when revising makes sense

By June 10, 2012Preaching

At Mountainview, we have worship services on Saturday night and again on Sunday morning.  For those of us who teach or preside in some way, that gives us the opportunity to go home and totally rewrite our sermon or communion meditation (not that I’ve ever totally rewritten a sermon; after folding it up and throwing it away, I usually feel better).

Mark Scott and I compared notes last night after the service was over.  Mark was preaching and I was giving the communion talk.  For my part, I had told what I thought was a humorous story for communion — and didn’t get more than the “I’d better laugh because no one else will” laughs.  Mark felt his opening movie clip hadn’t connected in the way he had hoped for.

So, we decided to revise.

I scrapped my story and just shared a few words about my personal “expertise” in parenting.  It fit better and was better received.

Mark used a different video clip that we found and it worked well.  It was Geico’s “Would a former drill sergeant make a good therapist” commercial.  People recognized it, laughed even before it finished, and Mark tied it in perfectly with one simple line: “Isn’t it great that the Holy Spirit is a better counselor than that guy?”

There is no shame in revising a message, a presentation, or class curriculum.  The goal of communicating is not to hold tightly to our pride; it is to be effective.

So, revise away.  Fine tune.  Continue to refine.  Your message is worth it.