How Would Your Church Respond to a Drunk Pastor?

February 25, 2009 by

Monday Morning Insight has been covering compassion on all cylinders recently. We talked about the church that cut off their electricity for missions, but have you heard about the pastor who wanted to test his congregation’s grasp of compassion?

Pastor Tommy Jackson disguised himself in raggedy clothes, reeking of alcohol, and he meandered around his church during a Sunday service. The idea was to test how much his church was grasping the current series on love and compassion. A local TV station has the video from the morning. And from the looks of things, it seems they passed. His members took time to help the man, talk with him and pray with him on their way into church.

Oh, and he’s planning more surprises in the future … no telling where this will lead, but it has us interested.

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Joshua Cody

Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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2 Responses to “How Would Your Church Respond to a Drunk Pastor?”

  • Tre Lawrence
    February 25, 2009

    What a powerful article… unbelievable…
    Thanks for sharing!

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  • James
    February 26, 2009

    Here’s one thing I’ve noticed. Many Christians – the suburban, generally wealthy or middle class ones like we have here in the South – they can deal with one or two people. They can deal with one drunk, one homeless person, one black person, one gay person.
    What they can’t deal with is being a minority. They have a great fear when they are the minority in any situation – they feel unsafe, and they feel they don’t have control. I’m a minority in my urban neighborhood – everybody in my neighborhood is an ethic minority; there is no majority. It’s a pretty safe community but most suburban Christians would never venture here – to them it’s a “ghetto” and “unsafe” – usually codewords for “there be black or brown people there.”
    This is often why we never see the suburban churches helping with the urban problems. In my city there are over 5,000 homeless and only around 2,000 beds in shelters on any given night. The suburban churches see no issue in building gymnasiums that sit empty more than half the week. They can spend 30,000 on a new video projection system. When a call goes out to collect 5,000 sets of coats and winter clothes for the homeless nets a half-hearted response of around 1/5 of what’s needed.
    The churches can usually do okay at collecting some money because it doesn’t actually involve being around the poor and homeless. I saw photos of a church that recently hosted a “30 Hour famine” event to raise money. The youth group made card board boxes to sleep in on the front lawn of their suburban church, many painting and decorating their boxes. As somebody who has been around the homeless some over the past few years, it is hard for me to even being describing out outrageously out of touch with reality this people are. In fact, I find it rather insulting. It is if they are saying to the poor and homeless “I understand you and your situation even though I don’t care enough about you to even meet you or spend time with you or get to know you.” Why not spend the night at a homeless shelter or in a park frequented by homeless instead? Because it isn’t safe? And I thought you believed you had a God watching over you and protecting you? More likely it’s because you’d be so ashamed to be seen with Lazarus, right Rich Man?
    “I asked participants who claimed to be “strong followers of Jesus” whether Jesus spent time with the poor. Nearly 80 percent said yes. Later in the survey, I sneaked in another question, I asked this same group of strong followers whether they spent time wit the poor, and less than 2 percent said they did. I learned a powerful lesson: We can admire and worship Jesus without doing what he did. We can applaud what he preached and stood for without caring about the same things. We can adore his cross without taking up ours. i had come to see that the great tragedy of the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor.” – Shane Claiborne, “The Irresistible Revolution”

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