Pastors' Forum


A Sense of Humor

I know it’s vitally important to keep a sense of humor in ministry, and I know it’s also important to not take yourself too seriously (even though we take our calling seriously). I’d love to hear pastors share some of their funnier moments in ministry, including their bloopers and blunders.


Pastor Bob Yandian – Tulsa, OK
When I arrived at the wedding (about 15 minutes early), the groom had not made it yet. This was before cell phones and no one knew he was stuck in traffic. The bride was in a panic and so were the groomsmen. The groom was to have delivered their tuxes almost an hour earlier.

When I walked through the door, in my tux, the photographer (who thought I was the groom) saw me cried out, “O thank God you’re here!” I thought to myself, “I think I’m early.” He then said to me, “how can you look so calm?” I told him, “Oh, I have done this so many times, I don’t get nervous anymore.” I could not figure out his shocked expression.

Pastor Rob Wynne – Linden, AL
One Wednesday night as I was preaching, I had a major mental error or you could say “hiccup.”

As I was explaining how Rose and I compensate for each other by using our attributes to help each other, my mental error occurred. I intended to say that “Rose IS very smart,” but what came out instead was “Rose is NOT very smart!” Not realizing what I had said, I continued on with what I was relating, even expounding with a few other words and examples along the intended lines of how we help each other, and again I said “And Rose is NOT even very smart!!” By this time some people began to have some funny looks on their faces, a few chuckles and whispered comments, ie., ”He has no idea what he is saying!” Not attributing all this to my comments, I continued on with my message and for a third time made the statement, “Rose is NOT very smart!!” At this point she stopped me and said, “Where are you going with this?” My response was “What do you mean?” By this time, Rose and several members of the congregation looked a little agitated. Rose answered me by saying,” Where are you going with all this Rose is NOT very smart business?” I humbly replied, “Did I say THAT?” At that point, I promptly asked one of the men, “Can I go home with you tonight?!!”

Pastor Jerry Weinzierl – Sterling Heights, MI
My worst and probably funniest was: November 1997, the scene—a tour of Israel with two other churches and I’m kind of the “young pastor” in the group. I was assigned no real teaching duties and was pleased to be along for the experience with the members of my church. Half way through the 9 day trip we came to the Jordan River for what was to be a highlight…baptism in the same river Jesus was baptized!

On location there is a changing room up at the gift shop where you could also purchase an optional white robe for the baptism. I had two elderly members that wanted to experience this, so I prepared myself and waited my turn. Our tour group had 20-30 to go into the water, and my two would be last. As I waited (along with a pretty sizable audience in the observation area) I observed how dirty the water was and obviously very cold from the reaction of the participants. My turn came. I walked down into the water, the elderly couple, dressed in their $10 outfit, one by one walked down into the cold water where I was. I dunked them both with the traditional words of “In the name…” They waited one for another before they exited the water and the priceless time had come as their cheap, thin, white garment clung tightly to their completely naked bodies…leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination! Pretending that nothing was out of the ordinary was completely impossible and the couple walked nonchalantly back to their clothing stash!

They were oblivious. I was mortified and rode back to the hotel with two very blessed and now better known members!

Pastor Timothy Kutz – Bartlesville, OK
Certainly, one way to lose the attention of people you continually minister to is to be serious and dramatic all of the time. If a merry heart does good like a medicine, then that means people like to laugh and they need to laugh. A good library of jokes is an asset to any minister. Humor helps people to open their minds to what is being said and will help you keep them engaged.

As an example, I opened a baby dedication service last Sunday with the following (not original with me):

Question: Have you ever given your children back to God?

(Some of you are thinking, “I’d like to give them back—but

I didn’t think God would take them back.

I thought He had a ‘no return’ policy on kids!

Besides, I lost the receipt!”)

The truth is, there is not a parent here who hasn’t had a few
moments or days when they wouldn’t have liked to package
up that kid and take him/her back to God’s customer
service counter and demand, “I want my money back!”

  When Peggy and I first married we had 3 theories on
raising kids…now we have 3 kids and no theories!

One young boy, who had two brothers, came to his mom and
asked, “Mom, what would you like for your birthday this year?”
She said, “I would like 3 well-behaved children!”
That young boy answered, “Then there would be six of us!”

People were absolute ready to receive the few points that I had to make after that.

But the funniest times in the pulpit are when you don’t mean to be making a joke and one just happens. I was ministering several years ago and I wanted to make a point about a particular thing that had happened as being a miscarriage of justice.

