Insights through Illusion for Daily Living

Posts tagged “passion

How to Deal with “The Heckler” Part 1

Losing Control

It’s something we’ve all faced. When I was in student ministry, it was the most annoying thing that could happen every Wednesday night. Now as an illusionist, it can be an even bigger problem. Let’s examine types of hecklers for me as an illusionist and for you as a student minister.


In illusions-

–It’s the guy who yells out how he thinks a trick works, no matter how ridiculous he sounds. It’s the person who gets on stage and tries to hijack everything that’s going on just so he/she gets the attention.

In student ministry-

–It’s the attention seeker–the heckler–the kid who constantly yells out things to be distracting. It’s the person who during a game or illustration, completely derails your hard worked plans into a chance to make themselves a star.

The problem is, that in both of these situations, the general reaction of other audience members is split right down the middle. The rest of your audience can either laugh, joining them to the heckler, or in a better case, they can roll their eyes and ignore the said heckler. The downside of either reaction is that you have lost control. As a leader, speaker, and minister, you never want to lose control of your audience. What are some preemptive steps you can take to retain control?


Over the next few days I’m going to break down a few techniques that you can implement to cut down on distractions. Let’s face it, when you are on stage, or in front of your students, you have something to say. You have put the time in planning, retooling, and working your message until you are happy with it. You have prayed over it, and have been obedient in letting it be God’s words, and not your own. The worst thing that can happen is that you lose control, and someone who needs to hear what you have to say gets distracted and misses God.

Take control from start to finish.

A. This seems self explanatory, but it’s something that is sometimes sorely missed. The stage or the platform, or whatever you stand on when you are there in front of your students, is your house. This is not an ego thing, so don’t confuse what I’m saying, but this is about the students or audience view of you. If you command their respect, they will give it.

B. Like I said it’s your house, and they are guests in your house. If you bring someone up on stage with you, then you are the one in control, and you need to show that. The second you lose control, you will severely struggle the rest of the night to get it back.

C. If you ask a question, lay down parameters that you don’t want people shouting out answers. This seems so simple, but it’s something that we miss. When you lay a precedent out that it’s okay to just yell out in the middle of what you are doing, you set a bad precedent. Students will continue to walk all over the freedom that you have given them because they don’t realize that it’s not the time for it. You and I know it’s not the time for it, but remember what it’s like to be that student. You desperately want people to like you and laugh at your jokes. That becomes the priority. We have to curb this natural instinct in their heads by laying clear guidelines and expectations.

Trust is the glue on my stage

In my show, if I get someone on my stage, they don’t do anything without my instruction. Not because I’m some magnetic hypnotist, but because I set a very clear precedent in how I talk to them, from the moment I walk on stage, to the moment they walk on and off of my stage. The one single reason that this precedent works, is because they trust me. They know I won’t embarrass them. The key thing is trust, and the reason they give that trust so quickly, (literally within five minutes of me walking onstage, I have an audience member doing something that is vitally important for the rest of the show) is because I let them know consciously and subconsciously that it’s my stage. Then I trust them. They trust me.

Tomorrow we will move one step further in this. Use this tonight with your students and see if you notice a difference.

Do you ever lose control in your service?

What ways do you struggle for attention?

How can you fix those issues?

What does it cost to be passionate?

Passionate…Passion….I’m passionate about…..They have a passion for……

Aside from love, the most overused and thrown around word today is passion.

People do in fact have passions. People are passionate about things. The problem is that we throw the word around so often that it’s watered down beyond making someone else care. I mean after all, what’s the point of being passionate about something if you intend to keep it to yourself. That seems slightly self-defeating.

Personally I have a passion for the art of illusion. I love the awe it inspires and the childlike wonder that passes over people’s faces when they see an illusion. They know deep down that it’s not real, but for that fleeting moment they suspend disbelief, and really, truly, enjoy the moment. That look sometimes crosses a spectator’s eye for only a split second, but it’s there. It’s what keeps me going. Creating a moment that people will never forget as long as they live, is why I became an illusionist.

Which is why I use illusions in my main passion, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Millions share this passion, but others see this as antiquated and useless.

Here’s the truth about this notion.

· The Gospel of Jesus is not a fairy tale

· The Gospel is not a legend

· The Gospel is historical

· The Gospel Changes Lives

· The world is dying

· The cure is the Gospel

· We have the cure

The problem with our culture and why there is so much opposition to the message of Jesus, is that we live like we don’t believe the points above. We are passionate about our church fellowships….our socials…..our renovations….all of which are great things, but we lack a passion for sharing.

We have given up on living out a lifestyle that speaks louder than our words.

Our words say.

· Jesus loves you

· I’m praying for you

· God bless you

· Call me if you need me

Our actions on the other hand disagree. Our actions tell people, “You need to clean up before I can share with you” or “He should just get a job instead of begging” or “What’s the point? They won’t listen to me if I tell them about Jesus.” We have lied to ourselves and told ourselves that these are acceptable thought processes for someone who has been given the Great Commission.

When you are passionate about something you take risks. You don’t mind going to the extremes to pursue your passion. You may get hurt along the way. You may be laughed at, but you know in your heart you are pursuing what you have to pursue. Passion is a driving force that can’t be stopped.

Now apply that to the Gospel. If we truly believe that Jesus can change people’s lives, would we not tell our friends about Him because we don’t want to insult them? Would we be afraid of being labeled? Would our main worry be that people are laughing at us, or that people are dying without Jesus?

When you are passionate you count the cost, but in the end your passion will always outweigh the consequences if you are truly passionate.

We live in a culture that desperately needs the truth of Jesus.

If we are not going to be passionate about His word and His love and His sacrifice, then who will? The truth is, you will get laughed at. You will get called names. You will upset people, but that is what the Gospel does. It shines light into the darkness and changes things. It shakes things up and makes them new.

If anyone is in Christ they are a new creation. The Gospel makes us new. Makes the dead live. The world needs to hear this message. The world needs people who are passionate. The world needs you and me to be….


What’s it cost to be passionate?

What’s too costly to loose to this passion?

What’s the main thing stopping you, and how can you eliminate that?