During a flight between New York and Chicago the captain announced, “Our number four engine has just been shut off because of mechanical trouble. There is nothing to worry about, however. We can still finish the flight with just three engines. Besides, you will be reassured to know that we have four pastors on board.”
One passenger called the flight attendant and said, “Would you please tell the captain that I would rather have four engines and three pastors on board.”
Most pastors I know enjoy a good laugh, even if it’s at their own expense. They better know how to laugh at themselves because most of us at one time or another are the objects of good natured ribbing. Or sometimes it’s not necessarily good-natured.
One guest preacher was standing at the back door with the host pastor greeting the worshippers as they exited the sanctuary. One woman grabbed his hand, looked him in the eye and said, “that was a sorry sermon.”
The pastor was somewhat shaken by that comment, but kept smiling and greeting people. He noticed that she came through a second time, shook his hand and this time said, “a sorry sermon and an even poorer delivery.” And she walked on.
Several moments later, she came back through a third time, grabbed the guest’s hand and said, “a sorry sermon and you didn’t preach it well, and I hope you never come back.”
Finally, the guest turned to his host and asked, “What in the world is up with this woman?”
The host pastor said, “Don’t pay attention to her. She’s not very bright. She just goes around repeating what she hears everybody else saying.”
Sometimes it’s hard to find an affirming word. A minister found a 50-cent item at the dollar store but discovered he’d left his wallet at home. “I could invite you to hear me preach in return,” he said jokingly to the clerk, “but I’m afraid I don’t have 50-cent sermons.”
“Perhaps,” said the clerk, “I could come twice.”
Even the kids sometimes get in on the act. One Sunday, a lady happened to sit in front of the pastor’s wife and two kids. When the pastor stepped into the pulpit, the seven-year-old leaned over to his mother and asked to go down to the nursery.
The mother replied, “You’re must too old to be in the nursery.”
“But Mom,” came the protest, “I heard Dad practice it last night and it’s a long one.”
In a children’s Sunday School class, the teacher was sharing a lesson on worship manners. She asked, “Why is it necessary to be quiet in church?”
One child replied, “Because people are sleeping!”
While some were sleeping, small children were fidgety. One mother came through the line one Sunday and told the pastor how she kept her active six-year-old still and quiet. About halfway through the sermon, she leaned over and whispered, “If you don’t be quiet, the pastor is going to lose his place and will have to start his sermon over again!” It worked!
We pastors have to laugh at such honesty. This kind of stuff comes with the territory. Just in case we forget who we are, retired preacher Jim Griffith shares how you can know you might be a preacher. You might be a preacher if . . .
• You’ve spoken for free and your audience was sure you were worth every penny of it.
• You claim to be leading the church into the 21st century, but you don’t know what you’re preaching on next Sunday.
• You’ve dreamed that you’re preaching, only to wake up and discover that you were.
• You thank the Lord every day for caller ID.
• You get your second wind when you say, “And in conclusion . . .”
• You know your greatest joys in life have been in church with church people, and you’re thankful for every one.[Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia. The church family meets at 352 McDonough Road and invites you to join them this Sunday at 9:45 a.m. for Bible study and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org and “like” them on Facebook.]