Preaching as an exercise
Dr: Dr. Jeff Fuller
In 1979 I started preaching. I was fifteen years old. With 41 years in the journey there is always something to learn. Through the years I have learned a great deal. I am sure I have not retained all this information, nor been really good at doing what I was supposed to do, but I have attempted to give God the glory and follow His lead.
Old dogs do learn new tricks.
In the early days I was told that you can prepare twenty hours, preach 20-30 minutes, and it would be like working eight straight hours. Others have said the best preacher is a preacher “who works up a sweat.” An old evangelist would call me on Sunday afternoon and ask how the message was that morning. Then he would say, “If your shirt was not soaked in sweat, your pants dropping and your tie loosened at the end of the sermon, boy, you didn’t do no preaching.”
Well, I need to tell you during this “new situation” I went swimming for 18 minutes while preaching.
Here’s the story and I’m sticking to it, because it is the gospel truth.
I wear a FitBit. It is my watch and my exercise coach. It tells me everything I need to know about my walks, even showing me a map of the area. There on the screen I can see how many calories I burned, the miles walked, the time it took, and my heart rate.
Very inspiring little gadget with an app on the cellphone listing several other things related to your health.
Yet sometimes I think it gets it all wrong.
A few weeks ago, we were conducting our online service at 9:30 on Sunday morning. We went through the songs, prayers, announcements, and my sermon. At the end of the service, I prayed the closing prayer and we sang the closing hymn. Anletta gave us the signal that the live camera was off, and we proceeded to close up the sanctuary.
As I walked to my office, my watch gave a little pulse shake to my wrist. I did not give it a thought. Until I walked into my office and my cellphone was shaking, making a beeping and dinging sound and my watch started shaking again.
I was bewildered.
Sitting down at my desk I turned my wrist to make my watch come to life and there on the screen was a notice that said I had finished one day of my five-day exercise. That was wrong, I knew it and thought the watch had malfunctioned.
Picking up my cellphone, I opened the app for my Fitbit and checked the section referencing my exercise notifications. Sure enough, it too was registering a completed day of exercise at the time we ended the morning service.
I was very confused.
Tapping the icon on the app of the FitBit for tracking your exercise, it opened and showed I had registered a time of exercise at 10:08 AM. This would have been the time during my sermon that morning. I was even further informed I had been swimming for 18 minutes that morning, swimming a total of 246 yards, burning 78 calories, and covering 7 feet, 38 inches for every 100 yards.
Looking at this information on my FitBit app, knowing where I had been for the past two hours, and what I had been doing at that exact time as displayed on the app and my watch…
I roared with laughter.
How many preachers can say (and prove it with concrete evidence) they went swimming and preached to over 100 people at the same time?
Until next time…
(Dr. Jeff Fuller is pastor of Rockford Baptist Church. You may reach him through the church office at 256-377-4900 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
If you wish for further evidence Pastor Fuller is speaking the truth, the gospel truth, click this link and watch the message where he was supposedly swimming: https://rockfordbaptistchurch.org/sermon-audio/transitional-moments/