Title: PULPIT POWER
Author: Larry Jones
Setting: Bryden Falls, skirting the Canada-U.S. border, somewhere in western Canada
*** Terry Maclin (Pastor Mac), ex-marine, founder and pastor of Bryden Falls Community Christian Center, captain of the Challengers, a men’s church baseball team
*** Vivian Maclin, wife, mother of twins, co-founder of the Center, church secretary
*** Reuben (Roo) Tanner, plumber, back catcher
*** Jenni Tanner, wife, stay-at-home mother of five
*** Trevor (Tree) Kenny, ex-marine, president of the division’s American Northwestern Baseball League, coach and pitcher for the Grizzlies
*** John Douglas Tanner, homeschooled, shortstop, violinist for youth’s MorLord Worship Band
*** Katie Maclin, eighteen, vocalist for MorLord
*** Phil Ferguson, assistant pastor, pitcher, assistant coach
*** Donald Williamson, one of seven elders, retired pastor, past denominational elder
The Center, having quickly evolved from a home Bible study into a sizable church, was considered a success story at denominational headquarters. Pastor Mac was invited to be keynote speaker at the upcoming bi-annual convention; perhaps his testimony would be an inspiration to struggling pastors.
The stability of the Center was suddenly threatened by a simple request to Pastor Mac by Reuben Tanner, plumber and ballplayer, to have access to the pulpit. He claimed to have a message from God to the congregation.
Maybe you’re thinking, “So what’s the big deal?”
Exercise your imagination….
Suppose you were Reuben; how would your pastor respond to your request? How would you react if he refused? Slighted? Angry? Embarrassed? (Perhaps worse yet, suppose he agreed?)
You are the pastor, and a respected layman requests the pulpit. Would your reaction be, “You gotta be kidding!”? But on what grounds could you deny him? (Why would you want to?)
That was Mac’s dilemma. On what basis could he deny a highly respected church member? Suppose saying no vexed the leagues star ballplayer?…. the Challengers minus Roo wouldn’t get far.
But how could Mac agree? Wouldn’t everyone expect equal opportunity? Mac had always ran a tight ship…. because…. what he feared the most…. was a dreaded…. church split.
NOTE: Pulpit Power can be accessed at larryjones.ca