25 Really Strange Things Church Members Said to Pastors

It’s not a boring vocation.

If you serve as a pastor or church staff member, there is rarely a boring moment. A few years ago, I began polling pastors and church staff and collecting some really weird things church members said to them.

Here is my current top 25. I modified some to fit into a direct quote, but the essence remains. The words in italics are my own commentaries.

  1. “Will you bless me divorcing my husband so I can marry a convicted murder? God told me to do it”. Yes, I am sure that’s exactly what God said.
  2. Said to a pastor in his ordination council: “What is your view on Christian missions in space?” Space the final frontier . . . to boldly go where no man has gone before.
  3. After the church member had surgery: “Pastor, will you pray for me to pass gas.” Maybe there was a spontaneous answer to that prayer.
  4. “I want you to come see my display of nude art.” I’m still trying to find out what the pastor decided.
  5. During the offertory: “Pastor, do you have change for a twenty?” Probably a deacon.
  6. To a worship pastor after the service: “Here’s the bulletin. I graded each song based on how worshipful it was.” Thank you. We will be sending you your grades on how much the church staff likes you.
  7. “Can we put the children’s moment back in the bulletin? I know we don’t have any children but the old folks like it.” Yes, we will alternate it every week with the senior moment.
  8. “I use to be a warlock.” Was that before or after you became a deacon?
  9. Just before the service began: “Pastor, there’s no toilet tissue in the women’s restroom.” Makes you wonder what she would have said if the pastor was in the women’s restroom replacing toilet tissue.
  10. “Thank you for shaving your facial hair, because the Bible forbids it.” You’re right. It’s right there in the Bible at Hezekiah 3:16.
  11. “My husband’s ashes are in two different places. Will Jesus be able find him? It’s amazing what your husband did to get away from you.
  12. “Pastor, help me cut this Coke can. I need an ashtray for the fellowship hall.” Yes, things go better with Coke.
  13. In the middle of the service, a woman asks: “Pastor, aliens visited me. Is God okay with that?” You are mistaken. They were Jehovah Witnesses, not aliens.
  14. “Pastor, I need you to come get rid of the secret agents spying on me from my attic.” The pastor remembers learning how to deal with this situation from his seminary training.
  15. “Is it okay for me to lie if I ask for forgiveness in advance?” Definitely a Southern Baptist.
  16. “Will you come to my house and help get my husband off the toilet?” Ma’am, all husbands like to spend extended time there. Have him take two aspirins and call me tomorrow.
  17. Church member: “Pastor, will you pray for my son? He’s wild and out of control.” Pastor: “Sure, what’s his name?” Church member: “Maverick.” I guess we should be thankful his name is not “Homicide.”
  18. “I have the spiritual gift of extortion.” Another Southern Baptist.
  19. “Preacher, I have some moonshine for your cough. Feel free to stop by the house.” That’s one pastoral visit he made that week.
  20. “Will you play George Jones songs in the service today?” I’m sorry, we’re doing all Bee Gees today.”
  21. “The guitars sound like two cats mating.” I don’t thing that’s a compliment.
  22. “I want you to know if this church fails, it’s not your fault.” Gotta love those church members with the gift of encouragement.
  23. To the pastor in the men’s restroom: “So, pastors have to go too, huh? And what did you think before this moment?
  24. “Pastor, I have some extra Vicodin. Would you like some?” Probably not, but thank you for thinking of him.
  25. “Pastor, pray for me. I’m going to Vegas.” I bet double or nothing he didn’t pray for her.

Yes, church members say the darnedest things. Do you have any to add?

Posted on April 12, 2017

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.
More from Thom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Shannon Knight says on

    We were going in view of a call for youth ministry and during the question time a member of the church asked my husband who his boss was…my husband answered God. The man said no I mean someone real, someone tangible…again God. The guy was also wearing a baby blue leisure suit and this was well past the 70’s.

  • Just before I was getting to walk out to begin a wedding with the groom and groomsmen. “Pastor get the plunger the toilet is clogged!” I did it, we cleared it, washed up, and out we went, just in a nick of time.

  • A lovely lady told me her teens were out of control/she feared for their lives. Upon visiting, I discovered the biggest problem was flatulance… the visit quickly turn into a cooking class.

  • Mike Cronin says on

    “I have a praise report, Pastor: I found a job! My uncle just hired me and he’s going to pay me under the table so I can keep getting my disability checks!”

    • Well, praise the Lord.

    • Christina Shinn says on

      Yes, our in our poor town we hear things like this a lot unfortunately.

      We had one of our teenage boys tell us he was really wanting to get a job but his Mom wouldn’t let him. She would have to count his wages as house hold income and may lose benefits.

      Breaks my heart that so many kids grow up thinking the government is a legitimate career option.

      • Ben Towell says on

        Many years ago when I was a youth pastor I asked a student what they wanted to do after they graduated high school? He told me that his mom was helping him file for social security income (SSI). He didn’t have any plans for his future other than collecting from the government. He was a health young man with a unhealthy career goals. Or the lack thereof.

    • Paula-One of JOBS nieces. says on

      You can work and get a disability check. You can have up to a certain amount that you can earn and receive financial assistance. Just trust God with all your heart, and you will not want for anything.

  • Just after I arrived at a church: “You’ll need to visit [X] as soon as possible. She hasn’t been seen outside her house in weeks, and I noticed the papers are stacked up.”

