I enjoy the movie Sister Act, even with some of its cheesy parts and a few cringe-worthy spots. 

But today I want to share with you some lessons from a fake nun that we can all learn from. Specifically, I’m going to highlight one scene, and we’ll go from there.

Join me, if you will, in the stained-glass-window laden choir room, where rehearsals are taking place. Sister Mary Clarence (aka “SMC” or “our fake nun that we’ll be learning from today”) has just entered, and to her horror, everyone is off key, pitchy, and totally not cohesive when they sing.

She’s met with exuberance by some and apprehension from others, and she doesn’t even really want to be there. This is where we take off.

She’s quickly tasked with whipping this choir into shape, and we get to watch her go from apathetic and annoyed to confident and in her zone.

She moves people around so they’re singing with like voices (for better blending and harmony), and she helps create an equilibrium so there’s not an overpowering voice taking over the whole choir (thank you, Sister Mary Patrick) or a mousy voice (Sister Mary Robert) disappearing into the noise.

LESSON 1: There’s always a way for you to contribute, even if you walk in feeling apathetic and annoyed.

From here, she guides Sister Mary Robert (SMR) through a simple visual exercise, to help her get out of her own way and try something different.

LESSON 2: There’s always a new approach to things, and sometimes it takes us listening to someone who’s done it before to show us a new way.

Our fake nun then goes on to give a little nudge and encouragement to SMR, who suddenly unleashes a powerhouse voice that’s been hidden behind a mousy persona. She realizes what’s been inside of her this whole time and comes alive with fresh possibility.

LESSON 3: When you see something in someone, don’t just point it out, help them get there. Give the little nudge and encouragement and guide them through to their fresh possibility.

And as our final lesson for today, our fake nun reminds the ladies what the purpose is behind what they’re doing. “You have to put attitude into what you sing. You have to think about what you’re singing. It’s not just quacking. This is rejoicing. You are singing to the Lord.” – SMC (Sister Act, 1992)

LESSON 4: There are many ways we can praise the Lord, and while it isn’t always singing, we can always bring reverence to it. We can do it with the heart of rejoicing vs. quacking.

Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of “Lessons from a fake nun.” Until next time, class is dismissed.

P.S. Please enjoy the cross in the picture. Unintentional, but fitting.