Top 10 Cool Things I Did Last Week

Here’s the official list of the Top 10 Cool Things I Did Last Week:

(10) Continued reading a book I borrowed from my dad.  It’s called Gilead and is written by Marilynne Robinson.

(9) Went to La Tolteca in Salisbury for lunch with Carolyn and her family.

(8) Downloaded the Dropkick Murphys version of “Amazing Grace.”

(7) Ate a delicious dinner that my mother-in-law, Linda, made for us.  Spaghetti with meatballs.

(6) Downloaded the Aaron Neville edition of “Amazing Grace.”  A close honorable mention vying for this spot: Downloading an abridged audio version of Charles Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening devotions.

(5) Attended a Bible study about the book of Ruth, led by my father-in-law, Steve.

(4) Ate a pound’s worth of turkey burgers and about a half gallon of cheese dip.  That’s what happens when Carolyn goes out of town for a conference.

(3) Downloaded the Twisted Sister version of “O Come All Ye Faithful.”  (Yeah, you read that right.  Search iTunes if you don’t believe me.)

(2) Went on a field trip with Carolyn’s kindergarten class.  We saw The Three Billy Goats Gruff at the local high school.

(1) Listened to our baby’s heartbeat.  Carolyn had her first OB/GYN appointment on Thursday.  Absolutely beyond words.

Published in: on December 7, 2008 at 11:47 pm  Comments (2)  

Top 10 Ways to Escape from Little Kids Trying to Throw You in the Train Jail

Sike. There are actually 12. But who ever heard of a Top 12 list?

On the playground at the Training Station is a large wooden train that the children love playing on. One of the things they like about it is that to them it’s not only a train—it’s what they call the “train jail.” Every time I’m out there, they chase me all over the playground until they catch me. Then they haul me off to the train jail, where they put me inside and even guard me.

Fortunately, I’ve discovered several ways to escape from this particular form of incarceration. It helps that these little people are only between two and four years old, and I’m much bigger, faster, stronger, and—to this point at least—a little bit smarter. Not to brag or anything. So in case you ever get snagged by some little children who want to lock you up in the train jail, here’s my list of the Top 12 Ways to Escape from Little Kids Trying to Throw You in the Train Jail (each method of escape has been personally tried and found to be effective):

(12) The old pointing and shouting “Hey, what’s that?!?” trick still works with this age group. These kids are still pretty new, so the old classic tricks like this one still work. When the kids grab you, just point across the playground, yell, “Look! What’s that?” and when they’re sufficiently distracted, just run away.

(11) Again, these kids are small and have tiny hands. If they grab you but don’t have a good grip, just slip away.

(10) Climb out the side of the train jail.

(9) When the kids catch on to trick #10, just add a new twist: Climb out the side, then climb back in and escape from the front.

(8) Say, “Hey everyone, I have a great game we can play! Everyone close your eyes and count to 10.” When the children close their eyes and start counting, it’s your chance to sneak out.

(7) When the kids put you into the train jail, explain to them that you have a legal right to make a phone call. Then tell them that the phone is located just outside the jail. When they back up to let you go out to the phone, run off.

(6) Sometimes the kids will be proud of the “grippers” on their gloves. This is especially true of little boys with Spider-Man gloves. When they show you the “grippers” on their gloves and explain that’s why you can’t get away, ask them to show you how tightly they can grip the post on the train jail. When they let go of you to grip the post, run for it.

(5) When the kids are dragging you off to the train jail, say, “I know, let’s all do jumping jacks!” Three-year-olds are very proud of their perceived ability to do jumping jacks, so they can’t resist this invitation. Once they let go of you and start doing jumping jacks, slip through the crowd and take off.

(4) Sometimes a whole mob of kids will haul you off to the train jail, but once you get there, only one adult at a time can fit through the opening. When the “guard” tries to guide you through the entrance, politely offer to let the guard go first. Once he or she is inside, run for it.

(3) This technique only works if just one kid has a grip on you, which is rare, but it’s very effective in that situation. If you have a free hand, look for a toy within reach on the ground nearby. Grab the toy, hand it to the child, and ask them to hold it for you. Since they’re such tiny people, it will require both of their hands to hold the toy. Once they take it, you’re free to escape.

(2) As you pass by another child, tell all your captors to wave at him or her. Then tell them, “Great job! Now let’s all wave with both hands!” The kids will all wave with two hands, letting go of you in the process. Once they’re all happily waving, make your getaway.

