26 March, 2015

This One Absolutely Takes the Cake

I've been in ministry for a long time now, pastoring my first church in 1986; but the phone call I received  today is at the absolute top of my list as craziest phone calls I've ever received as a pastor. This person called me and wanted to know some about the church as they told me they were looking for a new church. Then this guy asked what I "expected of attenders." I asked him to clarify his question a bit. He proceeded to tell me that he was not looking for a church that expected him to do anything. Again, I asked him to clarify. He went on to tell me that he did not want a church that expects him or his family to help with the work of the church, or one that expected them to give their time or money to the church. So I asked him just what he thought the church should expect or what the church should be. I kid you not, the man said, "If we need the pastor, we expect you to be there. If we need help with our bills, the church should be ready to minister to those needs. If someone is in the hospital, day or night, we expect you to be there. And we don't believe in churches that keep record of attendance or bothers us if we are not there for a few weeks.  I said to him, "Don't you think it is part of the job of a good shepherd to call and make sure everyone is OK if you are gone?"  He snapped back, "Like I said, if we need you, we will call. Otherwise butt out of our lives."  
There was more to the conversation, but I'm sure you get the drift of how it went. After about 20 minutes on the phone he said, "you're not sounding like you are too interested in our becoming a part of your congregation. Don't you care about our souls?"  I replied, "Sir, it's not that I'm not concerned for your souls; In fact, I'm DEEPLY concerned for your soul after this conversation, but let me assure you that I am definitely not interested in becoming your personal slave or your sugar daddy financially. I thank you for your time but suggest you keep looking... not for a church, but for a Savior. If you are ever interested in that, then I welcome you to come to Harvest Church."

He said, "Just as I thought, another money hungry preacher who does not care about anyone but himself!"  With that he hung up.

I sat here for about half an hour asking myself if that conversation really took place. I'm hoping it was someone playing a gag... but I don't think so. 

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