Webster’s Dictionary defines travesty as: a crude, distorted, or ridiculous representation
of something (a trial that was a travesty of justice)

I wanted to use the word travesty, but what came out of my mouth was “transvesty.” People started laughing uncontrollably. I couldn’t understand why. It had gone right over my head. Someone then told me what I had said. After an extended period of intense laughter, I attempted to recover the rest of my sermon. To this day no one, including myself, remembers what I was ministering on that day!

Another time that really worked out good was when I was doing a service with all of the children present and the service was geared toward the children. I was using it as an opportunity to minister to the children myself as well as a “recruiting” time for children’s workers. I stationed two men, who are goofy and like to have a good time, on each side of the platform….armed with super soaker squirt rifles!!! At first they were just shooting the children, but the adults really began to get into the service and were doing what it took to get shot too. That was 30 minutes of non-stop laughter. People really enjoyed that service, and we enlisted several children’s church workers.

Pastor David Emigh – Sand Springs, OK
One Sunday morning I was preaching away and said, “2 Tim 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immorality to light through the gospel:” It was hilarious!

Pastor Dean Hawk – Colorado Springs, CO
Here’s my one brilliant idea:  Buy a ping pong table. Too many times the driving force and emotional drain of ministry is taxing and we take life too seriously. My pastors and I bought a ping pong table for the office. We use it to relieve stress, make the office fun, and it allow us to flaunt our dominance over one another. Of course they know if I don’t periodically win, the table will disappear! Just kidding!

Pastor Joe Cameneti – Warren, OH Our church was just one year old. My brother Mike, who now pastors in Canton, Ohio, was our youth pastor at the time. He was hosting our first ever student all-nighter, and I stopped in to say hello to everyone.

When I arrived, Mike and his wife Barb were talking to a woman. They introduced me, and I soon discovered that her husband had recently passed away. She was obviously upset, and I wanted to take the conversation in a new direction. I began to ask her all of the usual questions a pastor would ask. “How old are your children?” “Where do they attend school?” This went on for a few minutes, and I began to get more comfortable as the tone of the conversation became more casual.

Unfortunately, I became so comfortable that I forgot all about her deceased husband. In my lack of thought, I asked the poor woman one final question: “So what does your husband do for a living?”

My brother’s eyes widened as the dear woman quickly replied, “I just told you that he is dead!” At that point, Mike abandoned me! He turned around and began to slowly walk down the hallway—shoulders shaking from laughter. Can you believe my “dear brother” left me alone to deal with my stupidity!

I couldn’t tell you one single thing about the rest of that night. It has forever been lost in my subconscious. I would need years of “inner healing” specialists and a steady dose of drugs to dig it up! Talk about saying stupid things! Be sure to say a prayer for the dear woman. Needless to say… she no longer attends our church.

Back in the early 90’s, I had a prayer line at the end of a service, and an “elderly” man walked to the altar. When I prayed for him, he fell back. I’m not so sure if it was from God’s presence as much as it was out of habit. Regardless, he fell so quickly that the ushers weren’t able to reach him in time, and his head hit the carpet pretty hard. What happened next was like something straight out of the movies.

The force of impact was enough to send his head back into the air, catapulting his dentures skyward! They had to have been launched about 10 feet across the front of the church! The funniest part was watching my leadership in the front row as all of their heads turned in unison toward the air-born dentures and then back to me. I was trying so hard not to laugh with them! Without hesitation, one of our usherettes used a prayer cloth to return the teeth to their owner. He was fine, and all was well. We knew we had just been given a story to tell for the ages!


I’ll never forget my first trip to New York City with my wife, Gina. We were ready to enjoy an incredible day of shopping and fine cuisine. I had just grabbed a delicious 20-ounce decaf coffee from Starbucks, and I was excited to start my day. We were in Macy’s, and I needed to use the restroom, so I left Gina to her shopping, and I made my way to that “special place.”

I entered the men’s room and proceeded into a stall where I carefully set my coffee on top of the toilet paper dispenser. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but where was I supposed to put it? I couldn’t chance leaving a new, perfectly delightful cup of Starbucks sitting outside for just anyone to enjoy! This was my only option!

A short time passed, and all was well. I had managed to avoid any major problems as I went through my ritual of cleaning the seat and layering it with toilet paper (See… I am clean after all). But then, as I sat down, my shoulder accidentally bumped the coffee! As if in slow motion, I watched in terror as the cup teetered off the dispenser and started falling toward the floor. In those brief seconds, I made a desperate attempt to snatch the cup from mid air. I failed. It hit the floor with what seemed like the force of a small atomic bomb. For a moment I stared at the mess, thankful that somehow the exploding java hadn’t ruined my outfit. My joy was short-lived.

