Whenever we'd get together, Tony would say, "One of the most fun things for me is listening to smart people say stupid things."
Usually, we'd be together because I'd invited him to preach/speak or lead some kinda retreat for pulpiteers/pewsitters; and not more than once wondered if he was talking about them or, uh, me.
While I'm not as smart as I think I am (Huh?), I have said and heard lots of really stupid things since called to an ecclesiastical gig.
My business manager in the city where everything's so up-to-date, beckoned me from the study on a late Friday afternoon, directed me to the narthex, pointed to the brilliantly glossed tiles, and said, "It's too bad it'll all be scuffed up after Sunday morning."
Then there was the women's something or other that needle-pointed the most beautiful pew cushions that I'd ever seen and then asked for a special board meeting to approve roping off the pews so folks wouldn't sit on and soil 'em.
A rich guy in the South came to see me and said, "Phoebe has left the church because she doesn't like the new music and doesn't like you." I said, "That's too bad; but do you see all of the new people coming every week? Our church is growing like crazy!" He said, "I don't care about them. I really don't care about you. I care about Phoebe."
Son/daughter of a...
Ah, yes, there are hundreds of stories about smart people saying/doing stupid stuff in the naked city, uh, church.
A recent one generated this letter:
I don't know who counts attendance, don't want to know who counts
attendance, wonder why we count attendance, kinda know why but
consider it a waste of time /energy/resources, and doubt it factors
into the final - and I mean final - arbitration.
Regardless, it appears we count attendance like Chicago counts votes.
Obviously, and I mean obviously, more and more new faces are
coming to worship since we amended our Sunday morning calendar.
Getting back to counting votes, uh, attendance, 11/7's second service
count was 277 and 11/14's count was 134 but there were, uh,
obviously, more folks in the second service on 11/14 that 11/7.
Hence, our staff has lowered the count for 11/7 and increased
the count for 11/14; reminding us of Chicago's...
I have instructed the staff not to waste any more time on tabulating.
Both services are growing; probably not as much as the record
of 11/7 while definitely more than the record of 11/14.
Of course, Biblically, we're supposed to plant not harvest anyway.
Blessings and Love!
P.S. Nobody really cares about this stuff except bean counters in
Louisville. Those with eyes to see can...BTW, I did not mention
our first service in the chapel which ranges from lows of ___ to
highs of ___ during really important parts of the church year
(Gulp!)...[Parenthetically, size matters when it comes to
church! When pastors first meet each other, they don't ask,
"So how's your relationship with Jesus? Do your members
behave like they believe in Jesus?" Nah! They ask, "So, uh,
how big is your...?" That way they can figure out how their
size compares to...]...Interesting, since our transition, the
2nd/3rd services morphed into one service has increased
while the continuing service has remained steady. Go figure!
No, don't go figure! Go! Be faithful! Invite! Welcome!
Include! Love!...We're about souls not beans!
Tony was leading an officer's retreat in a fabulously well-to-do church that happened to have me as the pastor.
He talked with passion unknown to mainliners about saving starving souls and feeding the famished.
During the Q&A after his missionary message, an elder asked about his brother, "What should I say to my brother who likes to smoke?"
Head bobbing and body fidgeting, Tony snapped, "The world is going to hell and people are bruising, beating, and butchering each other and all you want to talk about is your brother's disgusting habit that isn't killing anyone but him?"
I thought about that yesterday when somebody really smart said one of the most stupid things that I'd ever...
Every now and then, I have a vision/hallucination of Jesus on a hill not too far from the church; bleeding to death and pleading, "Father, forgive them for..."
Blessings and Love!
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