(1) Challenge the kids who have captured you: “You’re so fast, I bet I can’t catch you!” Appealing to their pride is always effective. When they accept your challenge and run off, just go the other way.

A word of warning: Small children who have observed your various methods of escape might eventually catch on and begin trying to trick you. Once when a group of preschoolers was chasing me, a four-year-old boy who had repeatedly studied my tactics decided to try to trick me. He said, “Hey Pastor Nathan, jump seven times!” I looked at him blankly and said, “What?” He smiled and grabbed my arm and said, “Tricked you!”

When it comes to escaping from small children who want to throw you in the train jail, I guess the bottom line is this: It’s easy to trick them, but they usually don’t fall for the same stunt twice, so you need to be creative and vary your approach.

Published in: on April 29, 2008 at 5:51 am  Leave a Comment  

10 Random Things

10 Random Things:

(1) Today is when voters here in Maryland, along with Virginia and D.C., get a shot at the national spotlight. I’m registered Independent, so I can’t vote. In my 14 years of voting eligibility, I’ve been registered as a Democrat, Republican, and now Independent. I’m thinking about switching back to Democrat so I can vote in the early rounds. Might as well. As you can see, I’m not exactly a strict party guy. (Good thing, since I don’t have a party.)

(2) Carolyn and I recently finished watching the complete series of Voyagers. That’s “complete series” as in the whole one season it ran. Too bad it didn’t go longer! Great ’80s show, complete with hokey one-liners such as, “I work alone, kid,” and those fantastic corny ’80’s not-so-special effects. And of course Phineas Bogg, with his open shirt, falls in love with a different woman in every episode. But it’s still a classic–I definitely recommend the show!

(3) Recently I’ve been getting hits on this blog from people researching Babe Ruth’s infamous called shot. Let there be no doubt about it–the Babe called it. In the third game of the 1932 World Series, the New York Yankees were playing the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Cubs were heckling Ruth, and finally he’d had enough: he’d let his bat talk for him. So he pointed to center field and knocked the next pitch over the wall–exactly where he’d pointed. I know of at least two sources which confirm the truth of this story. First of all, I’ve heard a recording of that at-bat, and the announcers themselves mention the Babe calling his shot. Second, a friend of my dad’s who passed away in the mid-1980s was there at the game, and he confirmed the story. Below is a picture of Ruth pointing, right before he homered.

(4) Speaking of blog traffic, there are two topics that repeatedly bring more hits to this blog than anything else: searches for surfing, and searches for chapstick–more specifically, chapstick conspiracy theories and chapstick expiration dates. In fact, if you Google “chapstick conspiracy theory,” this blog is the first listing that comes up. Weird.

(5) Last night I cleaned the house because we were going to have a church meeting here. The meeting ended up getting rescheduled, but at least the house is clean now.

(6) Carolyn is off from work today because of the election, so she’s going to visit the Training Station with me. She hasn’t yet met the Tuesday/Thursday kids. She’ll love ’em!

(7) Butch Marvin, whose ministry has had a significant impact at CrossWay the past couple years or so, is doing a two-week series at CrossWay in May. (If you’re reading this and you’re on our Worship Planning Team, I’m not holding out on you–I just got the email confirming the plan!) His messages are about “Becoming a Hope Dealer.”

(8) Today a group of ministry leaders in the Berlin area are meeting to plan a special event called “Celebration of the King.” It will be held on Friday, April 4th, which marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s an attempt at bringing together the black and white communities in this area, which is the most segregated place I’ve ever lived. We’re going to honor Dr. King and worship his King, King Jesus, who is also our King!

(9) Next week I’m getting to meet with some pastors from the Ocean City area. I’m really looking forward to it, because I’ve been wanting to meet these guys and get to know them.

(10) is the dumbest news website on the Internet. I need to find a good source for up-to-the-minute news. They used to be a great news source, but now they mostly just have stories about people doing horrific things to children. Whatever happened to real news coverage?

Published in: on February 12, 2008 at 5:45 am  Comments (2)  

Top 10 Things I’ve Learned Lately

Top 10 Things I’ve Learned Lately:

(10) It really is okay to be different. People are different from each other. Churches are different from each other. Preachers are different from each other. Since God made us so unique, it would be irresponsible for us to try to be like someone else. There are many big name church leaders out there who insist that their way of doing church is the only right way, but I can’t find their method given such exclusive status in Scripture.

