The question of using too much humor in victory group meetings has been coming up a lot lately in our coaching sessions. “We are not clowns!” I insisted. But truth be told, I’m probably saying that because I am not the type of person who can crack a joke spontaneously, at least not in colloquial Tagalog. If I was a natural born jokester, I’d probably dislike my own advise.
My problem lies in the fact that whereas I could very well appreciate the place and value of humor in discipleship meetings (namely, to keep us awake), I am also well aware of our natural tendency to amuse ourselves to death if we are left to our own devices. Perhaps we have all seen discipleship groups that are dying precisely because the leaders had the mistaken notion that discipleship is all about fun and laughter. The Word of God and prayer were relegated to the backseat. I believe that somewhere, a line must be drawn. But where?
Today, Pastor Ferdie Cabiling of Victory Ortigas did a whole day lecture on preaching in our school. Naturally, humor was the first question I asked. I believe his counsel hits the heart of the matter: humor must only be used to illustrate a point and advance the flow of idea. Humor for the sake of amusement only distracts.
Leaders, when we exert more effort at amusing each other than doing the ministry of the word and prayer, we are wasting precious time that we will never get back. We may never have that same opportunity to reach a person with the gospel. May this sober us up of our mandate. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “do not squander time for that is the stuff that life is made of.”