My pastor is a nice enough guy, but has a phobia of public speaking – which is obviously quite a stronghold for him. It’s such an issue that he takes his microphone into a side room and conducts his sermons from there. He’s not limited to the side room though – sometimes he preaches from the kitchen, the toilet, or weather permitting, the car park. It’s a little weird at times, hearing his voice but having no-one in the room to look at… but the goldfish tank he installed last week is a godsend! Now we just watch them swimming around. Anyhoo, what advice would you give to a pastor who’s scared to face his congregation? He’s tried preaching from the front a few times but he just looks like a scared virgin – all anxious, shaky and fidgety. I did suggest the old ‘imagine everyone’s naked’ thing but he felt this was inappropriate
Larry Winter, Stratford-Upon-Avon
I would suggest that your pastor tries preaching from the rear of the church – but still have the congregation facing the goldfish tank at the front. That way he can get used to speaking in the same room, and then gradually worm his way to the front. I find it easier preaching to large crowds, when I can’t see the whites of a person’s eye. Your pastor could even try wearing a mask, or hiding behind the curtains, or have the congregation wear fancy dress costumes to lighten the mood a little?