(9) Procrastination makes life exponentially more stressful. If procrastination is something you struggle with, it’s extremely hard to move beyond it. Even if you want to stop procrastinating and make a concrete resolution, you decide to start tomorrow. But few things stress me out as much as approaching a deadline and not being prepared. It makes it difficult to enjoy down time when I have uncompleted tasks hanging over me. On the flip side, when I’ve finished the most important things early in the day or the week, the rest of the day or week is much more relaxed, enjoyable, and stressless.

(8) People are one of life’s biggest problems, but also one of life’s biggest pleasures. It’s hard dealing with people. I can say that because I’m one of them. People can interrupt plans, create obstacles, draw time and attention away from projects, and hurt you. But people can also cheer you up, help you achieve goals, provide an outlet for expressing devotion to God, offer support during times of discouragement, and give you the rich rewards of relationship that cannot be found anywhere else.

(7) Coffee is better black. I’ve been drinking it this way for several years, but recently I’ve come to appreciate the subtle differences between varieties. (I hope I’m not becoming a coffee snob!) This same principle can be applied to lots of things. When we experience things as they are without trying to change them with lots of cream and sugar, we discover that they have their own distinctive qualities to be enjoyed. (Of course, if you like cream and sugar in your coffee, that’s fine–I would never discriminate against someone on the basis of how they prefer their coffee.)

(6) Down time is a necessity, not an indulgence. Life is stressful. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed to the point of panic. I don’t know if this ever gets easier or goes away. But something that helps enormously is to carve out regular down time and guard it ferociously. When I sit at home on a Friday afternoon, turn off the phone, grab some nachos, and sit down in front of a ballgame or a good book, I’m not being lazy or selfish or neglectful. I’m doing something that’s necessary for my health, balance–even my sanity. I’m also being obedient to God, who knew from the beginning that we would have workaholic tendencies and so commanded a day of rest.

(5) Prayer really does make a difference. Being consistent with daily prayer time has always been a struggle for me. I’ve had my prayer life ups and downs, but consistency has been extremely difficult to maintain. During the lows, I don’t handle life well. I have a stinky attitude, I’m not productive, I’m short-tempered, I have a bleak outlook, and God seems distant. But during the highs, God’s presence is closely and personally felt, I’m more patient, and I’m much better able to handle the difficulties that come my way. Currently I’m in a period that’s not really a high, but it’s consistent, and I’ve found that consistency produces the same effects as the up times.

(4) We all need grace–and lots of it. It’s so irritating when someone bills you the wrong amount, or sits through a green light, or doesn’t return your phone call, or doesn’t follow through with a promise, or forgets to leave the onions off the quesadilla you ordered. These things are easy to notice. What’s not so easy to notice are the times that I don’t call people back, or forget to do something I said I’d do, or fail to yield the right of way, or make a cutting remark, or miss a deadline. None of us will ever measure up to standards or expectations of perfection. We all need to give each other a ton of grace.

(3) Little kids understand more about life than adults do. This runs counter to conventional wisdom and even common sense. Grownups have more experience and knowledge. They understand how things work. But kids have more wonder. They are still fascinated by the little things in the great big world around them. They have a lot more questions than answers, and so they have a deeper understanding and appreciation of God’s creation.

(2) It’s better to be disarming than to be armed. There are plenty of hostile, antagonistic people out there who make everything a battle. When someone deals with me that way, the natural reaction is to respond the same way. But I’ve found that a supernatural reaction is better. With God’s help, I’ve discovered that a smile and a friendly tone catches people off guard and can soften their determination to wage war.

(1) I stink; God rocks. Even when I make the same mistakes over and over, God is faithful. He hangs in there even when I’ve let go. When I’m faithless, He’s faithful. When I start thinking that it’s up to me and then despair because I drop the ball, He reminds me that it’s not up to me, and He scoops up the ball and scores.

Published in: on September 21, 2007 at 9:55 am  Comments (2)  

Top 10 Searches That People Have Used to Find This Blog

It’s been way too long since the last Top 10 list. So here we go with: The Top 10 Searches That People Have Used to Find This Blog. Everything in quotes appears here exactly as people typed it to lead them to “Surfing the InnerN8.”

(10) “pastors that do nothing”

Should I be offended that searching this phrase leads people to my blog? Is this Mr. Google’s way of saying I spend too much time working on this site?

(9) “Cooperstown atheist”

What the heck would prompt someone to do a search on this phrase? Maybe since a church in Cooperstown, New York made us pay to park there, someone thought they could find an atheist to cut them a better deal. I don’t know…

(8) “things that bug me”

Like reading this blog?

