You might be asking yourself, "What's he thinking with a title like that?"
Well, that would be because tonight's Lenten service was STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON!
For our Wednesday night services during the season of Lent, our church has teamed up with four other Lutheran churches in the area, and we have a rotation set up so a different pastor[intern] preaches at each church every Wednesday night.
And tonight I preached in a church in a small town called Compton.
I was a little nervous, I think more about the uncertainty of not knowing what I was doing and thus looking unprofessional. But the pastor from Compton called me and this morning and we went over a few of the things. And then there were a couple women waiting for me at the church this evening, and we went over stuff there, too. So things went pretty well. Except at the very end, when I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do during the closing hymn, and I think I threw the acolyte off, so he didn't know when to come and extinguish the candles, and I wasn't sure when I was supposed to get up and leave, or if I was at all. So I waited until the end of the hymn, then I got up and walked over to the sacristy (definition: a room in a church where sacred vessels and vestments are kept and where the clergy vests [vests is a fancy word for gets dressed, puts on their robes]), but as I looked at the congregation who had just finished singing, they were staring at me in a way that I deemed to be anticipatory, as if they were waiting for a sending, although there was none printed in the bulletin. So from right outside the door of the sacristy, I turned and said to the congregation "Go in peace, Serve the Lord." And they responded "Thanks be to God!" as they should have. And then we went and had coffee and cookies.
I had several people in the fellowship hall tell me that I had a good voice and would make a good pastor someday. Which is always nice to hear, especially when you spend the whole service wondering if you're doing a good job, if the people approve, and if they noticed that your sermon was only six minutes long.
Ironically, after our 11am Lent service this morning at my church, I had a member stop and say that he wants to come and talk to me about speech and voice projection, because obviously they don't talk about that at seminary. It was, indeed, my good friend "Tom
", who already is a struggle for me to like. And I do go out of my way to make sure I say "Hi" and shake his hand before or after services, just to push myself to get over this dislike I have for the man. And I thought I was starting to. But obviously he thinks my worship leadership is sub-standard. Although I keep telling myself that he just wants to help me be a better leader, and so I am going to talk to him tomorrow, and I will listen to what he has to say. We'll see how it goes.
And here is a parting thought:
You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy.
- Charles Manson