Speaking invitations come in all forms. You can contact me to invite me to speak. Sometimes people refer me to someone organizing a conference who might be looking for speakers, and I always appreciate those referrals. Sometimes, it’s an email, sometimes a phone call, and this one time, I got an invitation by text. To talk to a youth group, about sex. It’s always good to be prepared for the unexpected.
This was a Tuesday. I knew what I wanted to say, and spent the week preparing. I had Scriptural references, and I shared personal stories. I talked about how culture teaches us things. I described what the Bible says about sex, and what it doesn’t say about it. I gave advice, based on Scripture. I thought the talk went really well. The way it started though, could have gone worse.
The Big S Word
When I stepped up on the stage, the youth leader started the presentation he’d built to go with my talk. It was just one slide – a large graphic with the text, “The Big S Word” on it. That’s what he meant it to say. You see, the “S” and the “word” were just a little too close together. So, now I’m doing a talk for a church youth group, about the Biblical perspective on sex, with the phrase, “The Big Sword” in letters 3-feet high, right behind me. I introduced myself, and then the topic, and the title – “The Big Sword…” (pause… turn back to look at it… turn back to the audience… make a face… followed by a big laugh) and went on with the talk.
When things don’t go as you might expect them to, it’s sometimes better to go ahead and draw attention to what went wrong, and let everyone laugh about it – as if it was planned that way. Everyone gets it out of their systems, and you get to get on with what you’re there to discuss.