(7) “Nathan’s inner life”

Keep searching. And let me know if you find it.

(6) “when ministers act like jerks”

For further evidence, just go to….?

(5) “chicken cheesesteaks in Maryland”

I try to cover all the important essentials on here. It’s about time someone noticed.

(4) “gory birthing movie”

You can search the “Videos” category all you want, but I assure you that you’ll find nothing to substantiate the connection between this search phrase and this blog. But it’s comforting to know that sickos doing a search like that can find me so easily.

(3) “king louis who never took a shower”

Gee, apparently I have more in common with the French kings than I realized. Either that or a cybermajority agrees that this blog stinks.

(2) “why respect pastors”

I wonder if they found their answer on this blog, or only confirmed their suspicions.

And now for my favorite…

(1) “biblical spelling for the word ‘dam'”

No comment required.

Published in: on September 6, 2007 at 7:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Top 10 Reasons I’m Fat

(10) The other day I stopped at Espresso Wave for a coffee. The girl working there offered me a free cinnamon twist. I said no thanks. She asked if I was sure. Who can say no twice to a free cinnamon twist?

(9) While I’m between jobs, I’ve had more opportunity to visit Carolyn’s classroom. And Long John Silver’s is on the way.

(8) Carbs are my friends.

(7) My scale lies.  It hates me.

(6) Everything you buy at the grocery store these days is fattening.  It’s hard to even eat a salad that’s actually healthy!

(5) Christmas.  Eggnog + chocolate + pies = 10 pounds in December.

(4) Cheese.

(3) Dr. Pepper.

(2) For the past three years, I’ve worked with some great folks who have a great appetite for great food.  Let’s just say my appetite fit right in.  I’ve had some excellent lunches, but they probably added 30 pounds to my frame.

(1) The most obvious reason: if it tastes good, it’s bad for you.  And I enjoy eating more than being thin.

Published in: on April 21, 2007 at 8:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Top 10 Random Thoughts About Church Ministry

(10) Sunday morning is absolutely the most grueling time of the week for me. On Sunday afternoons I feel like an athlete after a highly competitive contest.

(9) You hear a lot about how people no longer respect clergy. I’m sure that’s often true, but in my experience, I’ve found that many people still attach respect to the office.

(8) Serving at a church that is staff-led, and where everyone shares a common vision and is on a common mission, is such a totally, completely, entirely different experience from serving in a church where it’s congregational led, nothing ever gets done, no one cares about those outside the church, and pretty much everyone is clueless about what being a Christian is all about.

(7) Geography has a huge impact on the way ministry is done. Most of the books, conferences, and training seminars are produced by guys from the big city. Very little of their methodology is effective in places like the Eastern Shore.

(6) Fortunately, more and more people are catching on to the biblical idea that ministry is not something done only by pastors. It’s for everyone in the church. Expecting the pastors to do all the work of ministry is like expecting a football coach to play every position on the team.

(5) Technology has given the church some ministry tools that should make today the greatest day in the history of the church. We can reach people literally all over the globe in numerous ways (such as blogs and podcasting), and often for free.

(4) Saying that you’re a minister is like saying that you’re a businessman. It’s so general that it barely narrows down what it is you actually do. There is such an enormous spectrum of ministry roles at church: preacher, vision-caster, visitor, administrator, music leader, drama script writer, counselor, set designer, email writer, video editor, small groups leader, discipler, and on and on.

(3) The most ineffective ministers are the ones who try to do all of those things listed in #4 above. Tackling more than three or four of those roles will horrendously dilute any minister’s effectiveness.

(2) Being known as a pastor can make it difficult to live an effective Christian life. Many times I’ve been treated by people as though I’m some kind of professional holy man, rather than a sincere follower of Jesus Christ. It’s often tempted me to go bi-vocational, something that is still a very real possibility.

(1) Rarely do I feel closer to God than when I’m preaching. I know that I couldn’t do it at all without Him, and so the whole time I’m preaching, I’m experiencing inside the wonder of having God work through me.

Published in: on March 30, 2007 at 8:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Top 10 Funny Milton Comments

Carolyn has a kindergarten student who has more personality in his little body than most adults I know combined. For the sake of privacy I’ll call him “Milton.” So here’s my list of the Top 10 Funny Milton Comments:

(10) Carolyn was teaching the kids about money. When she explained that George Washington was on the quarter, the kids asked if he was the president. She told them he died a long time ago. Then she showed them the eagle on the other side of the quarter. Milton cautiously inquired: “Is it dead?”

