Sunday, August 2, 2009

No Laughing Matter!

One of characteristics of Alpha (A-Anyone; L-Learning & Laughter; P-Pasta; H: Helping one another & A:Ask any question) is learning and laughter. Yes, laughter is a serious part of Alpha and is definitely no laughing matter! I still find many people who think laughing (especially in church) is unspiritual. To be spiritual is to adopt the "John Wesley" look (on the right!).

When I was first exposed to the charismatic movement, a group of us young people (we were in the twenties) attended a Spiritual Renewal Seminar. The speaker came to me and said, "You must be a Methodist! You have a John Wesley look!" I was flattered... until he demonstrated to me what John Wesley looked like (he pulled a long face at me!).

Well, I must confess that in those days, I thought being spiritual means looking solemn like John Wesley everyday. I've since changed my philosophy of ministry. Recently, at one church I was preaching, an elderly sister came to give me her love-offering and added a compliment on the envelop in Chinese to the effect that I am a smiling preacher! That is a long way from the John Wesley look!

I will write more about the need for humour in Alpha. But it's time to pack up and get ready to visit my parents for dinner.

God bless.

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