    Yep, it was what you think.

    • I know exactly. Been there.

    • I got it the other way in a 9am phone call.

      “Mark, ________ (mother in law) Just called me. She thinks xxxxxxx (father in law) is dead.”
      “Did she call the police yet?”
      “Um… I don’t think so, is she suppose to do that?”
      “I’ll be right there and take care of everything.”

      Now thankfully I was also one of the towns volunteer Firefighters and EMTs so I handled all of the care for the family including pronouncing the husband deceased, coordinating with the police (routine death investigation), through helping the funeral director remove his body, providing the spiritual care and preaching the funeral.

    • Oh, my word!!! I’ve been a pastor almost 22 years and have never had anything like that happen – and I hope it stays that way!

  • Lady – “God told me that I have fulfilled my responsibility to my current husband and has given me permission to divorce him to marry someone else I love. What do you think?” She didn’t like my non verbal facial expressions or my answer.

  • Pam Ford says on

    Not all pastors who read your articles are men!

    • Praise God.

    • Dr. Rainer is a Southern Baptist, and they don’t believe it’s scriptural for women to serve as pastors. You have the right to disagree, but since this is his blog, it seems to me you should respect his opinions instead of demanding that he respect yours.

    • Marguerite Colson says on

      Pam –

      Are you trolling? Any gender-identified pastors are in direct quotes. In other words, the person who said it was known. Dr. Rainer does a great service for pastors (I know. I am a pastor’s wife). He remains gracious in the midst of criticisms like yours. I regret it when unrelated issues like yours distract from blog posts, especially one as cathartic as this one.

    • Rev. Kathleen Moore says on

      I am a female pastor, and I didn’t think Pam was trolling at all. As a women, I couldn’t help but read these humorous comments as if they had been said to me. Some of the comments change their meaning or their humor when the gender is reversed.
      I recognize that Rev. Rainer has every right not to believe in women pastors, but I do pray for the day when every woman is allowed to fulfill whatever calling God has chosen for her. Even Southern Baptist women may be touched by the Holy Spirit and called to preach!
      Thanks for this article. I laughed out loud several times.

  • As I was walking into the baptistry with a college student that had just accepted Christ, he looked at me and said, “Wow…so where did you get this much holy water!?”

  • This is fantastic! Every once in a while, we all need to share our humorous moments in ministry. Keeps us humble, and entertained.

    One of the strangest ones I ever heard was a little less humorous, and more unnerving. Regarding me (as the worship pastor) reading a portion of scripture pre-sermon, I had a church member say to me, “I don’t worship when scripture is read.”

    Begs the question: How is your quiet time going?

      • Unfollowed believer says on

        I really don’t see how laughing at others keeps us humble, in fact it probably does the opposite in my opinion. But if someone complains about having 1ply toilet paper rather than 2 ply, I would be very tempted to tell them to be grateful for the facility to begin with, and use their 20 bucks this week towards loading us up with some Charmin.

      • I agree that making fun of others is the last thing I expect a Follower to do. I see more and more pastors being obvious in their sarcasm of others and I think that’s pretty scary. I don’t believe Jesus would make demeaning comments about someone else’s comments unless it held a lot of weight spiritually. I’m all for clean humor, but Some things just don’t need to be repeated to another person. Remember Whom you belong to when you speak. No one is perfect, but God help us follow Jesus’ example.

      • The Bible says, “A merry heart maketh good like a medicine” (Prov. 17:22). Show me a pastor without a sense of humor and I’ll show you someone who won’t last very long in the ministry. Lighten up!

  • My first Sunday at current church:
    A member Came to me and said “I’m having a colonoscopy this week, and I’ll be honest, it is scaring the crap out of me”

  • I heard a priest say he had been asked if you would be sent to hell for smoking a joint.

  • “I married my first cousin because John 3:16 tells me that I can love anyone.”

    • That’s solid exegesis.

    • Roger Haithcock says on

      #9 – Had a lady approach me during the prelude to complain that we only have single ply TP and demanded that I get her 2 ply.

      It was hard to recompose to deliver sermon.

      • Someone says on

        That’s just hilarious. I understand, you get used to one type, but you should get used to change… or you will forever hate your life.

    • Actually, first cousin marriages are allowed without restrictions in 18 states. I don’t know if scripture addresses the issue.

    • Unfollowed believer says on

      The whole article/blog seems very burlesque. I read the Bible a lot. It is very layered and the part about belittling and mocking people in a condescending manner that you are dedicated to help, serve, and set an example for has completely avoided my subpar comprehension ability. I know I shouldn’t envy the spiritual gifts of others and should be satisfied and thankful with the ones I am blessed with so I hope it doesn’t come across as envy in any way. If so, that was definitely not my intent. Praise Jesus and His undeserving grace for us all.

      • Unfollowed believer says on

        Mr. Rainer, I owe you an apology. I made that snide comment/reply after seeing the link to it a few dozen times in my social media feed. I felt it was amusing once, a couple weeks ago, but after seeing it so many times it felt like I was following you just to laugh at fellow church members who need everything but that. The truth is if I was where I need to be in my personal relationship with Christ at the moment, I wouldn’t have made the comments I made. I don’t regret feeling how I did, but I regret projecting my current disappointment of myself on you. Please forgive me. God Bless

      • No apology necessary. I mess up too often myself. I have no right to cast stones.

1 2 3 11