déjà vu preaching

i’m not sure how many of you attend a church with multiple services, but our church has gone to this format for almost a year. there are many things i could say about our experience in transitioning from one to two services. but for this post i want to concentrate on the aspect of the person speaking.

in this past year i’ve had several opportunities to speak during both services and have found it interesting to be repeating myself within an hour or so. now i don’t have a script when i preach, heck, i don’t even have a 3-point outline when i speak. (you can download my notes here) so the whole thing isn’t a complete verbatim of the first service. but there are a few important things i want to say in each service and so i do find myself saying the same thing.

is this a problem that i’m saying pretty much the same thing to both services? no, because we’ve set up our services to be more like a “second showing” rather than a “double feature”. that is to say, unlike some churches that purposefully set out to create different service formats for their various services, we’ve chosen to keep them the same as much as possible. granted because the services are attended by different people* there is a different atmosphere in each service even though we try to make them the same as much as possible.

the interesting thing for me this past sunday was that i totally had this déjà vu moment and actually was caught off guard during my message. i remember thinking to myself, “i’ve already said that.” and then i started to question whether i had already told that story in this service or if i was remembering saying from the previous service. and all the while i’m trying to continue speaking and not seem like i’m having this confusion going on in my head. all in all, it was a pretty weird experience.

i think that i also can get bored with myself sometimes when i’m speaking the second time. after all, i’m the one who prepared the message, so i know what i want to say. then i’ve already said it once that morning. and so i feel like i should “spice” it up a bit for my own benefit. but i realized this past sunday that i have taken the time to craft this message to say a particular thing. and that the more i deviate from what i’ve already prepared the more unclear the original intent of the message becomes.

some parting questions or fodder for the comments would be: has anyone else ever experienced a similar feeling? whether in a preaching setting, or sales presentation, or classroom speech, or while teaching?**

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// today i'm thankful for:
1. feeling 88% healthy (still sore throat and neck muscles)
2. advil
3. rachel joy lara
4. feeling content
5. abcnews podcast

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* i’m still amazed at how many people though still attend both services. and not just ministry leaders or those involved in some aspect of the service, but people who just like to come to the same service twice on the same day! (if you’re one of those people, help me understand why you do what you do)

** talk about another reason i don’t think i’d want to be come a public school teacher. i think i’d get totally bored with myself if i had to repeat the same content in one day to 2-7 classes. (depending how many times you taught that subject)