What’s Your Sermon Screensaver?

March 13, 2009

If we placed a giant mirror in the front of the sanctuary, you might be surprised by what you would see.  During our singing, you would see yourself singing (or not?) with various expressions of engagement and emotion.  But what would you see during the sermon? One helpful article I recently read had some guesses.

The author explains that we have a default facial expression – a “screen saver” that goes up when we are passively listening to a sermon.  Some of his examples are really funny: the Shar Pei screen saver, which looks permanently grumpy; the White Rabbit screen saver, always looking at his watch; the Dipping Duck screen saver, bobbing up and down as sleep encroaches; and the Invisible Fairy screen saver, looking all around the room – everywhere but the pulpit – as if they are watching Tinkerbell flying around the room.

I wonder what you would call your screen saver – what do you look like when you hear a sermon?  Shar Pei?  Dipping Duck?  Sleepless in Seattle? Sure, sometimes we look like we are “out to lunch” when our minds are hard at work.  But you may be missing an opportunity to both encourage your Pastor and engage more intentionally with the Word during the sermon.

This week, think about how you are listening to the sermon both mentally and physically.  If you feel engaged and interested, tell your face.  (The choir has heard this before!)  This will be a great help to your Pastor who is laboring over the Word for your sake.  If you are struggling with your focus, lead your heart and mind with the posture of your body and the expression of your face.  If you act more interested, you may find that your mind follows your lead.  It can help you get more from the sermon, and it blesses your Pastor as he speaks.  After all, it’s hard talking to a Shar Pei.

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