It is human to adopt the actions and habits of others; especially when we hold these people in admiration. Not that these practices are wrong, but they are amusing to say the least. Dr. Jack Hyles was plagued with a constant cough when he preached. Preacher boys who followed him unconsciously adopted the same cough. Dr. Tom Malone walked with drooped shoulders. Some saw this as a mark of humility, and his followers added it to their posture. Thus there were many young preachers with stooped shoulders and a nagging cough. Most of us remember the breath fresheners of the Binaca era.
Not a few young men have imitated pastors and evangelist in the manner in which they hold their Bible in public. Some stand with it over their heart. Others roll its pages while holding it in one hand and gesturing with the other. They walked across the stage with an open Bible as they preached the Word.
Lately, however, a new prop has been added to the pulpit arsenal. This new device is the plastic water bottle. We acknowledge that there are times when the speaker has a dry throat and a drink is justified. But, the need to carry a water bottle while preaching may be more of a yuppie symbol and a need for security than for a drink. Why not carry it in a Styrofoam cup?
It is just my opinion, but carrying a water bottle while preaching is a poor habit to adopt and it is poor pulpit manners. It might serve the cause of Christ better to parade across the platform with an open Bible instead of an open bottle. (I am aware that I may not have any bridges left to burn, but should I be invited to preach, just for the record, I prefer Sprite.)
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.
I sometimes wonder why it’s so easy for students to copy mannerisms more than follow God’s message preached to them. (By the way, do preachers you trained also ask for Sprite when invited?)
Darren LaRue says
I had to laugh as I read this entry because I’m thinking back to this past Sunday morning when I, for whatever reason, walked from behind the pulpit with water bottle in hand. This is the first time I’d ever done it, and it felt a little awkward. I’m not sure anyone even noticed, but I don’t think it’s a habit I want to adopt. Bad habits are easy to pick up in the pulpit, and they are often a distraction to people. I always want to be sensitive to that. Thanks for the reminder.
Ken Blue says
Ron Coale says
I really loved your “sprite” comment at the end of this article Dr. Blue. It made me laugh.