14 Unbelievable Things That Happened to Pastors While They Were Preaching

This list needs no introduction other than my word of appreciation for the hundreds of comments pastors made on Twitter and Facebook. I wish I could have cited all of you.

Some are funny. Some are tragic. All are (almost) unbelievable. The pastors’ first names are real. 

1. Michael and the Proven Prostate Problem. A commercial about a swollen prostate aired to the entire congregation right before he preached. He provided recorded evidence of the moment: https://www.facebook.com/godsavs/videos/813332402703058

2. Jathaniel and the Scared Goat. Decided to bring a goat to the podium to illustrate the atonement. The goat defecated and urinated the entire time.

3. Ken and the Scary Snake. A baby cobra went between his feet while recounting the resurrection to Muslim friends. I hate snakes.

4. Jarrod and the Eyes Have It. The woman’s glass eye popped out and rolled down the aisle. It was during a public invitation, so it could have counted as a decision.

5. Tyler and the Disappearing Church Members. An entire family walked out one by one during the sermon. Their cows had gotten out and were walking down the street. Someone may have shouted, “We’ve got cows!” (movie reference).

6. John and the Double Tragedy. Two people died mid-service. I have decided not to visit John’s church.

7. David and the Hungry Church Member. A hard-of-hearing church member spoke loudly to his wife, “If I had known he was going to preach this long, I would have brought a sandwich with me.”

8. Esteban and the Magical Words. Pastor asked for a bottle of water. Unfortunately, that was the designated secret phrase to initiate security. Men entered the sanctuary and drew their guns.

9. Cody and the Pot Moment. While he was preaching, a guy lit a joint. Cue the hymn, “Higher Ground.

10. Conrad and the TP Problem. A woman walked up to the preacher during the sermon to tell him there was no toilet paper in the restroom. I wonder how she resolved the issue prior to that moment.

11. Ashe and the Everything Store. Amazon made a delivery as the sermon began. Church must be a Prime customer.

12. Brian and the Quiet Death. Another story about someone dying during the sermon. This time someone told him to keep preaching while they removed the body. There are a few churches on this list I will definitely not visit.

13. Kevin and Mr. Lucas. Kevin’s strange moment was that Mr. Lucas stayed awake for one sermon. You’re getting better, Kevin.

14. Noah and More Cows. When Noah said in the sermon, “God said . . .” someone’s phone rang to the sound of a cow. Mooooo.

Do you have some stories? I would love to hear them!

Posted on September 5, 2022

With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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  • I was preaching one Sunday morning when a squirrel decided to jump down from the top of the ceiling and land right in front of the pulpit and then run straight back to the back of the church up into he balcony and out through a crack in the corner of the wall.

  • I was preaching at my first call when mice started running around the stage and around my feet. The pianist and organist had their feet up on top of their benches. Everyone was smiling stupidly and I could not figure out why. They told me afterwords.

  • What happened to me while I was conducting the service.
    I was feeling bad and held on to the pulpit. Inspite of that I got to the floor and one of the member called out and said,
    pastor was slain by the Holy Spirit.

  • I was behind the pulpit when my panty hose rolled off. Fortunately my teenage daughter was sitting behind me and she picked up my hose and put them in her purse.

  • About 2 years ago, I was preaching and got stung by a wasp on my hand. I flung it off and said. “I just got stung!” I stomped the little demon and kept preaching! There is video evidence if needed.

  • Tom Fortner says on

    I was pastor of First Baptist Church, Mill Creek, OK for 4 1/2 years. This church has a long history of firing the pastor during the morning worship service. I was fired 3 times in my 41/2 years there, and the first time the minister of music interrupted the invitation with a red faced, screaming tirade as he stopped the service, denounced me for “attacking his wife” (no one understood what he was upset about) and stormed out the back door with his wife screaming at him about his bad behavior as she followed him out the door. They were back the next Sunday morning and acted as if nothing had happened.

    Thankfully, we are in Sheffield, Texas now …

    I’ve been a pastor for 40 years, been fired by every church I’ve served, and been shouted at in the morning service from the floor several times. But this was the first and last time that I was shouted at from the pulpit.

    The Pharisees treated Jesus the same way. The Gospel affects people the same way today that it did in Jesus’ day.

    • Joel McReynolds says on

      Brother Tom, I was the pastor there before you. I knew something was up when the minister of music kept tagging me on memories on FaceBook and began sending me PMs about how much he missed me. I was asked to leave behind closed doors in a deacons meeting. We are also currently in TX.

    • And that “minister of music” should have been terminated on the spot.

  • I served as interim pastor for a small country church during seminary. 3 wasps dive-bombed me the whole service. I killed one on the pulpit while leading a hymn & another while preaching (he landed on my chest). The last one tried to crawl into my shirt collar during the closing prayer; I smacked my neck so hard it was sore for a week, but I got him too.

    In that same congregation a few weeks prior, I had to pause the sermon to help the only other man there chase a lizard back outside as it had wandered pew to pew frightening the ladies. Then I went back to the pulpit & finished the sermon.

    • Wasps – oh how I love them. We have them all the time in our church.

      When we were having a healing service, I was standing at the head of the aisle. The lady in the front row spied a wasp on her pew and proceeded to crush it. Needless to say, the invitation to healing was over.

      Another wasp story. During my sermon I noticed a wasp flying near one of the congregants. I had hoped he was simply let it go but alas, he took 3 big cuts at it with his bulletin. After I stopped laughing I continued to preach.

  • It was Mother’s Day. In the middle of the sermon an older lady slumped over. They laid her out in the center aisle and began heart compressions on her as the sirens grew near. We ended the service and had everyone exit from the front of the worship center as the EMTs came in the rear. Thankfully she survived (you can visit my church, Thom). She was a single lady (gracious with a good sense of humor) so I later kidded her about wanting attention on Mother’s Day!