I’m going to have a little fun with today’s post. Earlier today, I received a message from a preacher who was recounting some of the things people have said to him through the years. Many of them were funny and all too familiar. So I thought I’d share a few of my own. These are all things that were said to me in all seriousness. These are also things they never told me about in school! 🙂
- While physically carrying a 91 year-old invalid lady out of the baptistery after baptizing her, she looked at me and asked very loudly, “Does this mean I can’t chew tobacco any more?” (I told her she could chew, just not spit. Not really).
- Too many times than I would like to count, I have had people lying in a hospital bed just following surgery say, “Take a look at this!” (I’m going to blame it on the anesthesia).
- I was taking a man to the hospital one evening when he said, “The Holy Spirit told me to start putting meat in the refrigerator rather than leaving it out on the counter. Do you think that’s a good idea?” (I told him it’s always good to do what the Holy Spirit says).
- I received a call from one of our ladies from church and she said, “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing. I’m onto you. I’ve broken the code you use while you’re preaching. So you had better stop telling men to break into my house and having their way with me, or I’m going to the police.” (Out of concern for her mental health, I called her family and they accused me of making the whole thing up).
- I received a call late one night from a member who said he wasn’t doing so well and wanted to know if I’d come over to his house and visit with him. I asked what was the matter with him and he told me he had stabbed himself in the chest with a butcher knife. (Sure enough, he had).
- I once commented on a rather unique necklace a Christian woman was wearing, so she began to tell me why she was wearing it. It seems that it was keeping her alive, for whenever she would take it off, the spirit of her deceased daughter-in-law would begin strangling her. But as long as she was wearing it, she was safe. (I resisted the temptation to say, “Prove it”).
- One evening, after dark, I was visiting a very faithful Christian couple, when they asked me if I believed in werewolves. I said, “No,” thinking it was a joke, but they proceeded to inform me that an extended family member had physically changed from a person to a wolf while sitting at their kitchen table. Both of them assured me that they saw the transformation with their own eyes. (While I’m not afraid of werewolves, I was never more relieved to get to the safety of my car).
- A man once told me that after much study, he had determined that we were observing the Lord’s Supper incorrectly. I asked, “How so?” He said that we were using the wrong elements. Instead of using grapes, we should be using watermelons. (But Welch’s doesn’t sell that!)
- I was in the middle of teaching Bible class one Sunday morning when a man boldly affirmed that it was a sin for an elder to be a coal miner. I was totally clueless. I finally understood his rationale. The KJV said that an elder must not be a “striker,” and coal miners go on strike all the time. (Do you suppose Jesus ever wanted to chuckle when studying the Scriptures with people?)
- A man once came into my office trying to explain why he hadn’t been attending church faithfully. His reason was that he was out late on Saturday nights at a Strip Club in a city a couple of hours away and was too sleepy on Sunday morning to attend church. But he assured me by letting me know that he had gotten really close to one of the dancers and that he was close to getting her to come to church with him. (Just when you thought you had heard everything…).
While I had others I was going to share, these are just the ones my wife, Kim (she’s my better judgment) approved for public consumption. There’s far more to preaching than just the solemnity of a Sunday worship service. People are funny, quirky, baffling, and even scary at times, but they are all loved by God. I don’t believe there is a university or school of preaching that can adequately prepare you for the work. The best preparation is to “jump in!”
Am I ever discouraged by people to the point that I don’t want to preach anymore? Discouraged? Sometimes. To the point where I no longer want to do what I do? Never! I tell the students in the school of preaching that when people try to ridicule your profession by saying it’s an “easy” job. Agree with them. Don’t attempt to defend yourself. Acknowledge that preacher’s have one of the easiest jobs in the world. And the reason is because a preacher’s job is to go around “bragging on Jesus,” and how hard can that be?
I love my job. I love getting to “brag on Jesus.” I love being a preacher. In my judgment, it doesn’t get any better!