Alligators Will Eat Your Lunch

I was with someone recently, discussing a problem that they are working through. I encouraged them to take it seriously and deal with the issue with urgency. As part of that conversation, I told him about a church service that I will never forget.


I was visiting another church to observe its culture and to interview their worship pastor. It just so happened to be Super Bowl Sunday and they were having a Sunday night service. If you’re going to have a service that competes against the Super Bowl, you are going to have to do something unusual and extraordinary. That is exactly what they did.


During the sermon, two men walked out on the platform carrying a two to three foot alligator. They set the alligator down; un-taped his mouth, and let him go. He hissed and lunged back and forth. The pastor continued to speak even though no one was listening. Everyone was watching the small alligator to see what it would do.


After several minutes, the men returned, grabbed the alligator and re-taped his mouth and carried it off the stage. The pastor regained the attention of the crowd while never explaining why he had loosed an alligator on stage. Then, suddenly, six guys walked out on stage with a six to eight foot alligator and set it down. They un-taped the alligator’s mouth and let it go. It immediately lunged towards the congregation. The two front rows quickly cleared as the people ran towards the back of the room. As before, the pastor continued speaking although no one was listening. About five minutes later, the six men came back and recaptured the alligator, re-taped its mouth and carried it off the stage.


Once the pastor regained everyone’s attention, he made this point. Little alligators can wound you, but they can’t kill you. Big alligators can. Deal with your sin and your problems when they are little. They may seem harmless when small, but don’t play with things that can grow and eventually destroy your life. I will never forget that service or that lesson. I hope you won’t either. For more on this subject visit,

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