Recently I risked an unorthodox sermon introduction. I held up a large, green squirt gun and asked for three child volunteers. I said I had a mission for them, but I didn't say what the mission was. I just handed them the toy.
The first little boy examined the water toy and stared back at me with a puzzled gaze. After I coaxed him to take some action, he squirted his horrified mother sitting near the front.
I reclaimed the toy and announced, "You failed the mission."
Next I gave it to a bashful little girl. She also hesitated but then squirted me. Confiscation came with added expediency. "You failed," I decreed.
The look on the face of the third volunteer hinted he had a plan. A freckle-faced fourth grader, he confidently seized the soaker and launched a salvo of unholy water in all directions. I lunged for the toy and told him he too had failed the mission.
Then I explained that the mission had been to squirt Pastor Bill, who was sitting (hiding) off to the side. "Why do you think you failed ...1