A recent op-ed piece published in the New York Times states that American clergy are burning out as they try to meet their congregations' demands for more lighthearted messages. Is it possible for the clergy to tailor their sermons to congregations hungry for a comforting, entertaining message, or is there no room to do so without sacrificing the tenets of their faith? Do you find such challenges as you preach to your flock every Sunday?
So far, combining the serious religious stuff with the humorous has not been a problem for me. However, I must admit that when I decided to go into the ministry at age 60, a college friend had a hard time believing I was sincere! He actually thought I chose the pastorate so that I would have a captive audience that would be forced to listen to my jokes.
In all seriousness, I believe with all my heart that life is serious; as someone has remarked, we're not going to get out of it alive! Still, within the seriousness of life there is a lot of room for laughter. And look at the humor in the Scriptures: