Since our church made the move to downtown Lakeland it has not been boring and I have never laughed so much in my life. Every day brings about a new adventure, a new neighborhood character and a new story. As a result, here is 20 fun facts about pastoring a church that is in a pretty bad neighborhood.
1. UFC looks like a Girl Scout sleepover compared to two drunk homeless women fighting over a raw chuck roast.
2. When someone brings you the exact plumbing part you need to fix the men’s room toilet don’t ask them where the part came from. Just assume that someone else’s toilet in the neighborhood is no longer flushing.
3. No one on the street goes by their real name. They all have nicknames like Foo Foo, June Bug, Mama T, Hollywood and Baby Girl. Mine is Rev…I didn’t pick it.
4. Never clean up trash on the church property without gloves. That wadded up paper towel may be concealing a melted Baby Ruth…or human feces…it’s hard to tell.
5. Twerking is a perfectly acceptable form of worship for people that have never ever been to church.
6. At a community outreach event never say the words “who wants a bag of chips” unless you are wearing a the outfit of a professional hockey goalie.
7. When a guy in the street is exchanging money with a guy in a car that just pulled up…never..I mean NEVER hand them an invite card to the Sunday service. Always show common courtesy by waiting until the transaction is complete before approaching.
8. As you are getting ready to preach and ask the audience. “How is everyone doing today?” be prepared for some drunk or stoned person to answer…very loudly…and with great detail.
9. A petite homeless woman can drink 7 gallons of black coffee by herself in one sitting.
10. When someone in the neighborhood hands you a cup of liquid always sniff it before you drink it. Trust me…you can’t tell a thing just by looking!
11. Any biodegradable substance can be used to make a decent tasting sandwich. Seriously.
12. On any given Sunday the church will smell like a pungent combination of Axe Body Spray and hot garbage.
BONUS FACT – Never use the words “love offering” when prostitutes are sitting in the worship service. They don’t understand the phrase and are easily offended.