I went to one of the many promotional events of companies who want to market their materials through churches. I walk into presentations like these with not great feelings toward such organizations. (My personal prejudices). This one is fairly well known and widespread because of a strong radio connection.
There were two speakers. The first one was the professional promoter. He was slim, good looking, well spoken, funny, articulate (and kept poking fun at his Tennessee drawl). He spoke clearly and had a great stage presence. All his jokes didn’t go over well, but it was not for lack of trying. I wasn’t overly interested in the program when I went into the presentation, but he made it sound viable and helpful.
Then they had a guy who came up who emphasized that he had been (apparently up until recently) a preacher. He mumbled, he meandered, used poor grammar and didn’t make a whole lot of sense. He was overweight (I have to be careful because so am I), but was unkept, poorly dressed and not well groomed. He kept emphasizing how badly pastors were paid. Maybe his lack of nice attire was supposed to emphasize that, but also his grooming, and his lack of professionalism? He stressed that he was out of debt (the point of the material being promoted) and I am glad for that, but he was a huge turn-off for the program. My interest in the program plummeted the longer he talked.
Why is it that those who speak in the secular world understand the principles of good communication and presentation and preachers too often do not? We think sincerity is enough. We think biblical literacy is enough (although this preacher wasn’t saying anything biblical). We almost use our dress and presentation so that it becomes something the message has to overcome instead of enhancing the message. Bad presence and presentation does not make people believe the message is more credible. There is a difference between using technique to manipulate and recognizing the need to speak/preach/present in ways that connect with people.
Again, I don’t want to read too much into one bad preacher or one bad presentation, but it seems to feed into the stereotype of preachers that none of us need. Oh well…just another rant from this judgmental and temperamental preacher.