Apologizing To The First Service

We have two services. A lot of churches do. The running joke around is the 1st service is the ‘practice service’ while the second one is the ‘real one.’

I hate that phrase. In most cases – the first one is a bit more raw, more unscripted. More spontaneous. I like this.

But every so often…something happens in the first service and we totally change it for the 2nd. Yesterday was one of those days for me.

Here’s the situation. Before church – I update one of the apps that I use when I preach. No problem, right?

As I get up to teach, I have my message all ready to go and it’s on page 1. I notice that there is this spinning circle on my iPad. I can see my page but everything is locked up on it.

No problem. I’ll just vamped for a bit. Buy me some time…still circling. No movement at all on the iPad.

At this point – it’s not a huge deal. I’ve got a couple of options. I can stop everything and ask the guys in the back to bring up the printed copy of my message that they use for the presentation/slides. I can stop everything and shut down my iPad and restart it. Allow the church to have a joke about Mac products at my expense.

But I do none of these things. Why?

I have no idea.

What do I do? I look up and see my slides and the only thing I can think of is – you are going to have to teach this from memory just looking at my slides. I’m not sure why I think this.

It’s a brain freeze. It was a complete bonehead decision.

It was like I was possessed or something. I start teaching on a point and then remember something I was going to say about the last point. It’s disjointed. I’m speaking and I can’t even follow what I’m saying but for whatever reason – I don’t stop and walk the 25 feet to the back of the auditorium to get my notes!!!!!

I keep looking at my iPad thinking – at any moment, it’s going to unfreeze and I’ll be home free. It’s going to happen. So I keep looking at slides….teaching…looking at iPad.

Just stop and walk back and get your notes!!!

OR not. Just keep teaching.

I end my message. I nail the conclusion. I get the wrap-up right. It’s the only thing I get right.

I pray. I get off the stage. My iPad reboots and starts working.

I kid you not.

After service, Rick comes up to me. “You okay? Have a hard week?”

“The message. The message was that bad you have to ask me if I had a hard week?”

Rick: “Let’s just say…it was…not your best. A bit disjointed.”

Had another friend come up to me…”Grant, you need to take your hand out of your pocket when you teach. Normally, you are so animated and in there but today – you were kinda stoic.”

I’m thinking in my head – That was the least of my problems.

Good news? 2nd service was great. What was the difference?

The framing. The big points were all there for both messages. Those didn’t change. But the framing and the transitions from those points were drastically different.

And next time, I’ll just walk back and grab my notes.


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