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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 ...

April
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