Category Archives: Christianity

Pulpit Humour: Five Pointers

Some churches get very upset if the preacher uses any humour in the pulpit. I suspect heaven will be a shock to their system!  Other churches esteem humour above all else that comes from the pulpit.  This is also a problem position.  But what of the rest of us somewhere in the middle?  We know that humour is neither inherently sinful, nor the point of preaching, but it can be a minefield.

Here are some pointers:

1. Be authentic in your humour.  That is, don’t pretend to be something you are not.  If you are not a joke-teller in conversation, then don’t tell jokes in the pulpit (it won’t work).  As long as it is appropriate, go with your natural style of humour.

2. Be joyful rather than silly.  We have so much to celebrate and should be a people marked by “Easter joy.”  However, the dynamics of a responsive crowd can stir our flesh into looking for laughs.  Don’t make that your pursuit, you will be selling out on the great goals of preaching!

3. Be loving to all.  Don’t use humour that is critical, destructive, racist, sexist, etc.  Don’t use restrictive humour, that is, humour that only those on the “inside” will understand.  It can be okay to say something that some will find amusing, but it is not okay for those who don’t to feel like they are being left out.

4. Be selective.  Don’t always use the same kind of material.  For instance, it may be the cutest thing you ever heard, but not everyone in your congregation wants to hear what your child said this week at bedtime.  For some a continual diet of those comments can be like rubbing salt in an open wound.

5. Be humble. If it goes wrong, don’t hesitate to apologise.  I inadvertently mixed up two brands when giving an illustration and managed to reference something highly inappropriate … it certainly got a laugh, but I needed to both apologise and explain how I ended up saying what I did!

What would you add?  Any pointers you’ve found helpful?


My Annual Mother’s Day Poem for 2017

Mother’s Day

2017

 

Mary, bending down to kiss

The face of her sweet Son

Pressed her lips upon the cheek

Of God’s anointed One

 

And every mother since that day

Gives birth to those who may

By faith in Christ’s redeeming blood

Be sons of God one day

 

As Mary raised her blessed child

To serve the God of all

May each dear Mother in her day

Take up the same high call

 

Young mothers now, or yet to be

Think much of this your care

To raise them in the fear of God

His grace and good to share

 

To make them know upon your breast

How Christ loves, even more

And waits to pour out love and grace

From Heaven’s boundless store

 

How born in sin and brokenness

And helpless in our guilt

Yet in the cross of Christ’s own death

A cleansing flood was spilt

 

To those with sons already grown

And daughters adult too

It’s not too late to pour in grace

Your day is not yet through

 

For every moment spent in prayer

In pleading for their souls

Will not be disregarded

By The King who hears and knows

 

Each tear you shed in soul’s distress

To see them saved by grace

Is noted yet in Christ’s own book

And kept before His face

 

Who knows the errant ones that yet

Will come to saving faith?

By means of answered mother’s prayers

Will enter Heaven’s gate?

 

And those who in God’s providence

Will find no children here

Do not in vain imagine

That your God and Christ don’t hear

 

What if those – miscarried, lost

Or by abortion or neglect

Become your sons and daughters

When from death we stand erect?

 

What if, in Heaven and Earth to come

Those babes are yet to grow?

And you bereft of children here

Will have them there bestowed?

 

The motherless and childless both

In resurrection blessed

And given to each other there

As part of God’s great rest

 

We rise and call you blessed all

Who’ve nursed and taught and prayed

We thank you for your sacrifice

For all that you have paid

 

For mothers now, and yet to be

We give our thanks and praise

Before the throne of Him who thought

To give us mothers – by His grace