This is part of a blog series that has 30 practical tips for the pastor looking to start or restart well. You can get the entire series as a Kindle book. The landing page will be updated with each new post.
Next time you watch someone getting interviewed on TV pay attention to his or her laugh. If you really key pay attention and you will notice that everybody has to two kinds of laughs, a real one and a forced one.
It is a subtle thing that will start becoming really obvious once you key into it, you have to look for it though because most adults are used to it. Kids and teenagers haven’t become calloused to it. As I have worked with students I have had to learn the hard way that their radar for BS is stronger and more accurate than I give them credit for.
The temptation in a new community is to try to be the type of person you think people there would like. Eventually though this act runs out of steam and people see who you really are, so don’t let them be surprised. Don’t use a “sermon voice” and do everything you can to avoid putting on the front of having it all together for Sunday morning.
You’ve already got the job so quit trying to impress people and be yourself.
The earlier you start doing this the better off you will be. Even if you are able to fool people the best-case scenario is exhaustion. Do yourself and your community a favor and be yourself.