Jump directly to the Content

Leader's Insight: The Preacher's 8-second Delay

In the pulpit and out, if only we could delete poorly chosen words.

From my journal: After the "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl almost two years ago, TV networks began to build an 8-second delay into most live sports and entertainment shows in order to preclude language or behavior that was deemed offensive.

There have been a few occasions in my years of preaching when I would have benefited from such a system. Like the first time I tried to preach on a Biblical view of sexuality (I was 26, sure of myself and patently unwise). The sermon was so bad that I asked someone else to give the benediction while I left the building, ran home, and spent the afternoon in the fetal position trying to forget I'd preached that morning. A two-day delay would have saved me from making a fool of myself.

While preaching on one or two occasions I've had a mental lapse and said a word that was the opposite of what I really intended to say. There have been times when I've bungled facts, distorted stories, and mangled Greek words. Here again, the delay apparatus would ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Why some illustrations work better than others.
From the Magazine
‘Be Clean’: Jesus and the World of Ritual Impurity
‘Be Clean’: Jesus and the World of Ritual Impurity
These biblical commands rightly remind us about the significance of our bodies.
Editor's Pick
How to Fight Peer Pressure Culture in Our Churches
How to Fight Peer Pressure Culture in Our Churches
Recent examples of fallen ministries show us that conformity can be dangerous.