(9) One of Carolyn’s shirts is really soft and fuzzy. Recently when she wore it to school, Milton nuzzled up against her and said, “You’re comfy.”

(8) Some students were having a theological discussion (which in itself would be worth sharing here). Milton chimed in: “In my church, we stomp the devil on his head!”

(7) The teaching assistant had the hiccups one afternoon. Milton asked her: “Then why did you come to school today?”

(6) I don’t know why they would give the word “dam” to kindergarten students for a spelling word, but nevertheless, that was the case. Carolyn drew a picture for all the spelling words, and when Milton saw the picture of a dam, he asked what it was. “A dam,” she told him. His eyes got real big with shock and he said, “That’s a bad word–my daddy says that word!”

(5) After about a month of school–and a month of behavior problems–Milton asked Carolyn: “Did I pick this class?”

(4) On Fun Friday all the kids who haven’t gotten in trouble during the week get to pick a prize out of the treasure box. Milton had behaved horribly all week long, and when treasure box time rolled around, he shyly presented his case to Carolyn: “I’ve been a little bit good.”

(3) The kids had an assignment: draw a picture of your favorite way to travel.  Milton drew a fancy vehicle with lots of color and detail and a big engine.  Carolyn looked at him and asked, “What’s your favorite way to travel?”  Milton’s reply: “In a souped-up car.”

(2) Not long ago during school, Milton asked Carolyn: “Where do you work?”

And my very favorite…

(1) At Christmas time, Carolyn had a dilemma: she didn’t want to inundate the kids with songs about Santa and Rudolph, but being at a public school, she also couldn’t play music with Christian words.  So she found a good middle ground: she played Christian Christmas songs, but instrumental versions.  After an afternoon of listening to instrumental songs that he recognized, Milton was puzzled and asked: “Why are we listening to karaoke?”

Published in: on March 20, 2007 at 8:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Top 10 Things Pastors Do That Inspire Me

Surely you didn’t think I’d slam the men of the cloth one day and not give ’em a shout out the next? So here’s my list of the Top 10 Things Pastors Do That Inspire Me:

(10) Teach. Through their own lives as well as through their sermons, pastors teach us to know God better and love Him more. They teach us how to live the kind of life that God intends for us.

(9) Listen. This is really hard for some people, really easy for others. But pastors have to be good listeners all the time, and this requires huge amounts of compassion and discipline.

(8) Encourage. Following Christ can be hard and very discouraging. While pastors have to deal with this difficulty and discouragement themselves, at the same time they champion the cause and encourage the rest of us to keep on the right path. They remind us that God can get us through anything and that it will all be worth it in the end.

(7) Steer clear from all the stuff on yesterday’s list. ‘Nuff said.

(6) Put themselves on the front line. The Bible is very clear that we are in a spiritual war zone, and pastors are the volunteer Special Forces. They’re the first ones into the mess and the last ones out. They have big, bright red targets painted on them, and they wear it willingly.

(5) Do stuff they stink at. Even pastors who are successful at focusing on their strengths still have to do a lot of stuff that they stink at. They have to be a jack-of-all-trades. They’re expected to be experts in financial management, counseling, preaching, the Bible, administrating an organization, computers, graphic design, and on and on and on. Nobody is good at everything, but the pastor still has to try.

(4) Sacrifice. The demands on a pastor require great personal sacrifices of his time, money, energy, and even family. Trying to be the 24-Hours-A-Day-7-Days-A-Week-Selfless-Guy is grueling.

(3) Carry the burden of many broken lives. Have you ever had a friend share a problem with you, and it really weighed you down? Such confidences are especially heavy when you can’t lighten the load by sharing it with anyone else. Pastors constantly carry the heavy burden of knowing all the painful and ugly crap in everyone’s lives. These heroes make Atlas look wimpy.

(2) Give up the pursuit of worldly goals. From the day we exit the womb, we’re primed to pursue happiness–wealth, fame, satisfaction, pleasure, all that stuff. We’re constantly surrounded by people with good intentions who encourage us to go after these things. But pastors intentionally set aside self-centered pursuits in order to devote themselves to glorifying God and serving others. Many of them could hit the jackpot in the secular marketplace, but have decided instead to commit themselves to loftier objectives.

