And that’s a fact with my hand up!

Gospel-music legend Wendy Bagwell was known as much for his story-telling as for his musical ability. His story “Here Come the Rattlesnakes” is an example of his home-spun humor that entertained millions. No doubt about it, “Bro.” Wendy could tell a story.

KOREphotos via flickr

His favorite catch-phrase was, “And that’s a fact with my hand up.” That familiar assurance produced a laugh because you knew that Wendy was engaged in comedic storytelling. There existed an unspoken, but mutual understanding between the comedian and his audience that allowed some dramatic (or comedic) license with the details of the story.

Some pastors seem to feel they have the same privilege. They leave behind the realm of dramatic story telling, crossing the ever-so-thin line into embellishment. From there it’s only a short distance to outright fabrication.

Once a pastor, teacher or preacher is discovered to have played fast and loose with the facts, a vital sense of trust is lost. Whether by carelessness, negligence, or outright lying, you never can be sure if what they say actually happened or if you are being played – emotionally manipulated to achieve their purpose. In the end, it’s their otherwise-valid message that suffers.

I use illustrations and dramatic stories in my preaching. However, since my message is rooted in the greatest story ever told, I can ill-afford to lose my credibility as a pastor through negligence with the facts.

And that IS a fact with my hand up.


6 thoughts on “And that’s a fact with my hand up!

  1. It is interesting how many preachers do not teach in the same way that Jesus did. Jesus used stories (most of us don’t like hypothetical stories (i.e. parables) but he seem to use them a lot) to illustrate a point and rarely quoted and expounded on OT scripture. He had a great focus towards the least of these in his teaching. We preachers would do well to emulate him more than we do the teachers we see on TV and hear on the radio.

  2. I love to listen to Wendy Bagwell storys,

    wore my tapes out listening to them.

    do ya know that we went to a church like the one in his story, we didn’t stay long ,and didn’t go back! πŸ˜•

  3. I know I have , but it has been so long since I have hear it . I forgot.

    I like the one about the Bus and the floursack nighgown πŸ™‚

    am just going to have to see if can find another copy of them.

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