Confessions of a preacher

Earlier this morning a tweet from a friend about missing his mouth when he went to drink some water reminded me about one of my many pulpit blunders. You can find it below, along with one or two others.

The teeth of the Holy Spirit

My first experience of preaching was in French, as I was working in Southern Belgium at the time. In itself this would have been fine, but on Pentecost day I mistakenly preached about the ‘dents’ (teeth) of the Holy Spirit instead of His ‘dons’ (gifts).


Pouring myself a drink in a high pulpit just before preaching, I made the mistake of looking up at the clock as I did so. I promptly poured the water all down my trouser leg and into my shoe! By the time I greeted people at the door afterwards it had mostly evaporated, but I had to be careful how I stood!

Flaming foliage

On one occasion I was preaching at a candlelit service completely unaware of the scenario unfolding behind me. Apparently a candle high above me on the edge of the gallery had set fire to the holly leaves around it, and was dropping burning foliage down behind me as I spoke.

I’m sure all preachers have such stories of their own, and I’m hoping you will send them in via the comments box.

However, of course the real preaching nightmare is when we turn wine into water, and God’s word becomes a dull an uninteresting thing. When that happens – there’s only one person laughing, and it’s not the preacher.