Because, in fact, it’s not just church members that can be irritating. Preachers can drive church members crazy, too. Like these fellows you may know:
Fred Fullbore: Every sentence Fred speaks, in or out of the pulpit, has an exclamation point at the end. Check his computer keyboard and you’ll see that the exclamation point key is worn smooth. He is always stoked, pumped, fired-up or excited because God is going to “show up big and blow the doors off!” Fred’s problem is that he doesn’t understand the power of nuance. If he were a musician he would play every note as loud as possible. Poor Fred means well, but he wears people out.
Alan Alarmist: Alan has never met a conspiracy theory or a spam email about Barack Obama being a terrorist that he didn’t love and forward to his Facebook friends list. His sermons are filled with dire statistics and scathing social commentary. He’s not a doomsday prepper, nor has he worn camo in the pulpit…yet. He does, however, dream about bunkers and MRE’s. Alan’s people just wish he would lighten up.
Matthew Marathon: Matthew is a nice guy, but doesn’t know when to shut up. Nursery and childcare workers would like to wring his neck because he runs every service overtime by rambling his sermon on and on. Poor Matthew never met a salient point he couldn’t obfuscate. He never saw a dead horse he didn’t have an overwhelming desire to beat. In truth, every sermon Matthew preaches is a 20-minute sermon, he just takes 45 minutes to preach it. His people secretly rejoice when they arrive at church and learn that he has laryngitis.
Bobby Bankrupt: This is the guy who can’t manage his finances worth a hoot, so he’s constantly begging the elders for a raise or a loan or permission to drive the church van until he can scrape together enough money to get his car fixed. Bobby has a sob story that won’t quit, but never stops to think that half the congregation earns a similar wage (or less) and has no trouble making ends meet. For obvious reasons, Bobby preaches about stewardship less often than Haley’s Comet does a fly-by.
Danny Disheveled: If ever a guy needed a makeover, it’s Danny. Unkempt hair, five 0’clock shadow, wrinkled clothes, half-tucked shirttails, and worn out shoes are his “look.” But his appearance is that of a spit-polished Marine compared to his office, which looks like a bomb went off. Rumor has it that two youth group boys went in there four years ago and were never heard from again. Danny greets every visitor to his office by saying, “Have a seat if you can find one.”
Sam Solemn: Sam is a serious Christian. Much more serious than you, which is obvious in the way he looks at you with pity when you tell a joke or make a wisecrack. When you run into Sam in public, you immediately feel self-conscious about what you’re eating or wearing or who you’re with. You know you love Jesus, but somehow Sam makes you wonder if you’re really saved.
Glenn Grandeur: Glenn preaches in a church of less than 200 people, but is bound and determined to run a taut, megachurch-style operation. His people hate it when he goes to a convention because they know he’s going to return with more ideas that amount to swatting flies with a sledgehammer. Like the parking crew, for example, all decked out in orange vests and waving flashlights, even though there hasn’t been a parking problem since the church was started in 1896. When questioned, Glenn speaks of impending growth and how “we need to have systems in place” for when it happens. His people think it’s overkill and wish he’d quit going to conventions.
Do you know any of these people? Are you any of these people?