From the Pastor: Excessive Operator Error

Staff Writer
Runnels County Register
Runnels County Register

I have had some computer issues....again. I have an older, newer computer, and I think it is flawed with an excessive operator-error virus. It depresses me to think I have to learn how to use this new machine with all the operator-error virus on it. Where does one find a virus removal for this deal?

I use my computer daily to do research for my sermons. I put in about six to eight hours a week to research, create, and print my final sermon. (I can hear your comments now).

Yes, since I have started doing my live/taped broadcast on KCSA radio, which takes about two additional hours to tape, I have had to up my game and write manuscript-style sermons. This is a more meticulous form of preaching. My favorite form of preaching and speaking is less formal. For my previous style of sermons I would do my research and put my info on note cards and then speak from the info on the cards. It was a more relaxed style and allowed me to leave the restraints of the pulpit, walk around, and talk to the folks in the congregation. I personally like the interaction this style offers, but I am learning this new manuscript style is like a written term paper and has some new benefits as well.

The first thing I have learned about these manuscript sermons is there is no room for adding spontaneous comments. The words written are the words spoken into the microphone. I have to add a point of clarification here and there. I record my sermons at KCSA, 97.1 radio with Kathie Whitworth, the station owner and manager. The sermon I record at the station is broadcast live and streamed on Sunday mornings. It is the same sermon I read Sunday mornings at the Methodist Church in Miles.

The second thing I have learned during these past few months is the importance of feedback. One of the best benefits of speaking to a live congregation is the immediate feedback I get from looking at the members in their various forms of listening attitude. The most difficult part of offering a recorded message is not getting any form of feedback. Think of a talent show being done without an audience? Without an audience a comedy routine would be very difficult to determine crowd feedback. Feedback is important. A nodding head is not the same as an affirmative nod a member might offer to your comments. Feedback is critical unless you follow the axiom of no news is good news.

I know how feedback can make a difference in your presentations. I have some personal experience with feed back. My material has been called fertilizer. I have been called a racist. It has been suggested I not write about certain things. My articles have been mailed back to me with comments added by some readers. I appreciate all feedback, but value some more than others. Keep those cards and letters coming in. Learning is never ending.

I just tried to find my sermon for this week on my old computer. It appears is has gone into the electronic never-never land and I have to start all over again. Seriously, it is gone. That stinkin' operator virus has done it again.

Gary Karschner is pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Miles. Any opinions expressed by Pastor Karschner in his article do not purport to reflect the opinions, views or values of Gannett Media.