Ministry is an odd game. We are – either consciously or subconsciously – expected to be all things to all people. Event planners, computer technicians, theologians, grounds maintenance persons, counselors, and secretaries, just to name a few. On top of all that we are required to be comedians. On queue. Like flipping a switch. Just… BE funny! Seems legit, right?
Now, I get it. Have you ever had to listen to a teacher that wasn’t funny? High schools across the nation are full of stuffy teachers trying to convey the importance of ‘I’ before ‘E’ in a monotone, deadpan demeanor. Ben Stein at least got a laugh with “Bueller… Bueller?” That gag was a comical cinematic rendition of a song that is sung by teachers the world over. It was funny because it was true and we can all relate!
But there’s nothing funny about a dull minister. Humor from the pulpit is compulsory. We’re trying to communicate the love of Christ for a lost and hungry world while spinning plates and juggling burning chain saws trying to keep the attention of our crowd. We bend over backwards trying to engage our people through comedy, media, and distraction. And what do they want from us? More funny.
It seems as if the very salvation of our students is based on our ability to deliver a punchline: “Well, you almost made the cut,” said Peter at the Pearly Gates. “But Pastor Jimmy fumbled the delivery of that chicken crossing the road joke, so instead of laughing your way to heaven, you groaned your way to Hell.” The pressure to perform is exhausting!
In the words of Jesus, “The truth shall set us free!” We don’t have to be funny. The world won’t end if you don’t get a laugh. Nevertheless, the writer of Proverbs does tell us that laughter does good like a medicine. So let’s keep trying to be funny, but maybe let’s not be too serious about it.
Do you have any tips on how to be funny as a minister? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comment’s section. Seriously! We’re all in this together.