The Beer Test
I actually said that on more than one occasion, but as Bishop Louttit visited the seminary each year and ate lunch with me and John West in our Refectory (churchy name for cafeteria), people knew that my bishop (pictured at left) was unlikely to beat up anyone, much less someone else's bishop. He is a great man and a wonderful pastor to us pastors. I don't care that he doesn't have mad nunchuk skills or bow staff skills.
I thought of this because a blog post at Resurgence in which a pastor enamored of The Ultimate Fighter contends that he knows why men aren't so big on church:
So, I'll just say that while young men are watching tough men compete, the reason they don't go to most churches is because they could take the pastor and can't respect a guy in a lemon-yellow sweater, sipping decaf and talking about his feelings.I ran across this by way of a response from from Henry's Web which said,
If you determine whether someone is worth listening to based on whether you could take him in a fight, if you despise someone because they wear a lemon-yellow sweater, sip decaf, or talk about their feelings, then you need to seriously reexamine both your intellectual and your spiritual life.He might be right, but the point still holds. Even though I don't own a lemon yellow sweater and I wouldn't wear one if you bought it for me, I wouldn't last as long as a bull rider in the rodeo if you put me in the ring on The Ultimate Fighter. I did once show a video clip in a sermon from the movie Fight Club, but I am quite sure that's not the same thing.
What I heard at The Church Planters' Boot Camp as I was working on preparing to start King of Peace was that a founding pastor has to pass the Beer Test. Now this was said in a non-denominational, but largely evangelical church setting where drinking alcohol at all, much less for communion, is not always permitted. But the idea was that if the pastor isn't someone you would drink a beer with (or coffee or whatever) then you would probably wander on away from the church before getting connected. They said this mattered less with established church's as there are many more reasons than the pastor to join a church once well established. The claim was that in the early days of meeting in a school (or in our case a house) the pastor has to be someone you would want to spend time with even if it wasn't at church.
So I don't know if this is a more highly evolved answer, but I guess I am suggesting is that guys don't tend to look for a pastor who can blacken their eye or bloody their nose, but someone with whom they wouldn't mind drinking a beverage of choice with while watching The Ultimate Fighter. If you think, I'm right, leave a comment. If you think I'm wrong, meet me on the playground after school and we'll settle this thing there and then.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor