Let me begin by apologizing for a few things.
1. This is my first post since Joel asked me to join in November. Got kind of busy, but you’ll hear from me a little more consistently from now on.
2. As I had written most of the post back in November, some of the facts are outdated. So as not to bear false witness against my neighbor, please take the “recent” in the first sentence to mean “3 or 4 months ago.”
3. I apologize for the length of this post…got a little carried away. Future posts will not be so long.
The best way explain this apostolic “quirk” is to share the recent experience of mine that ultimately led to the formation of this blog.
I was in a fairly large prayer meeting recently, when suddenly, amidst the resonating cries of worship and praise being released into the heavens from the people of Zion, I heard a very strong, loud voice in my ear. Unfortunately, I had not just experienced the audible voice of God. No… this voice was more like that of a preacher. However, it was not a preacher, although by the sound of it, the young man was certainly aspiring to be one. Needless to say I was slightly distracted, and the young man did not let up until the end of that truly “apostolic” prayer meeting. Thus the meeting ended, and I was left to question the same question so oft I had questioned in time past. Why? Yes, I was very familiar with this voice… as are many of you. This is “The Preacher Voice.”
The Preacher Voice is difficult to describe in writing. For it is not defined so much by its volume or tone, but a combination of volume, tone, diction, and something else that I can’t quite put my finger on… it’s something you must experience…. it’s… really weird.
Anyway, for the remainder of this post, we shall discuss the history, present uses, and future existence of The Preacher Voice.
Despite its given name, the preacher voice has more uses than simply preaching; as so graciously revealed to us by the young aspiring preacher. Presently I can think of four uses for the preacher voice (forgive me if I miss any, The Preacher Voice can really pop out of nowhere):
There are few things that true Apostolics like more than a good ol’ fashioned, fiery, anointed, apostolic sermon! Just take a look at the roster of preachers lined up to preach at any major Apostolic meeting/service/gathering/conference/convention/congress/rally. It’s understandable though…I mean, if I’m going spend hundreds of dollars on gas, food, hotels, and most importantly new outfits, to travel halfway across the country, to hear a man preach a sermon that I’ve likely heard at least 13 times before…he better jump, flip, shout, and scream, until he has no voice left. Anything to make me feel like I’m at a club or some sporting event since I’m not allowed to go those…and no… I don’t really care what he preaches about…just get me excited!
*Preacher’s Tip: If your sermon isn’t going so well, turn on the preacher voice…works like a charm!
Certainly, we are all familiar with the aforementioned scenario… I have been guilty of this way of thinking myself. But, bringing it home, let us examine the preacher voice in a different setting:
It’s testimony service. God bless testimony service, for without it we would have no way of knowing other people’s business so we could talk about it later… except of course through using prayer requests as a way to gossip. Anyway, it’s testimony service and precious Brother Albert, stands up to testify in church. He begins his story, and all is going well… until… “The enemy tried to bring me down, but I said… GREATER IS HE-AH… THAN IS IN ME-AH…. THAN HE-AH—THAT IS IN THE WORLDAH!...” *followed by some obscure stream of consciousness complete with screaming, spitting, bulging temple veins, and red face* …. and the crowd goes wild!
Yes, the preacher voice has evolved into much more than the sound coming from the man behind the pulpit. It has become a tool and a weapon that, if mastered, can puncture the very fabric of the universe and penetrate the spiritual world; causing demons to flee, and dispatching angels. It can move the hearts and souls of humanity; igniting a revival such as the world has never seen. Therefore I submit to you, if only 1 of the 4 uses of the preacher voice is preaching…. Can we still call it a “Preacher Voice?” Should we consider another name for this instrument? Perhaps “Power Voice” would work, as it is strong and fortified. Or maybe “Holy Voice” as this voice is generally set apart, used only for the things of God…..These are things we must consider.
Evolution is inevitable. If the Apostolic Church is to survive in this world world, we must be the strongest and the fittest. The Preacher Voice is in our future, but what does it look like? Imagine with me a world where the preacher voice has evolved into the greatest tool the Apostolic Church has discovered, and that at just the sound of the voice people would fall to their knees and surrender their hearts. Should we keep the preacher voice to ourselves? I wonder what would happen if we began to use the preacher voice for “normal” tasks like reading, or ordering food. The telemarketer on the phone wouldn’t know what hit her!...and the words being spoken need not be relevant, as long as we incorporated the Preacher Voice. What a bright future!
Ok, lets get to the point here. I am haunted by a certain question to which I cannot seem to find the answer. Sometimes I lay awake at night pondering this incredible mystery and fall asleep with no answer still. I have asked around, and no one seems to be able to give me a decent response. I have spent much time questioning, pondering, and theorizing; all to answer one seemingly simple question. WHERE DID THE PREACHER VOICE COME FROM? Someone please tell me! Why is it that the minute we begin to address God or stand behind a pulpit, our tone of voice suddenly changes, and we become extremely, often obnoxiously, loud? Is God hard of hearing? I wish someone would have told me... maybe sometimes He doesn't answer our prayers simply because He can't hear them.... this secret could save many people a lot of strife. “The louder you pray, the better He hears folks! SO PUMP UP THE VOLUME!” But for real.... I just want to know the name of the man who decided that we couldn’t just communicate naturally or engage an audience by simply speaking and being ourselves. Or that God does not respond to our normal voice.
My Theory: I learned a little trick over some years of honest questioning. When you can’t seem to find an answer for why things are the way they are in this organization, the fallback answer is “tradition.” So applying it to this scenario I would say that before microphones and P.A. systems existed, people had to speak very loudly in order to be heard. Like many other things, it just became a part of who we are… no questions asked. I’m sticking with this until I find a real answer…just for some peace of mind.
*Please Note: I am not talking about passion. The preacher voice does not equal passion. That is a silly misconception. After a preacher has screamed his entire sermon we’ve all heard people say "He's so passionate." No. No. No. No. It is not passion... it's screaming. Of course, when a person is passionate there will be vocal inflections and at times an increase or decrease in volume. Perhaps the speaker may even scream or shout! But it is always based on the content … not just for the sake of it. And…While we’re on the topic, another thing the preacher voice does not equal is anointing! Perhaps we will discuss the idea of anointing in the future… but I’ll just leave it at that for now.
I realize that the preacher voice extends beyond the organizational walls of the UPC and other organizations of Apostolic Pentecostal faith...... but the question still stands.
WHERE DID IT COME FROM?...WHO IS THE MAN?.... WHAT IS HIS NAME?