|Little church we pastored for 10 years. Building next door was our house.|
So, in my last post I told you to stay tuned for some of my embarrassing moments in church leadership. I also invited you to share your humiliating stories and I thank you all for the great stories of embarrassment you revealed in the comments section. I am sure there are many more, and they can be added to the comments of this post. (They do not need to be church leadership based.)
The life of church leadership has been described accurately as living in a fishbowl because you are always being watched. This is not my imagination. I know that I watched the families of the pastors I grew up with very closely. Not really sure why, I just did. So a few of my moments of embarrassment are related to having all eyes on me and feeling totally dorky in those eyes.
I keep wanting to write a disclaimer about my silly little experiences, for they are not nearly as horrible and shocking as most you will read on other blogs and books. I am not a risk taker or an adventurous extrovert, which means my level of humiliation will be different than yours. (Sheesh, this is getting ridiculous Susie, just write the stories for crying out loud!)
The Hubs and I are the new senior pastor and wife for a tiny church in a brand new town. We are standing in a circle of people following a Christmas time service. My palms are sweating with nervousness and the desire to impress these lovely people who are full of curiosity about their new leaders.
A sweet and friendly woman hands me a Christmas-themed round tin of goodies. I look at the faces around me and they all know that the contents are wonderful, this lady has a reputation for the surprise tucked inside. I realize that I am not supposed to wait until I get home to open the tin, so I pull on the lid. It will not budge. I hold the container against my stomach to get a better hold on the lid and pull HARD.
Off popped the lid and out flew the beautiful toffee all over the floor of the church doorway! There was hardly anything left inside the tin. So much for first impressions. There was a gasp and tentative laughter as I reached down to collect the sweet stuff while at the same time getting a close-up view of the horrible threadbare red carpeting. I don't even recall what happened next, but that woman became one of my best friends in the following years with that congregation.
The next embarrassing story happened in the back room or "Fellowship Hall" of that little cinder block church some time later. It was midweek and I was folding a pile of white table cloths that we had used for some kind of event. A man who attended the church came in and chatted with me for a minute. I remember that I made a point of telling him that I had taken all of these table cloths home to wash and dry them. I felt that I had gone beyond the call of duty to do this little chore and I recall wanting him to know that I had done this. (THAT should be the most embarrassing part!)
After he left I continued to fold the tablecloth and I heard that little crackle that signals static electricity. I turned it around and sure enough there in all its glory was a pair of my underpants in full view. I do not remember who the man was and I sincerely hope that he does not remember this karmic event either.
More stories coming. In the meantime, I am ready to hear some of your embarrassing moments now........
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