The Honeymoon Is Over!
When the flood of dinner invitations is reduced to a trickle and the menus switch from sirloin to burgers, you know the honeymoon between you and your congregation is over.
In the beginning you reign
from your pedestal, feeling invincible. The first tremors are so subtle that you ask, ‘Did I imagine that?’ Then the pedestal begins to rock as enthusiastic handshakes and vigorous pats on the back are
replaced by cordial smiles and forced praise for the ‘fine’ sermon you preached.
You tiptoe, you dance, you flail your arms, but you eventually topple. And the worse part is, you never saw it coming -
just like the last time. See if you have overlooked these warning signs from a disgruntled congregation.
You return from vacation to find the visiting preacher’s name on your mailbox.
Your church is about to split, and neither group wants you.
Shut-ins pull the window shades and pretend that they aren’t home when you come to visit.
Mom moves her membership letter to another church.
You’re told that God is calling you to the mission field - now!
Your cast as a donkey in the Christmas cantata.
Your wife moves her membership letter to another church.
The trustees have been marching around your house the last six days praying and carrying lanterns.
Your secretary starts sending out your resume’.
The congregation forces members of the pulpit committee to wear sackcloth and make a public apology.
Church members start referring to you in the past tense.
Your ‘love offering’ is a two-for-one coupon at Ponderosa.
You show up at church on Monday morning to discover that the locks have been changed.
The Perfect Pastor
A church has finally found the perfect pastor. He is a church leader that will please everyone. He preaches exactly 20 minutes and then sits down. He condemns sin but never steps on anybody’s toes. He
works from 8 in the morning to ten at night doing everything from preaching sermons to sweeping. He makes $500 a week and gives $100 of it to the church. He drives a late model car, buys lots of books,
wears fine clothing, and has a very nice family. He is 36 years old and has been preaching for 40 years. He’s tall on the short side and heavy set in a thin sort of way. His eyes are either blue or brown,
whatever fits the occasion. He wears his hair parted in the middle, left side dark and straight, right side brown and wavy. He has a burning desire to work with the youth and spends all his time with the
senior citizens. He smiles all the time while keeping a straight face. He has a keen sense of humor that finds him seriously dedicated. He makes 15 calls a day on church members, spends all his time
evangelizing, and is always found in his study when needed. Unfortunately, he burned himself out and died at the age of 32.
A Perfect Minister is Hard to Find
One of the toughest tasks a church faces is choosing a good minister. A member of an official board undergoing this painful process finally lost patience. He'd watched the pastoral relations committee
reject applicant after applicant for some fault, alleged or otherwise. It was time for a bit of soul-searching on the part of the committee. So he stood up and read a letter purporting to be from another
Gentlemen: Understanding your pulpit is vacant, I should like to apply for the position. I have many qualifications. I've been a preacher with much success and also have had some success as a writer. Some
say I'm a good organizer. I've been a leader most places I've been. "I'm over 50 years of age. I have never preached in one place for more than three years. In some places, I have left town after my work
caused riots and disturbances. I must admit I have been in jail three or four times, but not because of any real wrongdoing. "My health is not too good, though I still get a great deal done. The churches I
have preached in have been small, though located in several large cities. I've not gotten along well with religious leaders in towns where I have preached. In fact, some have threatened me and even attacked
me physically. I am not too good at keeping records. I have been known to forget whom I baptized. "However, if you can use me, I shall do my best for you."
The board member looked over at the committee. "Well, what do you think? Shall we call him?"
The good church folk were aghast. Call an unhealthy, trouble-making, absentminded, ex-jailbird? Was the board member crazy? Who signed the application? Who has such colossal nerve?
The board member eyed them all keenly before he answered, "It's signed, 'the Apostle Paul.' "
A Wise Response
Henry Ward Beecher, the famous New England minister, was entering his pulpit one Sunday morning. Awaiting him was an unmarked envelope. Opening it, he found a single sheet of paper on which was written
the single word FOOL. After chuckling to himself, he held the paper up to the congregation and said: "I have known many an instance of a man writing letters and forgetting to sign his name. But this is the
only instance I've ever known of a man signing his name and forgetting to write his letter."
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