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Smile, You’re on the Platform!

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“… happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.”  (Psalm 144:15)Allen Funt, creator and original host of the landmark television series Candid Camera, perfected an art that has entertained people for over 60 years. From a humble start on radio in 1947, he used hidden microphones and cameras to catch unsuspecting people worldwide—all in the spirit of fun.  The show’s famous tag line—”Smile! You’re on Candid Camera!”—is universally known. 

Somebody is always watching you, so why not smile. All too often, we’ve all been in church services where the people who were on the platform, hardly ever smiled.  In some of these instances,  I personally knew these people and knew that they had a great sense of humor and personality, but watching them from the audience I realized that they hardly ever smiled while on the platform.  I know that there are times of deep worship when there is crying and weeping before the Lord.  I’m not talking about these instances.  What I am referring to are all of the other times while on the platform.  Most of the time our musicians and singers are on the platform for most, if not all, of the service.  Pastors and other spiritual leaders usually sit on the platform for all of the service also.  Spending all of this time in front of the congregation becomes second nature to us and we develop the bad habit of not smiling. Sometimes while leading worship service, preaching or even singing, we scrunch up our face and it looks like we are mad at something or that we are in a bad mood.  All the while, we may be in the best mood ever but it comes across to the audience in a different way.               

 A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks.  ~Charles Gordy

“If you’re happy and you know it then your face will surely show it.”  In fact, all of the leadership of the church represents who the church is to the congregation and also to the guests.  If you are the greeter who stands at the front of the church and welcomes everyone into the sanctuary, you definitely should be smiling.  You are the first face that members and guests see and it should be a happy, welcoming face.  If you are a Sunday School teacher, make a conscious effort to smile, whether you are teaching that Sunday or not.  If you are a musician in the church who is normally on the platform but maybe you have the service off and are sitting in the congregation, make sure you are still smiling.  You would be surprised who is watching you to see who you are whenever you aren’t in front of everyone. 

Remember, no matter where you are in the service, whether it be on the platform, in the front of the church, teaching Sunday School in a classroom or sitting in the pews in the sanctuary, you are still part of the leadership team of the church and people are watching you and looking to you for leadership.  If the leadership team is happy and reflecting that happiness, it will filter out into the rest of the congregation.

It’s something that is so easy to do and really takes little effort.  But, it can change how people think of you and also is very contagious.  When you smile it makes others want to smile.  If anyone should be happy and have a reason to smile, it’s those of us who know the Lord and serve Him! 

Psalm 146:5

 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

When guests visit our churches and they hardly ever see us smile, it could quite possibly be their last trip to our church.  The world sees pain and heartache everywhere they look.  When they finally make it to our church they should see something different than what they are used to seeing.                 

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles.  It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.  ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

We should strive to have the friendliest church around.  When people come to our church they should know that they will be welcomed and be treated kindly.  And when they look on the platform, they will see a happy team of leaders!                 

 Psalm 32:11
              Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

If we used Allen Funt’s idea in our churches and hid cameras in certain spots, what would we see?  What expressions would be on our faces?  Do we seem happy?   How would we act if we knew those cameras were in place?  Well, in essence, they are.  They are the eyes of the congregation.  Smile!  You’ve been set free!  You’ve been healed!  You’ve been delivered!  You’ve been saved!  People are looking up to you.  Smile! You’re on the platform!               

Psalm 126:3
           The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

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