Aside from having everyone stare at me while I talk for about twenty-four minutes every Sunday morning, being the substitute pastor of my church has otherwise had little effect on me that I can tell. Oh, sure, I spend twenty or so hours a week getting ready to talk for those twenty-four minutes (actually it’s between 23 and 26 minutes; my wife videotapes the sermon and so she knows). And some of that time is spent in extra prayer and reading that I otherwise might not have done. But otherwise, nothing has changed. No one calls me on the telephone any more frequently than they did before; no one asks me more questions about the Bible than what they did before.
All in all, it has not been an unpleasant experience, though admittedly the idea that I would regularly stand in front of a bunch of people and talk at them is really odd given my introverted status and given how reluctant I was growing up to give speeches. My speech classes in high school and college were not my favorites by a long shot.
I’ve read that most people fear public speaking more than they fear death. So does that mean if I come down with a terminal illness I’ll be okay with it now, since I’ve grown pretty comfortable speaking in front of people week after week? I suspect what I've read is probably not really true.