do for fun, such as blogging and "sermon-in-a-bagging" can pay off! So keep up the fun little things!