One problem with preaching without notes is that sometimes I make an error in my sermon. These mistakes are not theological blunders that alter people’s views of God. Instead, at least once a month, I will get some small fact wrong, misuse a word or make a misstatement that I never intended to make.
For example, recently, I said that the pool of Siloam was about 1600 yards away. Then in my mind, I wanted to say that is 16 football fields. Instead, I said that it is more than three football fields away. Another time I said Jesus went to Nicodemus at night. When the Bible story clearly states that Nicodemus went to Jesus at night. I had it backward. Both times I knew I was wrong the moment I said it, but I also knew that neither was of major significance, so I kept talking.
Statements like these always bother me. I thought I should post on my blog Sunday afternoons about the clarifications, corrections, and controversy from the morning sermon. These things haunt me and can keep me up at night, even when they are seemingly insignificant.
I want to remind you not to be shocked when preachers make mistakes. Also, please show us grace and kindness in our blunders. If we are misinterpreting the Bible, we should be confronted and corrected. But when we make minor errors in our words – be kind – or next time, I might mistakenly say your name in error in a way you would not like. (I’m kidding, of course … well …)