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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: At the Pulpit (11/15/07)

TITLE: Pastor Tim Topples the Tea
By Sheri Gordon


I sat on the front pew of First Community Church, head bowed in prayer, waiting to be called forward by Pastor Tim. I was on my annual “church circuit,” and although this was my fourth year, I was still nervous.

Lord, You know I don’t like doing this. Public speaking is not my thing, but for some reason You have put me here. Thank You for giving me the words to speak. Help me not to get dry mouth or trip over my tongue. And help me represent the center as You would want it represented. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

As director of the Pregnancy Counseling Center, each year I visited the churches which financially support our ministry. Relying on the Holy Spirit to provide me with the actual words, I approached each visit with my three-minute TEA:
Thank them for their support.
Explain the mission of the ministry.
Ask for donations.

Although God had been using me as His speaking instrument for the center for quite some time, this particular Sunday He surprised even me.

“I’d like to welcome the director of the Pregnancy Counseling Center …”

I began my ascension up the carpeted stairs to join Pastor Tim on stage. Having been a previous victim of the untimely shoe-sticks-to-the-rug-then-flings-you-forward debacle, each step was taken with great precision.

How fitting. We’re standing by the altar, and I feel like a sacrificial lamb, or goat, every time I do this. God, couldn’t you call someone else to speak for You? You know You’re taking years off my life with all this stress, don’t You?”

With trembling hands, I accepted the microphone being offered by Pastor Tim. My usual order of business was to quickly assess the crowd -- primarily to determine the age range. I learned early on that it is essential to choose one’s words carefully when speaking about a sensitive subject like unplanned pregnancies. A misplaced word could easily offend the elderly, or elicit “difficult” questions for the parents of younger children.

As I turned to face the congregation, I became distracted by a rather large monitor on the floor in front of me. Instead of sizing up the crowd, I began reading the monitor, and discovered a number of questions. Questions for me. Questions I was unprepared to answer.

God, this is not what I’m used to. This is not my cup of TEA. But You are in control, so help me to go with the flow.

My desperate plea was interrupted by Pastor Tim’s voice.

“I think most of us are aware that the center helps women who are in a crisis pregnancy. But you were telling me about some of the young people you meet with who aren’t in that situation. Could you tell us a little about that?”

Although caught off guard, I was glad to have the opportunity to talk about some of the “other” services offered by our center, particularly since the same people heard basically the same talk from me each year. I knew whatever I said was going to come from God, because this wasn’t part of any three-minute church presentation I’d done before.

“Thank you Pastor Tim. The center initially started as a ministry to counsel young women facing an unplanned pregnancy. But it didn’t take us long to realize that we really need to reach the women, or girls, before they become pregnant. Our ultimate goal is to talk to teenagers, girls and guys, before they make the decision to have s..”

As I was about to say the “s” word, I spotted two girls who looked to be about ten years old. They were sitting on the front pew, in their frilly church dresses, wearing big red bows in their hair. How could I finish the “s” word with their innocent souls drinking in every word I said?

I slowly lowered my mic, turned to Pastor Tim, and asked, “Can I say ‘sex’ at this church?”

Pastor Tim, not lowering his mic, confidently stated, “Oh yes, we approve of sex at this church. In fact, we rather like it.”

I have no idea what I said for the remainder of my time. (After waiting patiently for the hysterical laughter to stop.) But Pastor Tim and First Community continue to be one of the ministry’s strongest supporters.

Author’s note: This is based on an actual incident. The names have been changed to protect the innocent and not so innocent.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 898 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Allison Egley 11/22/07
Hehehe this was TOO funny! I wonder who's face was redder, hers or the pastor's?
Laury Hubrich 11/23/07
Very funny. Real life experiences are almost always more funny than any we could make up:) Good job!
Sharlyn Guthrie11/24/07
This is great! I love the title, and the "incident" is hilarious. Nice job.
Marita Vandertogt11/25/07
Cute title, and entertaining entry. This topic could have been a tad boring, but you kept it light and funny all the way through. And the fact that it actually happened, makes it all the funnier! Great job!
Debi Derrick11/25/07
This is so real life Christian service & ministry. Wonderfully written, well-handled subject.
Karen Wilber11/27/07
I'm so glad you wrote this - and wrote it so well. Great story. Great message. And really, really funny. Excellent writing!
Dee Yoder 11/27/07
Cute and funny story! You really had me involved with the MC's fear of speaking to a crowd and I didn't expect the ending at all! True life IS funnier sometimes.
Beth LaBuff 11/27/07
How funny! You've told this very well!
Sharon Henderson11/27/07
Wonderful! Fun to read and I felt her 'pain' all the way through.
william price11/27/07
I needed to read this after today. Very entertaining and well presented. Thank you, Faithwriter. God bless.
Betty Castleberry11/27/07
I could feel your MC being uncomfortable. This was well done, and with just the right touch of humor. Loved the ending.
LauraLee Shaw11/28/07
I was chuckling throughout this piece! Great job!!!!
Jan Ackerson 11/28/07
Great title, and fun story to read. I have a similar story--our pastor once forgot his mike was live and he had it on while he, um, visited the little boy's room right before the service...
Rebecca Jones11/28/07
I wonder how many hcildren Pastor Tim has! This is a great, funny piece -- some of our best stuff comes from real-life. Good job
Sara Harricharan 11/28/07
Okay, your title had be interested and your last line was a keeper! This is so hilarous, I liked the "TEA" and how in the end, a rehearsed speech wasn't what really mattered, but getting a message out for real.
Beckie Stewart11/28/07
Oh my, that was hilarious. I would have loved to have been there for that one!
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/28/07
Very well written. I felt your anxiety and your desire to please God with your words.
Patty Wysong11/28/07
LoL. Oh, that was gooooood!! I'm still chuckling over that! Great job! Hugs!
Loren T. Lowery11/28/07
I think we have all been in your MC's shoes at one time or another, and you've done a masterful job of telling and completing the story.
LaNaye Perkins11/28/07
This is such a fun read. Very cute story. Well done!
TJ Nickel11/28/07
a great slice of life for sharing. nice use of your space and choices of what to put into the story and what to indirectly reference.