By Rev. Raymond C. Nolan
When I first became a minister I wondered how my sermons were coming across to the congregation. After the first few sermons the expressions on the faces of the church members seldom changed. The congregational was respectful, but their body language didn't seem to reflect anything beyond mild acceptance.
At the end of the service I would receive the cordial, "Nice message," or "Thank you pastor" responses from my church members. Was I getting my point across? No matter what I tried, nothing seemed to make a difference.
What could I do to make God's message to His people more interesting? Nothing I tried seemed to work.
Being at a loss I prayed about the problem. After a certain amount of prayer, I decided to interject a bit of humor into my messages. If it was God's will it would succeed. If not, I would probably be looking for another church to serve.
My first attempt at humor was met with surprise, but I could tell from the responses after the service that the congregation was actually enjoying these "new" Sunday messages. I found that by inserting an occasional joke or funny story into the sermon the church members seemed to pay closer attention to what I was saying. It was as if the members were saying, "I missed that last laugh because I wasn't paying attention, but I won't miss the next one."
Even though things seemed to be much improved, I still had to wonder about using humor in church. I spoke to a close friend and asked him, "Donny, do you thing God has a sense of humor?" I'll never forget his response.
"Of course God has a sense of humor," Donny said with a grin. "He created you, didn't He?"
I guess God does have a sense of humor after all.
Copyright © 2008 Rev. Raymond C. Nolan
Rev. Raymond C. Nolan is Assistant Pastor at Daybreak United Methodist Church in Elberta, Alabama. Although he has struggled with Multiple Sclerosis for 19 years, this hasn't kept him from serving God or enjoying life. His positive outlook is an inspiration to all who know him. Rev. Nolan and his wife Methyl have been happily married for 36 years.
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Read some of Ray's other writings too:
Missing The Obvious
We're Never Too Old To Teach
Out Of The Mouths Of Babes
Becoming Too Available
Bernie and Me
The Birthday Cake Rematch
Rank Does Have Its Privileges
Blessings In Disguise