Archive | May, 2016

How To Get an Amen

24 May

Pastors, let’s face it, we all need amens. They keep us going. They light a fire under us. They remind us that we are doing what we have been called to do. Sadly, the amens often dry up. When an amen drought comes it can affect us deeply. During these days we need to prime the pump. We need to get an amen out of our people. Here are ten proven ways you can get an amen out of your people

 

  1. Ask for one. During your sermon simply ask “Can I get an Amen?” Oftentimes the amen will come immediately. However, some churches are very discerning about what they amen. Such churches will usually table the request. The request will be put on the agenda as an item to be considered at the next regularly scheduled business meeting. If all goes well, within the next month you will get your amen.
  2. Speak loudly then pause. Churches do not like silence. The awkwardness of the moment will usually bring an amen out of someone. If more than a few seconds goes by without a response do not give up. Simply repeat in an even louder voice what you just said and then begin making eye contact with known ameners in the church. The key is perseverance. The amen will come if you do not grow weary.
  3. Use a cliché. This is foolproof. There are many clichés that cause a good Baptist to give an involuntary response. Here are a few examples:

I Believe the Bible from Genesis to the maps!

God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve!

If God doesn’t judge America he’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!

I’m not what I should be but thank God I’m not what I used to be!

  1. Mention how awesome church used to be. Talk about how people used to come to church, used to tithe, used to serve willingly and used to say amen. It’s amazing to watch. Even the young people will cough up an amen using this tactic.
  2. Remind everyone that kids used to get spankings. Talk about how you got a lot of spankings as a child. Remind the people that the spankings didn’t kill you and that you got less spankings than you deserved. Use an illustration of a disrespectful kid you saw in a shopping center. Tell the people how you could change that child if the mother would let you keep the child for a couple of days.
  3. Bash technology. Call it the helevision instead of the television. Call the computer the one eyed devil in the home. Call it the sinner-net instead of the internet. You could go on forever with this. Call it Fakebook instead of Facebook, the world wide web of lies instead of the world wide web. You get the picture.
  4. Tell everyone how great America is. Tell everyone how lucky they are to live in America. Remind them that this is the greatest country in the world. Continue by telling them that you wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. You could even quote some lyrics from a Lee Greenwood song if you like.
  5. Tell everyone how awful America is. This is a good place to throw in a cliché. I’d recommend one like “America is going to hell in a hand basket.” That one works great. Talk about the sins of the USA and remind everyone that God doesn’t need America.
  6. Compliment your church. People love to hear how awesome their church is. If it’s a small church announce to everyone that the church has a big heart. Churches like to hear how friendly they are as well. They like it when people recognize they haven’t grown much because they preach the Bible and no one wants to hear the Bible anymore. If it’s a big church quote statistics. Compare the church with other churches in the area that haven’t seen as much growth as they have.
  7. Say something negative about yourself. Tell everyone you’re not the greatest preacher in the world. Explain that you make mistakes and sometimes don’t even know what you are doing. People like it when you affirm their presuppositions and judgments. You’re sure to get an amen when you do this.

If You Have a Mom

2 May

My mom has been very sick. She had quadruple bypass surgery. Her lungs failed. For thirty seven days she could not wake from a sedated state. She developed internal bleeding. She is currently breathing through a tracheotomy. Finally things are turning around. We are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. She turned sixty-four during this ordeal. I wrote this poem a couple of weeks ago. I was depressed. I was thinking about my mom. I was thinking of how I have often taken her for granted. Hope it makes sense.

 If you have a mom, as many do

Who walks the earth and talks to you

Who sends you cards and calls your phone

Who fixes your hair even though you’re grown

 

If you have a mom who cooks you food

Who calls you out when you get rude

Who shows you pictures you already saw

Who thinks you’re perfect but knows you’re flawed

 

If you have a mom who’s always there

Who listens closely when no one cares

Who won’t sit down when you come over

Who outworks you even though she’s older

 

If you have a mom that you can touch

Who with her stories makes you blush

Who always has an open door

Who couldn’t possibly love you more

 

If you have a mom that you can see

Not just in pictures or in dreams

If you have a mom that you can hug

That you can kiss or just bug

 

If mom’s still here waste no time

Bother often, it’ll be fine

Eat her food, take her advice

Look at the pictures you’ve seen all your life

 

If you have a mom as many do

These short lines are meant for you

If I sound anxious, and I just may

It’s because I’ve discovered that moms fly away.