I watched my sermon finally. I'm sorry to let you all know that I won't be posting it on the internet - for a couple of reasons. First, I really do worry about what someone else may do with it "out there" in the public realm. Second, what I typed out isn't really what I said anyway. I put a lot of work into this sermon - from the research into the text to the words on the page and than rehearsing those words on the page. I think it's interesting that when I finally got up to give the sermon, the words on the page were barely used.
It's a very surreal thing to watch yourself on camera - 10 punds or not, I know I'm way too big, and I can't believe how may times I adjusted my hair or gestured with my hands. And I speak faster than most preachers I've heard. Part of that is probably the fact that I talk fast most of the time (NJ upbringing) but I'd like to be more understandable next time. I would also like to know where the hick accent came from - I swear I don't sound like that normally! :)
So now that I've done this sermon and I survived, what do I do now? I had to think about everything that was told to me that day I preached - the compliments and suggestions that this is something I might actually like and should make aregular part of my ministry. At one point I was mad that my teacher/D.S. would tell me that I should reconsider my call - easy for him to say since it's my livelihood on the line! But now I think I'm coming to terms with this. Okay, I preached better than I expected myself to, and better than I really wanted to. I didn't want to be good at it - and I don't know that it wasn't beginner's luck - but the fact is that it went well. This doesn't really change anything. I still do not see myself being a pastor - I don't have the patience or desire. My call hasn't changed. No matter what I end up doing, people will ask me to preach on occasion, and I would have run away screaming before, but now I know that I don't have to do that. I can preach - and that's fine. As long as I don't have to do it every Sunday to the same group of people. :)
I was amazed at how emotionally worn out it made me and I wonder if others have that same experience. When I got done, my legs were wobbly and tears came to my eyes. A big part of that was relief, yes, but there was something more.... I don't really know how to describe it. I just know that it took a lot more for me than it seems to take my peers who di it every week. Perhaps it gets easier with practice (God, I hope so) or perhaps I go about it in a different way, but at least I know I'm capable when the situation arises. One sermon down, one more to go to complete the class...