So I gave a talk today, which isn’t all that unusual. But it was Senior Sunday, the Sunday all the wards in Columbus ship their high school seniors to the singles ward to show them that it’s not the hell they might have imagined. It’s not a bad idea. Also not a bad idea is that our bishop has the head of each auxiliary speak, and the topic is always the benefits of being active. So it’s an odd talk where you’re recruiting the seniors, trying not to speak ONLY to the seniors, talking about yourself and talking about your auxiliary of choice, all in 3-5 minutes because there are 7 of you speaking, plus the bishop.
Add an extra challenge in that this is my 3rd year in a row giving this talk. First I was Activities Chair, then Sunday School President, and I still retain that calling this year. So I want to do all those things listed above, plus not give the same talk I’ve given twice before.
Additionally, I have my own spin on the Sunday. I always try to have my talks be enjoyable, that goes without saying. So my opening jokes tend to go a bit long and my pop culture references are sprinkled pretty regularly and I try to pick only my best anecdotes. But I feel the entertainment versus education balance of this particular talk should be even more skewed. The seniors don’t go inactive because they don’t think the ward is spiritual enough, they go inactive because they don’t want to go. And the only way I can make them want to stay, in 5 minutes, is be funny. So my talk is usually pretty fluffy. And evidently, this is what people expect from me, because the following were comments before my talk:
“Ah Chris, we get another performance this year.”
(Another speaker) “Chris is from the Sunday School, but he’ll be telling jokes”
“I hate having to speak after Chris. But here’s my testimony.”
Those aren’t necessarily positive comments, but I think they were largely meant to be. But the comments afterwards were even stranger.
“Chris, that was a very Chris Sorensen talk.”
“Did you write that down? Can I have a copy?” (Which was weird, because who wants a copy of a 5 minute talk about Sunday School/being active/Rocky Run middle school?)
“Can I be Chris Sorensen once you’re gone?”
Anyway, all in all I was happy with it. Although I think moving will do me good, it’s going to be annoying to no longer have a reputation. It’s not that my rep is exactly sterling, but people know what to expect, whether for good or ill. And now, for a time at least, I’ll have to return to being unknown.