(1) Point people toward God. Pastors have this seemingly conflicted task of being in the spotlight for the purpose of pointing people toward God. While they have people’s attention on them, they must divert the spotlight to illuminate God. This requires wisdom, discernment, and humility. Amazingly, so many pastors do this remarkably well. Sure, you have your celebrity rock-star preachers, but by far most of the ones I’ve known are truly humble men who dedicate their lives to pointing people toward the Savior.

Published in: on March 17, 2007 at 8:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Top 10 Things Pastors Do That Bug Me

Let’s start off by making a few things clear:

  • I am a pastor.
  • I love and respect pastors.
  • Every pastor has probably done some of the things on this list. I know I’ve been guilty of several of them myself.
  • Pastors need to be cut some slack just like everyone else.
  • Nothing on this list is aimed at any particular individuals.
  • I really don’t mean to sound negative. I consider this healthy venting.
  • Nevertheless, here are ten things pastors do that bug me:

(10) Don’t grow personally, but still try to lead. Leadership is all about growth. If you’re not going to the next level yourself, you certainly can’t take anyone else there.

(9) Don’t work hard at their preaching. This is a personal pet peeve of mine because preaching is my passion, and I’m sold out on its importance to the Kingdom of God. One time I visited a church where I’m almost positive the pastor was making up the sermon as he went along. I’m not kidding. He kept closing his eyes and pausing for long moments, and the sermon was only about 10 minutes. I don’t think it even had a point. A preacher has about half an hour each week to address God’s people and share a message from the Bible. What an opportunity! There’s never any excuse for wasting it.

(8) Reek of arrogance. Christian leadership has no place for arrogance, and yet so many pastors swagger and sway like they’re some kind of super savvy, spiritual giants who have it all figured out. Usually they’re older guys who think the young guys think they know everything but actually know nothing, or younger guys who think the older guys think they know everything but actually know nothing. (Read that sentence a couple more times and it will start to make sense.) In the Bible we see that Jesus Christ was perfect and knew everything and was perfectly gifted and able, and yet not one single time do we ever see Him acting like a hotheaded know-it-all. Christlike people act like Jesus, not like arrogant fools.

(7) Waste time. I can’t even tell you how many pastors I’ve known who waste more time than they spend working, yet talk all the time about how busy they are. Here’s a hint: If you have time to talk a lot about how busy you are, you probably aren’t really that busy. Stop faking it. You aren’t fooling anybody.

(6) Preach about reaching unbelievers and do nothing about it/ Preaching about reaching unbelievers and then doing everything they can to keep it from actually happening. Okay, so this one’s two-sided. It drives me so crazy that it makes me feel like thumping people. I have no patience to listen to a preacher go on and on week after week about reaching unbelievers with the Gospel, and then not doing a single thing about it. Great example for the flock! And some preachers prattle on with this message over and over but vehemently oppose anyone who tries to make an effort to actually befriend a “heathen.” Five words for these guys: weeping and gnashing of teeth. Figure it out.

(5) Make it all about them. Some pastors have to be the center of everything. They have to be the superstar, the center of attention. They hold tightly to control, which eventually chokes a church to death. Jesus alone is the superstar–He alone is the Hero of the story. He alone is the One who is in control.

(4) Try to act super righteous. Some pastors are two different people: the phony pastor and the real person. There should never be a dichotomy here. There’s no need to pretend to be perfect just because you’re a pastor. From the Bible up to today, God has taken seriously messed up people, changed them by His grace, and allowed them to be His servants. Pastors are not super holy–they’re sinners saved through the atoning death of Jesus Christ, just like every other Christian.

(3) Gossip about and slander other pastors. A good example of this would be if I inserted names into this list. I don’t know if it’s insecurity, jealousy, or just a serious character flaw, but some pastors’ conversation drips with slams against other pastors. Didn’t Jesus pray for our unity?

(2) Act like jerks. Christians should be known for their love, and yet some pastors are just plain mean. I actually saw a church sign once in Tennessee that said: “Boozers are losers.” The pastor put it there. Part of their Overcoming Addictions Ministry promotion, I suppose. Jesus said His people would be known by their love, not their hate. Not sure how some folks get that one confused, especially people called to pass along the message.

(1) Think they’re cool by listening to U2. So you’ve got a thing for Bono. Gee, how cutting edge and culturally relevant of you. Makes you almost as hip as parents in the 1980’s who thought their kids would think they were cool if they listened to Bruce Springsteen.

After all that you might think I have a chip on my shoulder. Well, I did–but now I feel all better. Thanks for listening.

Published in: on March 16, 2007 at 8:37 am  Comments (4)