The Only Sermon I Remember From Church

I went to church pretty much every Sunday as a kid…

And if I’m being honest, I hardly remember any of it.

In fact, in the 15+ years that my family went to church regularly…

There’s only one sermon I remember at all…

And I’m pretty sure that the reason why I remember this sermon…

Is because it contained a massive pattern interrupt.

Here’s the background…

The sermon started off just like any other…

Meaning I was already settled into a pew with my dad, thinking about the football games I was missing and how you don’t have much say in things when you’re eleven years old….

When all of the sudden the doors to the church burst open…

And two men entered talking loudly.

One man was in a “Sunday Best” type of suit (let’s call him “SB”),

And the other man was wearing blue jeans, a flannel shirt, and a camo hunting jacket.

When the reverend asked what was going on…

“SB” introduced the more casually dressed guy as “Bob”…

And said that he’d run into Bob that morning at Home Depot…

Where they’d struck up a conversation about tools, hardware, and all that good stuff.

Eventually “SB” asked Bob if he would be heading to church soon…

And when Bob answered that he didn’t go to church…

“SB” convinced him to tag along with him to our church…

To see what this Sunday worship thing was all about.

So, now that we (the congregation) knew the setup…

The reverend invited Bob up to the front to ask questions about church.

From that point on, Bob asked a bunch…

Ranging from the technical (“do I have to dress up in a suit?”)…

To the existential (“Will I go to Heaven if I don’t go to church?”… “Did Jesus really die for my sins?”)…

And, not only did the reverend answer some of those questions…

But he also invited other members of the congregation to contribute with their answers too.

Now, if this all sounds a little bit “hokey” to you, I get it…

Because for most of my adult life…

When I’ve thought back to this day, I always kind of rolled my eyes.

But then just the other day it hit me…

This really is the ONLY Sermon I remember from that church (Saint Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church)…

And that’s out of hundreds of sermons.

Heck, I don’t even remember the name of the reverend’s from that church…

Yet I remember the name of the man from that skit (“Bob!”).

Pretty nuts, right?

And, like I said at the beginning of this email…

I’m pretty sure the only reason why I remember this sermon, and none of the others…

Is because of the massive pattern interrupt.

In all of the Sundays I went to St. Bart’s…

That was the only time they ever did a skit…

So not only did it captivate my attention as it was happening…

But because I was actually engaged and paying attention…

The day was seared into my brain…

And stays with me in vivid detail today, 23 years later.

So for all of the marketers, speakers, authors, and copywriters who are reading this…

I’d challenge you to think of ways you can incorporate more pattern interrupts into your communications as well.

When done right they are so wildly effective…

And they are one of the best ways to drive engagement and really get your message across.

K, that’s all for now…

Hope everyone has a great day!

-SPG

P.S. This post originally came from an email I sent to my private list. If you want to see more stuff like this from me, you can apply to join my list using this link.

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