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PASTOR   5'1m2f Appreciating the duties of a full-time pastor

SUE -- (enters opposite from Bob, carrying multipage document) 
Say, Bob, you're one of the deacons of this church aren't you?

BOB -- (they meet near podium) Sure am. Is there something I can 
help you with?

SUE -- Actually, yes, there is. (flips pages) I was looking at 
the proposed church budget for the coming year.

BOB -- (looks over Sue's shoulder) Uh huh.

SUE -- And I was noticing that salaries are a major chunk of 
the expenses of our church.

BOB -- They sure are. You have to pay good salaries to get good 
help.

SUE -- Yes, but I was looking at the salary(s) of the pastor(s). 
Wouldn't the church save a lot of money if we got rid of our 
pastor(s)?

BOB -- I'm sorry. I don't understand. Aren't you pleased with 
his (their) performance?

SUE -- Oh, sure. I love the sermons on Sunday. But I was 
thinking that perhaps if we didn't have (a) full-time pastor(s), 
we could save a ton of money on salaries.

BOB -- I'm sorry, I still don't understand. A church can't do 
without a pastor.

SUE -- Sure we can. I was thinking that maybe unpaid lay leaders 
could take turns preaching on Sunday.

BOB -- I think I see where you're coming from. You think that 
all a pastor does all week is prepare for his Sunday sermon?

SUE -- Well, sure.

BOB -- I tell you what. Let's pretend for a moment that there is 
no pastor in this church. If fact, let's pretend that the word 
PASTOR doesn't even exist. Let's see what happens. (points to 
podium)

JAN -- (enters, crosses to podium, picks up phone) Church 
office. How may I help you? One moment, please, I'll see if 
anyone here is available to do that. (punches phone button) 
Mary, there's a woman on the phone who says her mother is in the 
hospital, gravely ill. Do we have anyone available to visit and 
pray with them? Oh. (punches button) No, I'm sorry. Noone here 
has ever done that sort of thing. Yeah, I'm sorry. Bye bye. 

(punches button) Church office, how may I help you? You're 
getting married? Well, congratulations! Premarital counseling? 
Oh, I'm sorry, there's noone here who's qualified to do that. 
Maybe you should check the yellow pages. The yellow pages, uh 
huh. You say you also need someone to tie the knot? I'm sorry, 
there's noone on staff qualified to do that either. You'll have 
to get married down at City Hall. Yes, sorry. 

(punches button) Church office, how may I help you? Yes, sure, I 
remember you. Your mother is in the hospital near death. Is she 
still holding on? Oh, that's wonderful! She accepted the Lord on 
her death bed. Baptize her? No, I'm sorry, there's noone here 
available to do that. You might have to baptize her yourselves. 
Yeah, Sorry. 

(punches button) Church office, how may I help you? You're 
having marital problems and you need someone to talk it through 
with the two of you? Well, that certainly sounds like something 
a church should do, since marriage is a convenant from God. But 
we don't have anyone here either available or qualified to give 
marriage counseling. Maybe you should try the yellow pages. 
Yeah, sorry. 

(punches button) Church office, how may I help you? Bible Study? 
Midweek? No, I'm sorry, all our lay leaders have jobs. They 
wouldn't be available for a midweek Bible Study. Sunday Night? 
No, sorry. Why? Because they have full time jobs they can only 
do one service per week. Yeah, sorry. 

(punches button) Church office, how may I help you? Second 
Samuel chapter three verse eleven. I'm sorry, none of us here 
has any formal Bible training. We couldn't answer a question 
that detailed. No, sorry. 

(punches button) Church office, how may I help you? A crucial 
decision? And you want your decision to be Biblically sound? 
That sounds like something a church should be able to help you 
with, but none of us here is qualified to help you. Yeah, sorry. 

(punches button) Church office, how may I help you? Yes, hi. 
How's your mother doing? She died? Oh, I'm so sorry. How can we 
help you? You need someone to comfort the family and speak at 
the funeral? Oh, I'm sorry, none of us here at the office have 
ever done anything like that. I haven't the foggiest idea where 
you could go to find someone like that. Our lay leaders all have 
jobs and couldn't possibly get away on a week day. Yeah, sorry. 

(punches button) Church office, how may I help you? Well, 
finally, I have a phone call that I can say "yes" to. Yes, we 
have several ministries here at the church. I'm sure one of them 
can help you with that. Which one? Well, actually, I'm not sure. 
There's noone here who coordinates all the ministries. I can 
take your name and someone will call you about it if I can find 
out which ministry takes care of that sort of thing. But these 
are all lay ministries. The people work during the day. So, you 
may have to wait until tonight. Well, I'm sure if you'll be 
patient, one of.... An emergency.... I see. Well, I'm sorry, 
perhaps you'd better try some other charitable organization.

(punches button) Church office, how may I help you? Yes, I know 
you. You own the piece of property next to the church here. How 
may I help you? You want to help us? How? You want to donate the 
property to the church for our church expansion? Well, that's 
very generous of you, sir. But we're not expanding. No. As a 
matter of fact, because we don't have anyone on staff to preach 
full time, we haven't had much consistency in the preaching and 
our church is actually shrinking. Thanks for the offer but....

SUE -- Alright, you've made your point. (turns, exiting) I'm 
sorry I brought it up.

BOB -- (following) No, wait. We were hoping that you could take 
your turn at the pulpit next Sunday.

SUE -- Very funny.


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