So back in 2010, when I was just a newbie to the preaching in schools game, I posted about visiting a school and finding out I had to preach in 10 minutes. It was like a bad dream.
Today it happened again, only worse. I went to a primary school chapel, and I had a talk ready. It was on the line from the Lord’s Prayer “Give us today our daily bread”. Unfortunately, while I was sitting in chapel the teacher leading chapel told the kids how today they were going to learn about “Your will be done”. Oh. Bugger.
I had to speak in three minutes, I had zero prep time, I had not talk. This was definitely bad dream material except I wasn’t naked. At least, if I was naked no one mentioned it, and forgetting to wear clothes is usually something people point out to you.
What seems to have happened was that the visit I was on had been rearranged a few weeks ago. Instead of being booked to come in a few weeks they moved me to today. What I didn’t register is that when my date changed so did my chapel topic.
As I sat in chapel I contemplated just doing the talk I had planned and apologising that I stuffed it up but for some reason I decided to make up a talk right there in chapel. I probably had 3 minutes between when I found out the topic and when I had to get up to do it. Happily the talk I had prepared had elements I could import, and the rest, I just flew by the seat of my pants. Or I by the power of the Spirit. Or somewhere in between.
I don’t think it was my greatest talk ever. But then again, it wasn’t the worst. It was probably the best one I’ve written in three minutes. The chaplain came up and said he liked it, so I appreciate that, even if he was just being a polite Christian.
I’ll aim to not have that happen again. I guess I learnt to check topics when dates change.
The other thing I learnt about preaching today that if you say, in reference to bush dancing, “doing Strip the Willow with an old lady is not my idea of fun”, you will inevitably lose every year eight boy in the room. Who’d have thought?