Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Shaking 'Em Out

Here's a preacher problem to ponder. Many of us like to greet people after the worship service (shaking hands, exchanging pleasantries, etc.). This is known as “shaking ‘em out.” One cynic said that the reason why we all rush to the door to do this is that we are all egomaniacs who can't wait for people to tell us how wonderful we are. Most folks are generous with their lies, er, um, I mean compliments (one of my friends told me that he always knows when the sermon tanked: the sweet elderly women say, "You look nice today."). Although I have had my share of uncharitable remarks (e.g. "you offended my mother", "where are the flags?", "my kid's name wasn't in the bulletin", "I think you are arrogant", "the music was too loud", etc.). Also, there is the occasional person who wants to tell his/her entire life story at the door (while others are waiting to get out).

As the church grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to know, touch, and minister to everyone. Several years ago, while at a conference, I heard a speaker discourage preachers from shaking people's hands at the door. The reason? There will come a point when the church will become too large for that practice to be practical. So if you stop doing it, some people will think, "He doesn't like us anymore."

But I think I’m going to keep it up.

1 comment:

David H. Willis said...

I float out in the lobby (aka. vestibule or foyer). I bounce around but don't get to everybody. I remember BR giving me some good advice. He said to be "all there when someone is talking to me." I try to do that. My tendency is to bounce over to the next person going by.