MY CHAPEL EXPERIENCE

During Tuesday Chapel, we’ve always had a preacher from the US. He is not necessarily the Pastor, hence the word, preacher. I’ll call him Pastor A. For most of us, he was our first contact with preaching to a mixed audience.

Interestingly, he caught our attention and we loved him. He was witty, sequential, very detailed and always, always, always tells a story. And of course, he spoke English so well and simply – his interpreters don’t have issues.

However, two weeks ago, we had another preacher who wasn’t exactly English. In fact, he spoke his indigenous language and needed an English interpreter. Typically, that was one of the most boring chapel service we will ever have.

Of course, that sentiment didn’t tally with the judgement of the indigenous members of the congregation. They must have understood all he said, first hand, but it still had a sour taste to it. He wasn’t anywhere like the other guy.

Last week, we had another native speaker. It was like the final nail in the coffin.

Did I mention messages preached in this chapel are always sequence? Our favourite US preacher led us through church membership with a number of breakdowns. So there came the native preacher who also started a sequence. Last week, the second native speaker continued. Your guess is as good mine; boring.

Today, we had another native preacher with a different message topic – guess they had concluded with that one. I wouldn’t know anyway, I wasn’t following.

But with this new one, we had a twist. An interesting one, actually. He was a native speaker quite alright, but he delivered his sermon in English! Who would have thunk it! Like, he was literally cherry-picking his words and repeating a lot of them.
I thought the last one drove the nail into the coffin. This one buried it 12 ft. under our feet!
So, in all these, there has been two sections of listeners with a couple of mixed reactions in between.

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There is the side of the native speakers, who probably don’t have issues with the language of communication but with the products of communication; understanding and feedback.

There is the side of us who can’t even safe our lives by speaking, not to mention understanding. We just wanna have back our cool US preacher with perky ties, swaggering 2010 suits and Jehovah witness shoes.

So, having followed this series of event for the past few weeks, a realization dawned on me today as we walked down the escalator after chapel; the boys here, we took this change more serious than the girls.

Of course, I saw a couple of ladies bang their thighs with books and roll their eyes with naked faces. However, as guys, and men as the case may be, I saw us and heard us reiterate the inability of these preachers to communicate with an audience full of self-thinking, independent academic community of lecturers and students. It was intriguing.

It is more interesting when these people are the ones we thought are more liberal in their thinking and acceptance of differences. These same ones, both guys and girls, are the ones you probably would see, and think ‘Americans don’t care’, ‘Chinese are so freestyle’, ‘Oh! She’s a Briton? No wonder’.

Yet, here they are forcefully but gracefully decapitating a religious exercise that is not exactly opposed to what they practice.

My conclusion; Men, guys, boys, regardless of their sexual orientations will align, first to an innate disposition of reaction before a societal definition of acceptance. Hence, being responsible could be on a general pedestal of measurement. Yet, the content of their character (container) shapes their outlet form and therefore, who they really are in different circumstances.

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One could successfully argue this in connection to its truism on our female folk counterpart. But I realized, that what a man is is a function of how his container has been shaped.

I hope this helps you, either as male or female, to relate with each other with a more comprehensive understand of who and what you’re dealing with. Whether in business or social or academic relationships, I hope you find something useful next time you need it.