Skip to main content

True Church Stories #39

A few readers requested that I share more of these and Lord knows I've got enough of 'em to write about til' the cows come home! So here we go.  If you've missed the previous 38 of these gems, just click the link at the bottom of the post that says True Church Stories to read them. If you're in need of a laugh, this series of blog posts will keep you going for quite a while. 

This one comes from an Easter Sunday experience a few years ago at the church we currently pastor. This unbelievable story actually took several months to unfold in it's entirety.

It all began on Easter Sunday when a new couple decided to visit the church. They came in about 30 minutes early and sat in the back of the church. As they were sitting there amongst the people, my husband walked by. He was dressed in a brand new suit - very trendy for that particular year - it was powder blue and he looked great. My husband is a sharp dresser who always wears nice clothes and shoes. He actually has more shoes than I do!

When Larry walked through the sanctuary one of our people pointed to him and said to the visiting couple, "that's our pastor." The couple looked at him, then glanced at each and said, "on no...this is not the church for us."


They promptly got up and left.


A little while later that morning Larry and I were in the prayer room before service. We were gathered with a few people praying when the youth pastor popped in.  He said, "Pastor, there was glass all over the parking lot. We're not sure what happened. I just wanted you to know something happened out there but I've taken care of it. We've just finished cleaning it up."

My husband thanked him for doing so and then we started the service.

The next morning we came into the office and our secretary let us know that a phone call had come in from a woman saying she had been a first time guest the previous day. She let the secretary know that she and her husband didn't care for the way the pastor was dressed the previous day. That was all she called to say. She wanted her to relay that message to us. Interesting!

About six months passed by.

Wednesday night service came and our daughter had the flu. My husband stayed home with her and I preached the service in the sanctuary.

The couple who visited six months earlier on Easter Sunday were there. I didn't know who they were until they introduced themselves after the service. 

We used to have choir rehearsal afterwards on Wednesday night and while the choir members were settling in for practice on the stage, this couple walked down to the front where I was standing in the altar. They introduced themselves and the wife went on to tell me that they were there for Easter six months previous and had left.

She said, "we were so upset by what your husband was wearing. We believed it was too flashy so we got up and left. My husband was angry, thinking it was going to be too late to find another service to go to. He started the car and was so mad that he stepped on the gas really hard and wasn't looking closely when he backed up. Before we knew it he had slammed right into one of the huge oak trees in the church parking lot and shattered out our car windows. It was infuriating and embarrassing but we just left the mess there. He quickly put the car in drive, pulled out and left. For the past six months we've been visiting a different church each week trying to find one we like. We've found nothing. We've run of places to go and had no idea where to go tonight. Finally in desperation my husband said, 'let's go back and try that church where the pastor dresses crazy.' So we ended up here tonight. Only one problem -- we had no idea you would be preaching.  When you came to the pulpit we almost stood up and left. You see, we don't believe in women preachers either. When you began talking I asked my husband if he wanted to leave. He said no, that last time ended so badly he didn't want to chance another disaster in the parking lot. He said, 'let's just grin and bear this and we'll get out of here soon enough.' As you shared your message tonight we were both really surprised by how much we liked it. My husband turned to me at one point and said, 'you know I do have to say she really seems to love these people a lot and is really sharing about what she believes in a passionate way...' and well...all that to say, we have talked about it a few minutes tonight afterwards and made a decision. Even though we still have some reservations, due to all the trouble we've had finding something we like for the past six months, we're going to give this church a try and start attending here."

No sooner had she said that than a woman came walking down out of the choir, directly toward her. The visitor-lady had been talking loud enough that some of the choir members heard what she had to say. The choir member said, "M'am, I couldn't help overhear your conversation and there are a few things I want to say. We love our pastors here. Speaking of Pastor Larry, we love how he dresses. Most of all, you need to know he's a man of God with a true pastor's heart. We love Pastor Deanna and respect her as our co-pastor. If you are going to attend here you need to know we support them and if you come here you need to as well. Please don't come here if you are going to speak in any negative fashion toward our pastors, because that will not be tolerated."

Then she marched back up to her place in the choir.

I was wondering if someone was going to pop out and say, "surprise, you're on candid camera!"

 No one did. This was real.

The lady looked kind of stunned by what the choir member said but she and her husband thanked me for my time, and left.

I didn't think they would come back especially after the chastisement by the choir member. But they did!

They returned for services each Sunday and Wednesday for about a month.

I was shocked they made it that long.

A month into their stay at the church Larry asked me to preach again on a Sunday morning. When I shared some things the Bible has to say about sex, that was it.

That was their last day there.

I'm not sure where they ever ended up. 

You can't make this stuff up! Church stuff is the craziest...
 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What To Do First to Make a Profit

Today on Seth Godin's blog, he said:

It's tempting to decide to make a profit first, then invest in training, people, facilities, promotion, customer service and most of all, doing important work. In general, though, it goes the other way.
Yes, it does. If you are waiting to make a profit before you do these things, in my experience you're  not going to make a profit. So many organizations, ministries and churches are struggling with financial issues. I know your pain. As anyone who follows our story knows, our ministry was in a ton of debt four years ago when I came on as director.  Since that time, we've gotten out of debt and turned a profit every year.  God has done amazing things through out team, for which we give Him the glory!

I find that what Seth is saying here is absolutely true, with one disclaimer. For Christian leaders, spiritual disciplines must always be first. Before we started investing and training and all of that, seeking God for his blessing and…

I'm Just Being Transparent...

This year at the Stronger Conference, a young minister stopped me as I was walking out of the room at the conclusion of a workshop and she said, "I want to tell you something..." (I was all ears.) She said, "Do you notice how many of the speakers this weekend are saying, "Now, I'm just being transparent when I tell you..." or "I'm just keepin' it real..." I nodded yes. In fact, I mentioned that I was one of those speakers. I think I probably said a few times in both my keynote message and my workshop that I was just "keepin' it real."

After I affirmed that yes, I had noticed that -- she said, "Do you know why they have to do that? They do it...and you do it, because so many people don't keep it real. So many in leadership aren't transparent, Deanna. That's why all these people speaking here feel an urge to declare their transparency.." I let her know that usually when I say, "I'm just keeping …

Why You Should Never Hijack a Comment Thread
Social media etiquette 101

One surefire way to kill your influence in social media and wear out your welcome fast is to become involved in derailing somebody’s comment thread with your own agenda. Networking and hijacking aren’t the same thing. It’s surprising how many people don’t understand that this is a guarantee for tearing down a platform as quickly as you build it.


Passion is good, even necessary. I appreciate people's zeal for their personal core values. What is not appreciated is the attempt at a redirection of a comment thread when the comment has little or nothing to do with an original post or is twisted at best.

Social media provides ample opportunity for all of us to share what’s important to us on our own platform. Eliciting others’ responses and developing connections largely depends on our ability to communicate and compel. Some people are open to receiving private communication from others although they aren’t always able to answer personally or at length. But hijacking a comment thread no…