Sixteen Really Strange and Funny Things Pastors Have Been Asked to Do

“Pastor, I have a rat in my house. Please come get it!”

It’s a true story. I was the pastor. And I was over 30 minutes away from the senior adult who made the “request.” I tried to call several other church members on the phone to get them to help.

I could find no one. Strange.

I chased a rat in the senior adult’s home for over an hour.

I love pastors and church staff. I love hearing their stories. And, on occasion, I like to provide a bit of levity. Such has been my theme this week.

Today, I let these pastors and church staff persons speak for themselves. I made minor modifications to a few so the story does not inadvertently reveal the church members. I don’t want the pastor to get fired. No comments on my part are necessary.

  1. “A church member asked, during the Lord’s Supper, if we could have a prayer for her dog that had died earlier in the week.”
  2. “A church member called, telling me her neighbors sheep were out in the road. Of course, I was supposed to help since I was her shepherd.”
  3. “I officiated a funeral where the family did the wave and hit beach balls during the service.”
  4. “A lady called me to let me know her son-in-law wasn’t praying long enough before his bed time. She felt I needed to counsel him.”
  5. “A church member was a funeral home director. He called me frequently to help him pick up just-deceased bodies.”
  6. “A church member called to request I euthanize an injured rabbit.”
  7. “I was asked by a church member to bury a dog.”
  8. “I got a call from a church member asking me to inform a lady she has grandkids she didn’t know about.”
  9. “I was asked to baptize a body at a funeral.”
  10. “A lady brought a chirping bird into a worship service and asked me to ignore it.”
  11. “I was visiting a member of our church in the hospital. He insisted I hold his kidney stone. I was young, so I did.”
  12. “A church member asked me to do a funeral for his horse.”
  13. “A deacon, after checking on a clogged toilet in the men’s room, told the pastor, ‘You need to go to the men’s room with me. You’ve got to see this!’”
  14. “A church member asked me to put her mother’s funeral on my calendar. She wasn’t dead.”
  15. “I was asked to wear a crushed velvet hat for a wedding.”
  16. “A church member asked me to do an imitation of a character from The Princess Bride during the wedding ceremony.”

I have no doubt these stories are true. I’ve had many weird requests made of me as well.

Let me hear from you.

Posted on May 4, 2016

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 preached a funeral once for a full blooded Native American. His brother, who looked a lot like the deceased, wanted the service to start early because he was hungry. We started 30 minutes early.

  • Trey Groves says on

    During the eulogy at a very rural funeral, we hear a “ksshh” sound from the back. A man had just opened a beer.

    Same funeral – as people walked by the open casket, they placed different items inside. Some of those items included fishing lures, six-packs of beer, and tins of chaw.

    And – same funeral – one of the attenders was putting his six-pack in the open casket, but took one off for himself for the road.

    …you can’t make this stuff up!

  • Mine wasn’t a rat in the house, but a snake in the basement: A woman connected with the church called me one afternoon exclaiming: “There’s a snake in my basement! What are you going to do about it?!” I was still relatively new in the ministry at the time, and went over and removed it. Now, I would be more likely to answer, “Pray for you and the snake?” or “I will call an exterminator for you.”

  • I was asked to remove a skunk from a ‘live’ trap…and I did…

  • Dan Blair says on

    I walked into the funeral home for what was the second funeral I had ever done. There wa s another minister there as well as the funeral home staff. The funeral director introduced himself and told me the family had a strange request, “they want you to baptize the body as part of the service.” I turned red and stammered a minute before they all broke out laughing. I good friend of mine from seminary knew the staff there well, and had put them up to it. I spent the next several years trying to match that in getting him back and never could.

  • Robert Osborn says on

    My first funeral was for a man who died of cancer. My life was often his nurse the last few months he was in the hospital. I was asked to preach his funeral, which was going to be a grave side service only. I agreed. When I arrived the music guy ran up to me, wanting to know what I should do with the music selection. He was there to play on a portable piano, and sing. He informed me that the music selection was the hymn, “In the Garden” and an old song that was a favorite of the deceased – “Yakety Yak.” I laughed and asked if he was serious. He was. He asked if he should sing it, or just play. I saw the relief on his face when I suggested he only play it.
    I had found out just before the funeral that he had been married and divorced three times. He had children with the second and third wives, and they were all there. It was by far the saddest funeral I have ever done. Not any of his family ever visited him while he was in the hospital. No one had anything good to say about him.
    Well, when the musician played the song, “Yakety Yak,” you could see his family lip the lyrics, and when it came to the phrase, “Yakety yak, (Don’t talk back),” some of them were twisting the phrase and saying it just loud enough to hear them saying, “Yakety Yak, don’t come back!”
    Was a sad day all the way around.

  • Jeff Smith says on

    I’ve done #16 in wedding rehearsals. Both of my daughters have asked that when they get married will I do the wedding like Princess Bride. I said during the rehearsal only. Seemed agreeable to them both. (they are both teenagers)

    One wedding I did was outside and the bride and groom and party were barefoot. Tuxedoes and Dresses – barefoot. I was asked to go barefoot as well. I declined. The wedding was interesting. The groom and groomsmen had beards and long hair like Duck Dynasty, nice tuxes and barefoot. This was about 20 years ago. Good note: they are still married.

    Thanks for the stories

  • Steve Moldenhauer says on

    I was called at 2:00 AM by a young lady parrisioner to drunk to drive home from the bar. She said, “Pastor you are the only person I can trust.” I pulled one of my boys out of bed and we drove down there and took her home.

  • These are hilarious. I was asked to pray that a drug test came back negative. When I asked the obvious follow-up question, the answer was yes, they were on drugs.

  • Charles Higgins says on

    I was called to an elderly lady’s house who was having some diabetic health problems. Before she would leave the house or allow me to call for help I was tasked with helping her finish pickling beets! I learned a lot that day. From that day on I never wanted for pickled beets. Even after I moved from the area whenever I would go back for a visit she would bring me a jar of pickled beets! (Yes, I do enjoy me some pickled beets!)

  • Was teaching at our Vacation Bible School and one of the boys (5 or 6 in age) went to the bathroom which was next door. In a couple of minutes he asked if I could come and “wipe” him! Not knowing what else to do, I did.

    • I was at church camp one year, and one of the boys from my church got a bad case of diarrhea. I don’t hold that against him, but he didn’t tell me about it until he’d nearly run out of clean clothes! I had to take his clothes to a local laundromat and wash them, and I had to wash some of them three times to get the smell out. Needless to say, it was a very humbling experience. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these….”

  • Pastor Ron Lasley the faster pastor says on

    A lady called me one time and said. “My daughter is sitting at her house with a shotgun pointing at her front door waiting on her husband to come home, will you go talk to her?” I relied, “let me see if I understand, your daughter is pointing a shotgun at her front door and you want me to go knock on that door?” “I tell you what I will do, you call her and if she says I can come I will.”

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