I had it all planned out.
As part of a recent sermon, I was going to do an “experiment” demonstrating that a) oil and water don’t mix; b) there is a product made up of primarily oil & water — mayonnaise; and c) the reason mayonnaise works is because eggs are the “emulsifier” bringing together the oil and water into a cohesive product.
The larger point would be that the cross of Christ is the “emulsifier” bringing together different races, cultures, and languages into a unified people of God.
I thought “rather than just explain it, I’ll DO it!” (Not produce the actual mayonnaise, mind you, just demonstrate that oil and water don’t mix before introducing the mayonnaise/egg “reveal.”)
So I bought a see through container, a bottle of water, some Crisco Oil, and Hellman’s mayonnaise. That’s heavy duty sermon prep.
At the 8:30 service, the big moment came. I poured the water into the container, followed by the Crisco.
Yet I soon discovered to my dismay that the container — brand new! — had two large leaks in it. I quickly put it back on my “preaching table” and watched with growing dread as the water pooled all over it and, eventually, began to drip off the backside.
I made the point and finished the sermon, but the experiment was, well, lacking.
Fortunately, several staffers came to my rescue and located a new, see through, and leak-proof container so that the science could continue unimpeded at 10 and 11:30.
So it did.
I’m not sure I have any special preaching or ministry wisdom to draw from this event except this: if you are going to do an experiment during the sermon, practice it beforehand.