To the unsuspecting person, giving your pastor a "pounding" would seem like something done by an angry mob. In my church, it wasn't a bad thing to avoid. A pounding actually meant free groceries from the members.
It was customary that almost every first Sunday, the members would bring us groceries. They might buy something extra at the grocery store or put aside something for us from their garden. Usually the back pew would have a few bags of groceries. Sometimes can goods, boxed stuff and maybe a few frozen foods.
The strangest pounding we ever got was from Gene Swain, a deacon in our church in Savannah, Georgia. He asked my dad once if we liked chicken. Of course, what South Georgia preacher DIDN'T like chicken? A few weeks later, Brother Swain brought us some chickens -- live chickens. Needless to say, we weren't expecting chickens that were still alive. My dad graciously accepted the chickens and built a makeshift chicken pen behind the parsonage. Eventually, my dad had to do the deed of "taking out" the chickens. This turned out to be one of those do-it-yourself poundings. Actually the chickens got the real pounding in the end.
At some churches, we had a "pounding booster" which usually turned out to be some saintly, white-haired widow woman. She would pass out pounding slips to the congregation. The slips would have one grocery item listed. We couldn't ask for any particular brand name so the slips might say "rice" or "bread" and that's what we would get too. Usually, the generic, cheapest brand.
Poundings have faded away in most of today's churches. It may still be alive and thriving in some of the churches in smaller towns or rural areas. People are more inclined to give money or take the pastor and family out to an all-you-can-eat buffet. That's about the same as buying groceries for the pastor without the pounding.
So if someone reveals that they are going to give the pastor a pounding, don't call the police. Take them to the local grocery store.
Milton, this was wonderful. Okay, I was seriously wondering what this was going to be about when I read the title (dissension in the ranks?) So glad to see that it was about blessing the Pastor instead. The chicken story really gave me a chuckle. I enjoyed this from start to finish and will definitely be tracking your work. With love, Deb
Great read, funny till the end. I grew up in Africa where till date, people still give their pastors a pounding...only that they pound him with cars and gold watches and designer suits. This seems to infuriate a lot of people. So is there any difference between pounding with live chickens and pounding with a Raymond Weil wristwatch? Especially when he didn't even ask for it anyway. :)