4 thoughts on “Just Be a Little Funnier

  1. Tim,

    Hi! I have been reading your blog for quite a while now and I usually agree with what you have to say. I teach middle school at a large Lutheran School/Church in Wisconsin, so I am somewhat familiar with ministry as a whole.

    I, however, was somewhat bothered by this entry as well as your Bible in the foundation of a house entry. I guess I don’t understand why the female pastor who brings her dog to work is a cause for ridicule. I read the article and it seemed okay to me. If having your dog come with you when you visit shut-ins or the sick helps you to create relationships with others or helps others to be open to what you say, or even just brightens someone’s day, what is so wrong with the practice? Sure, not every pastor needs to bring a dog along on home visits, but many people probably would love it. If I was old and alone, I am sure I would love if my pastor brought a dog along that I could pet while I met with him. It is a loving thing to do, and in my eyes, loving others is a way of showing your love to the Lord.

    As far as the Bible in the foundation of a house
    story goes, it is not as if putting a Bible in the foundation of a house is going to make somebody a Christian or maybe even have a deep
    spiritual impact, but is there anything wrong with someone expressing their beliefs by doing it? It seems like the builders have been able to witness their faith to many through this practice. If it simply means that someone heard the word of God, even for just a brief minute, isn’t that a good thing?

    Perhaps I missed the point of your entry and was not getting what you were trying to say. Just wondering??

  2. Hi Casey.
    It’s not the fact of bringing the dog to visit people. I think that’s a great thing. It’s the anthropomorphism and pastoralmorphism (my word) of the dog. If it brings enjoyment to people, good. It’s the “certified ministry dog” nonsense that bothers me. But, this is certainly not the gravest issue facing the church.

    I also have no problem with bearing witness to Christ in one’s vocation. But why not just do a good job in construction? The Bible should not be treated like a magic object that will protect the house from ill. That’s paganism.


  3. Personally, I am just tired of everything anyone does anywhere being called “Doing ministry.” What does that mean? What is ministry? “I minister to people by knitting sweaters.” “I minister to people by collecting stamps.” “I minister to people by strip teasing.”

    I mean, I really believe all of this ministry talk is just code-language for “I’m doing godly works, or god-pleasing works, or works for Good.” We don’t call these things what they really are, that is, *acts of service* (except the stripteasing…and I didn’t make that one up.) “Everyone’s a minister” only steals the light from the only real Minister there has ever been, the Doctor of the sick, the Good Shepherd, You Know Who.

    I think bringing a dog (or in my case, a baby) to shut in calls is great, but that is not “ministry” (not in a Chrisitian sense.) Making people feel less lonely is not ministry. (In the same way, saying “do everything for God and life works out” is not a Christian witness, neither is saying “we believe you need to build your life on the Bible.”)

    Ministry is telling someone the Good News about Jesus Christ. Witnessing to the Christian faith is the exact same thing. Go back and read both of the referred to stories. You’ll note that our Lord was all too conspicuously absent from these “ministries” and “witnesses” altogether.

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