Do You Think You Could Win This Game?

I accidentally invented a game this week.

I’m calling it, “Try To Talk To Pastor”.

Here’s how to play:

  1.  Pay attention to stuff your Pastor says: This requires listening to a sermon. You don’t have to take notes. Just stop scrolling through Facebook during Sunday morning service.
  2. Think about stuff your Pastor says:  Even people with the word “Pastor” on their office door can be unclear or mistaken.  Try following along when scripture is referenced. (If scripture is never referenced…think about that!)
  3. Come up with a question:  Questions are helpful tools for increasing understanding.  (Asking, “Why are there no scripture references in this sermon?” will help you understand why Pastor’s words are preferred over God’s.)
  4. Try to ask the Pastor your question: This will require a strategy.

You can’t interrupt a sermon with a question!

Are you nuts?!!!

Good grief.

Shame on you for even THINKING that.

You can’t just walk up and talk to Pastor.

The Pastor is super-busy doing Pastor-Type-Things-That-You-Can’t-Understand-Because-You’re-Not-A-Professional-Christian.

There are a lot of things on the Pastor’s mind.

Asking your question while he’s overwhelmed with the burden of the Gospel would be rude.

You can’t speak to Pastor during the week.

The Pastor is super-busy doing Office-Type-Things-That-Require-Prayerful-Focus-That-You-Can’t-Understand-Because-Etc…

Study time is sacred to the Pastor.

Your Pastor spends hours online searching for just the right sermon.

It takes time to wrestle with the Holy Spirit’s conviction of plagiarism.

You can’t call the Pastor’s cell phone.

That number is private.

The Pastor is super-busy Sharing-The-Love-Of-Christ-And-Must-Not-Be-Interrupted-Because-Blah-Blah-Blah…

You can’t email the Pastor.

The Pastor can’t possibly answer all those emails!

You can’t contact Pastor via social media.

It would put Pastor on the spot to ask your question publicly!

If you launch a question at the Pastor on Facebook you’ll be unfriended.

If you ask why you were unfriended, you’ll be blocked.

(BTW: When you’re blocked…you lose the game.)

And that’s how you play, “Try To Talk To Pastor”.

The level of challenge depends on your Pastor.

Don’t write to me saying stuff like, “Pastor answered my question immediately on Sunday morning.”

That’s nothing to brag about.

Some Pastors make the game too easy.

To play at the expert level, go to a mega-church.

Go where the pastor is a celebrity.

Go where the Pastor has written more books than the Apostle Paul.

If you can question that Pastor…

…you’ll both win.

16 thoughts on “Do You Think You Could Win This Game?

  1. LOL! Well said.

    I kid you not, I recently met some people who have no idea who their pastor is. I didn’t know either, but I don’t go to that church. I had to say as gently as possible and with a straight face, “sometimes their name is written in the church bulletin.” 🙂

  2. I think you may have stumbled onto something here. The church was never meant to be so dependant on “The Pastor”. I believe the original pattern was a Plurality of Elders and becoming more reliant on Each Other. The church is not a Corporate top-down structure, but a ‘Corpus’, an Organic Being. That’s more Human than Divine in origin, function and purpose. Humanity helping Humanity. No Jesus required.

    • John Branyan says:

      Does this statement represent your position? Are you admitting that your statement is ‘provisionally true’ in your mind?

      I have no interest in dialoguing with an agnostic.

      • My statement above represents my experienced opinion as a former Christian of 34yrs, 25 of those in vocational (lay) ministry of many roles. And no, I’m not interested in debating about it. Thx.

        • John Branyan says:

          I’d agree with you on virtually every point. If Christianity is only humanity helping humanity, there are lots of other groups doing that. No reason to commit to the church.

  3. It depends on the pastor/teacher. I’ve been to pretty big conferences where popular teachers have been open to questions. I’ve also been in smaller churches where the pastor was distant and my questions felt very unwelcome.

  4. Lynda Nedrow says:

    As always your finely sharpened snark pokes a nice hole in our sometimes muddled thinking. I appreciate the seriousness your humor always provokes. I did recently write a letter to my pastor and send it by snail mail, with little expectation that anything would come of it. I was pleased when he not only answered the letter, he answered my questions and concern. In 40 years of Christianity and many different churches this is the only time such a time has happened. Maybe I should call Ripleys…

    • John Branyan says:

      Good for you! Perseverance produces hope!

      There are still some pastors who believe their job is to teach truth. And there are a still some people who aren’t “pastors” who believe their job is the same.

  5. Dave says:

    But John, how are people supposed to ask their pastor questions through the screen at the satellite location?

    But in all seriousness, great post.

    If I may brag a bit (and I guess I can, unless I am sent to “time out”), I produce a very-low-budget (okay $0 budget) video of the sermon weekly for my church. Because of that, I get an “advance copy” of the sermon.

    I actually had the temerity to question the pastor about a misattributed quote in his sermon.

    His response was a “thank you” and an invitation to always let him know if there is anything I find needs examination in his sermons, since I actually read them ahead of time.

    It may be that he was just happy that anybody read the thing at all, (I jest), but I was impressed with his humility and openness.

    He may have been trapped, though, as we are in 1 Cor 13, and his “Big Idea” for the sermon was all about humility.

    Talk to your pastors, people!

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