Can you remember a time of paranoia? It happens to all of us. A few years ago our family was vacationing, and I needed someone to preach for me while I was gone. I called up my colleague Jason, who is a United Methodist minister, and he agreed to preach for me. He preached that Sunday while our family was at the beach.
The following Sunday morning, when I returned, people rushed up to me. “That guest preacher, Jason, was excellent.”
One choir member told me, “He sang a verse of a hymn during his sermon, and his voice was pitch-perfect.” I responded, “I told you he was good.”
One of our ushers said, “That preacher last week. You’ve got to invite him back. He didn’t use any notes and told a story that brought tears to my eyes. And when a baby cried, he came down and held the baby while he preached.”
I said, “Well, good for him.”
A seven-year-old boy approached me, “Pastor Will, that preacher brought puppets for the children’s message last week. Puppets! He was so funny, and he made everyone laugh.”
“Wonderful. I love that Jason brought puppets.”
It went like this all Sunday.
On Sunday afternoon’s drive home from church, I made a little mental note, “Never invite Jason to preach again.”