Crawfish Boil Devotional

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Evaluation
by Frank Carmical


General Information:
I shared this devotional on Saturday evening, 4-14-12 outside on the grounds of Lafayette Bible Chapel in Lafayette, Louisiana  USA.

Devotional Title: No Title

Devotional Passage: None

Devotional Purpose:
This church has an annual outdoor Crawfish Boil where the entire church and many friends and guests gather to share a meal of crawfish and veggies cooked and served on the church grounds. It’s a great time of fellowship and pigging out on great food! This was my 1st time to participate in this kind of event. I was asked to do the devotional before we ate—an ice breaker and spiritual focus before dinner. I had the freedom to approach the Gospel part in any way I chose. I decided to experiment and try something different—instead of directly presenting the Gospel, I did a Pre-Gospel preparation of the soil, to try to get people more receptive to returning to the church and talking further to Christians about Jesus and the Bible.

Overall Evaluation:
I think I accomplished my goal, for those who heard me!  The gas burners on the boilers cooking the crawfish were so loud that many folks could not hear me at all. I had no portable microphone or other amplification. This was a major disappointment. My content was good but it was nothing if people can’t hear it! So, like my other devotional this past year, this was a learning curve!

Strengths:
1. Good humor poking fun at church signs.
2. Some interesting and little-known facts about the Titanic.
3. Perfect dovetailing of a devotional focusing on the Titanic on the eve of the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of Titanic!
4. My subtle challenge to come back later, I think worked. You decide if you think it did or not!

Weaknesses:
1. Many could not hear me because of the burners so this was a major loss!
2. Someone could rightly criticize me for not actually presenting anything directly about the Gospel. This is something I’ve never done before—to prepare people to hear the Gospel later.
3. I spoke so loudly, some folks thought I was screaming to be heard above the burners!

Comments: I had prepared another devotional for this occasion. One of the elders called me the day before I was to deliver this devotional, Friday, 4-13-12, and asked me to change what I was going to speak on so I could talk about the Titanic. There would never again be a 100th Anniversary of the Titanic sinking on 4-15-1912. So he thought it would be cool to do this. Fortunately, I have a lot of info I’ve collected over the years about Titanic, so I didn’t have to do any extra study, but just redo the devotional quickly overnight. You can see how that could be risky!

The grades I give myself on this sermon:    
Number grade:
[on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high)]: 7.5
Letter grade:
[A (high) and F (low)]: C

 

2 lessons you can learn from this devotional:

1.  Always be prepared mentally for last minute changes. There will be times, like this devotional, that an opportunity will arise to do something different. It will be in your best interest to turn on a dime and change, even if it means a lot more work and study. See my short paper under How to Preach called Preaching Schedule where I comment about changing a sermon for different reasons.

 

2.   Always do all you can to be sure people can hear you. Portable microphones for outdoor events are not too expensive if you can afford them. Without those, knowing the lay of the land ahead of time will help. If I had known that people would be sitting close to the noisy burners, I would have been bold enough to ask everyone to move further away from them. But better still would be a portable microphone so people could hear me!