“Are you kidding me?” an irate voice from the next stall reverberated throughout the room. “What kind of person brings a drink into a restroom? You must be a pig to have food in here?” I fully understood why this gentleman would be upset! So I tried to calm him down by repeatedly apologizing to him. His anger was reminiscent of John Gotti before a hit. He was mad! “Ah! You ruined my pants, you stupid fool!” He wasn’t about to let me forget what had happened.

After the initial wave of profanity and disgust, I reached for my wallet to find a twenty to cover his dry cleaning bill. I knew it was my fault, and I sincerely felt bad about what had happened. My plan was to slip the bill under the stall and deliver a nice, “Here ya’ go buddy. I’ll pay for your dry cleaning.”

Five minutes later, the endless barrage of names and jeers were still flying, and I couldn’t take it anymore! The twenty dollar bill was back in my wallet, and what I thought to be my “spiritual mind” began to entertain some very crazy, “unchristian” thoughts. I can take this guy! He’s really begging for it. Does he think he can handle 250 pounds of uncontrollable Joe? I’m in New York, and no one would ever know! The battle was raging in my mind, and my mouth was ready to let loose. I was trying with everything that was in me to hold back and not escalate the situation any further. I really should have prayed that morning!

Finally I heard him leaving the stall, but his exit was not to be outdone by the previous ten minutes—he loudly expressed his displeasure the entire way out of the restroom. I waited for what felt like an eternity in that restroom. I wanted to be absolutely sure that I didn’t run into him again, possibly forcing me into a physical altercation.

The rest of the day was terrible. I walked around one of the largest cities in the world paranoid that I might run into my “friend” from the restroom and his coffee-stained pants. I literally stared at the cuffs of every pair of pants that passed.

Pastor Dennis Cummins – Puyallup, WA
The way that we best share the light side of life is through what we call VIP’s—Video Illustrated Points. These are in-house video productions and monologs that we create in house. Most of our VIP’s can be viewed on located at with over 400,000 views. We find that we have greater latitude in putting humor in video as illustrations than doing it from the pulpit. We have been able to say more and without saying anything. Our most controversial VIP is our American Jesus VIP.  We put this together during a series I was doing on health. The purpose was to show people that if we are the only Jesus that people are seeing, then how are Americans viewing Jesus through our hypocritical Christian lifestyle; over eating, self inflicted health disorders, smoking and so on. Some people were offended by the American Jesus VIP because it was able to put some things into perspective. Our other popular personality that we have used is a character called “Master Profit Ricky Reed.” This character is to show the imbalance in some of the prosperity message.

We have also used humorous VIP’s to challenge the religious stereotypes of Christianity. I think humor is very important since it opens the heart and prepares them for truth. Video is a powerful tool and I would love to see more churches capitalize on it. Especially since a church could get started with a Final Cut Express HD editing suite, an IMAC computer and a great Cannon HDV30 camera for under $2,000.

Pastor Bob Hoover – Decatur, IL I think humor is very important for every Pastor to express. Recently I was asked to minister at a funeral for a Harley biker. The man’s wife wanted some humorous things to be expressed, and she thought that I was that kind of minister. I am not the “Harley kind of guy” as another Pastor at our church said, but she thought I would make it fun and also serious. Since I don’t know anything about Harleys, I said some funny things about how little I know in regards to being a biker—sort of a Rodney Dangerfield approach. I closed with a salvation message. This was a well known biker, so we were packed out. After the service, two other bikers expressed they would like for me to minister at their funeral. Guess they did not know they were talking to a seventy year old Pastor. It was great fun.

Pastor Dave Williams – Lansing, MI

  • In teaching on the Gospel according to St. John, I got “City Sheepfold” twisted around. You can imagine what I said. The place went wild.
  • “Life, Laughter, and Love”—Three things we should prophesy over our churches.
  • One day a lady troublemaker got into the church during business hours. She attacked the receptionist and pulled the phone cords out of the way. When I showed up she ran and hide somewhere in the church. We couldn’t find her, so we reluctantly called the police. We told the deputy about how this lady had attacked, yelling and screaming at the receptionist and secretaries, and how she was hiding somewhere in the church. The deputy looked at me and said, “This is a charismatic church. Why didn’t you just cast the devil out of her instead of calling me?”

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