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.
- “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.
- 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.
- After the church member had surgery: “Pastor, will you pray for me to pass gas.” Maybe there was a spontaneous answer to that prayer.
- “I want you to come see my display of nude art.” I’m still trying to find out what the pastor decided.
- During the offertory: “Pastor, do you have change for a twenty?” Probably a deacon.
- 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.
- “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.
- “I use to be a warlock.” Was that before or after you became a deacon?
- 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.
- “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.
- “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.
- “Pastor, help me cut this Coke can. I need an ashtray for the fellowship hall.” Yes, things go better with Coke.
- 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.
- “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.
- “Is it okay for me to lie if I ask for forgiveness in advance?” Definitely a Southern Baptist.
- “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.
- 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.”
- “I have the spiritual gift of extortion.” Another Southern Baptist.
- “Preacher, I have some moonshine for your cough. Feel free to stop by the house.” That’s one pastoral visit he made that week.
- “Will you play George Jones songs in the service today?” I’m sorry, we’re doing all Bee Gees today.”
- “The guitars sound like two cats mating.” I don’t thing that’s a compliment.
- “I want you to know if this church fails, it’s not your fault.” Gotta love those church members with the gift of encouragement.
- To the pastor in the men’s restroom: “So, pastors have to go too, huh? And what did you think before this moment?
- “Pastor, I have some extra Vicodin. Would you like some?” Probably not, but thank you for thinking of him.
- “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
OK, so what this broadly says to me is that pastors forget they are there to serve their congregations. One of my favorite pastors could be found mid-week vacuuming the sanctuary. He was so humble God really worked through him. Sermons are actually the least of what a pastor is about. But don’t remind them.
A fairly new member says to Pastor (my husband), “You are such a good pastor, always helping everyone. Is it too much to ask your wife to be a surrogate for us? Your wife doesn’t work so it wouldn’t be much for her to do that. “
I’ve got two: On my first day as interim at a rural church, a senior church member said, “Preacher, looks like someone gutted you. I’m gonna have to fatten you up.” BTW, she made an awesome chess pie.
Later at the same church, a member rings my doorbell at 1 a.m. and says, “The police just came to my house to arrest me, so I punched the cop in the face, and ran here as fast as I could. Can you hide me?” I called 911, and we waited on the front porch together for the police to arrive.
A woman who had visited our church showed up with two men. She handed my wife a bag and said, “Don’t judge me.” Wife: “Don’t judge you?” Woman: “No, be happy for me!” Wife open bag, took out baby booties.” Woman: “We’re having a baby!” Wife: “Oh Congratulations!” Woman turns to me, the pastor, “We have a problem pray with us please.” Pastor: “What do you want me to pray about?” “Pray the three of us can get along because we don’t know who the father is.” O-Kay.
Pastor, if you were corrupt and crooked this sanctuary would be filled.
Our senior pastor was outside his home greeting some visitors when his very young son came running from around the house with nothing on apart from his pants on top of his head. The pastor quickly admonished his son, saying, “Johnny, get some clothes on.” As quick as a flash, the son looked up to his father and in all innocence said, “but dad, you do this!”
That, is a true story!
Thank you so much sir for this article.Today I was feeling some what out of it & had asked God for one of His fruits of the spirit.As I read this article I was laughing so hard & suddenly I realized my spirits were lifted I was joyful & my entire countenance had changed.My heavyness and heavy heart is completely gone.Just keep laughing & laughing & guess what=it is contagious.So thanks.God uses different ways to meet His children needs & with this article He met my need for joy & laughter.I don`t see it as mocking people.We are allowed a few laughs & no name or church was even mentioned.God bless you for allowing Him to use you.
“Take that cross down from in front of the church, it looks like the devil”
I visited a neighboring church one Sunday and during the greeting time a church member came up to me and said not to be too worried about the pastor because they were going to fire him right after the service.
First Sunday at new church: “Pastor, I have shoes in my closet older than you.”
Response: The Bible is older than your shoes. Moral of the story, you probably need new shoes. — We’re great friends now!
After 30 years in ministry, my dad was greeted after worship by a woman: Reverend, every one of your sermons is better than the next!”
During morning prayer requests, which are taken from the congregation immediately before the sermon.
“Pastor, please pray for relief, my lady parts are on fire.”
Song leader immediately interrupts and moves on.