25 Weird Things Said to Pastors

Every Thursday I’ll send a note to your inbox with a devotional thought designed to help connect you with God, information about what’s going on at The Church at Clayton Crossings, and some fun facts to help us get to know one another.

 What I’m thinking
NOTE: Every now and then I’ll come across an article I wish I had written. Thom Rainer is the author of the following post. He is President of LifeWay Christian Resources (the resources division of the Southern Baptist Convention), served as a pastor in various churches, and was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

 This article struck me as funny – there’s no passive-aggressive agenda here, nor have I heard anything listed below in our hallowed halls. I’m honored to serve alongside the faithful men and women at The Church at Clayton Crossings. Unfortunately, I had a telephone conversation yesterday with a now-former pastor of a church in Tampa, Florida – he’s heard variations of these things presented as genuine criticisms in his last pastorate. Without further adieu, I will allow Dr. Rainer to regale you with his wit. Enjoy!

Few people are truly aware of the constant requests, complaints and criticisms pastors and other church leaders receive. I must admit, however, I was surprised when I asked church leaders on Twitter to share some of the more unusual comments they have received. I was first surprised at how many responded. But I was most surprised at the really strange things people tell pastors and other church leaders.

Many of the comments related to using the Bible too much or to being too evangelistic. I should make those a blog post by themselves.

I narrowed my selection to 25, but it could have been much higher. I left off many great comments to keep this post manageable. I’ve only made minor wording changes to some of these. For the most part, I received these quotes just as you are seeing them. The parenthetical words after each comment represent my off-the-cuff commentary.

1. “We need a small group for cat lovers.” (I guess they could serve Meow Mix as a snack.)

2. “You need to change your voice.” (Yes ma’am. I’ll try to have that done by next week.)

3. “Our expensive coffee is attracting too many hipsters.” (Yep. You don’t want too many of those hipsters in your church.)

4. “Preachers who don’t wear suits and ties aren’t saved. It’s in the Bible.”
 (I should have known that’s what Jesus and Paul wore.)

5. “Your socks are distracting.” (I understand. I’ll stop wearing socks.)

6. “You shouldn’t make people leave the youth group after they graduate.” (It’s going to get really weird by the time they turn 70 years old.)

7. “I don’t like the color of the towels in the women’s restroom.” (I don’t understand. They match the towels in the men’s restroom.)

8. “We need to start attracting more normal people at church.” (So, you will be leaving the church, I presume.)

9. “I developed cancer because you don’t preach from the KJV.” (Major medical announcement! New carcinogen discovered!)

10. “Your wife never compliments me about my hair or dress.” (There could be a reason for that.)

11. “Not enough people signed up for the church golf tournament. You have poor leadership skills.” (I’m so sorry. I expected more since most of the deacons play golf on Sunday morning)

12. “I think you are trying to preach caffeineism.” (Probably Reformed theology with an extra kick.)

13. “If Jesus sang from the red hymnals, why can’t we?” (I think you are mistaken. He sang from blue hymnals.)

14. (To a pastor who married interracially). “You are living in sin. You shouldn’t be married to each other.” (That one is not worthy of commentary.)

15. “I don’t like the brand of donuts in the foyer.” (It’s better than Meow Mix.)

16. “You didn’t wrap the hot dogs in bacon for the church picnic.” (I understand that one. Bacon rules.)

17. “You shouldn’t drink water when you preach.” (At least not simultaneously.)

18. “The toilet paper is on the wrong way in the ladies restroom. It’s rolled under.” (My guess is that it is still functional.)

19. “Why don’t you ever preach on Tim Tebow?” (Be patient. I will be preaching a six-week expository series on him in the fall.)

20. “You don’t have ashtrays in the fellowship hall.” (Yes we do. They are right next to the spittoons for your chewing tobacco.)

21. “Did you see me waving in the back of the worship center? You preached too long. It was time to eat!” (Who needs a clock when I have you?)

22. “The eggs were not scrambled enough at the senior adult breakfast.” (We thought you could jump up and down after you ate them to finish the job.)

23. “You don’t look at our side of the worship center enough when you preach.” (That’s because you are on that side.)

24. “We are leaving the church because you have a red cross on the building. That’s the color of the devil.” (I understand. It’s in the same verse that describes his pitchfork and horns.)

25. “Your sermon needed more calories.” (OK. I’ll feed it one of those donuts in the foyer.)

Pastors and other church leaders must have great patience and strength. They are faced with these and many other comments and demands every day. I love these church leaders, and I thank God for them.

Read more from Thom Rainer at http://www.thomrainer.com.


What I need to remember:

  • THANK YOU! Many of you stepped up and acted like missionaries last week in preparation for our Easter services. If you attended the 9:00 instead of 10:30, prayed for the people who were considering attending C@CC on Easter, pounded the pavement to distribute invitation flyers, or served with our First Impressions Team for the first time, God blessed your faithful service!  We were able to host more than 750 people on Easter Sunday!

What I’m listening to

  • The band is working on an arrangement of “Give Me Faith” by Elevation Worship for Sunday. I’m totally ok with listening to that song on an endless loop. Give it a listen and allow God to speak to you through this powerful song!

About me:
John Sanders is the non-stuffy pastor at The Church at Clayton Crossings. His primary mission is to help people find and follow Jesus. Additionally, he longs to write like the child of Aaron Sorkin and Dave Barry, preach like W.A. Criswell, look like Bradley Cooper, and eat like he’s seventeen years old. A more complete (and less snarky) bio can be found here.

Let’s be friends:

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