Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pastoral Blog Cliches

I'm not sure why exactly, but I subscribe to quite a few blogs that belong to pastors. I suppose, when you subscribe to enough of them, you start to see the similarities. Here are a few cliches that I've noticed on blogs that belong to pastors:

  • 'My beautiful wife' syndrome - apparently, every pastor out there is married to the most wonderful, smart, beautiful woman in the world. Also, she is "way out of his league." She is his perfect helpmate. The church's children's ministry couldn't get by without her. Their 6 children would be lost, stupid, and starving without her. I understand because I myself married out of my league, but I resist the urge to shout it from the proverbial rooftop with every post on this site.

  • 'Next week is going to be the most exciting week ever at our church' syndrome - there are only 52 weeks in the year. How many of them can really be the most exciting week at church? For that matter, how many of the topical teaching series can really be the coolest, biggest, most exciting series to date? I'm not trying to poo-poo the presence of excitement in the church, but consistently inflated excitement doesn't really make much of a difference.

  • 'Last week was the most exciting week ever at the church' syndrome - I'm not sure which is worse; the 'last week' syndrome or the 'next week' syndrome. Either way, every week can't be the most exciting week ever. So try and save those exaggerated postures for when it really counts.

  • 'Sunday/Monday night mind dump' syndrome - last time I checked, I wasn't really a big fan of watching someone else take a dump. Why would this be any different? I very rarely read anything of interest in these play-by-play recaps of each weekend's church services.

  • 'Verse of the day/week' syndrome - a devotional is one thing. A devotional disguised as a site that might actually contain something interesting is something else entirely.

  • 'Six million pictures of my kids' syndrome - if it is your first child, I'll give you a pass for one month. After that, change the name of your site to

  • 'My favorite sports team' syndrome - pastors are family men first, and sportsmen second. Boy do they like their sports. I like sports too, but not enough to constantly post again and again about my favorite teams/players and their current happenings. Much like your children, it usually stands to reason that no one else is as interested or as excited as you are.

Some of you may ask, "Lew, why do you spend so much time reading pastors' websites?" My answer is, "I don't know. I just do." And if you are reading this and thinking that I'm possibly talking about you specifically, well, that just isn't the case. It isn't called a cliche for no reason. It is called a cliche because everyone is doing it.

Also, there are obvious exceptions to some of these syndromes. I'll give you a couple examples. One fellow has devoted much of his blog to the adventure of adopting two boys from Russia. That is actually pretty cool to read about. Another fellow has devoted much of his site to story of his abused/rehabilitating granddaughter and her struggles. These tales are far from the "look at my child" syndrome, as they are gripping in their emotional weight and serious in their need for corporate prayer.

Hopefully, this site hasn't succumbed to a 'syndrome' of it's own.


david rudd said...

well done. i'm sure i'm sometimes guilty!

Sonny said...

Oh my GOSH - I spent the last few minutes snickering at your VERY spot-on observation about pastoral cliches...and hook my head the number of times I've observed these cliches in action first-hand during a service. Only Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves should have the right to say the word "Dude" in a public forum.

The sports team cliche alone made me remember - and shudder - the church I attended in Athens, GA where EVERY other service was a reflection on sports, parenting, tithing, or a combination of all three.

Rev'onite said...

I think it’s either
1) They have such ordinary lives that they have nothing else to talk about, which is sad given that they have claimed the title of pastor. Seems like their lives should have more substance and less fluff. Really, pastor or no your life should have more grit.


2)They are afraid to talk about what’s really going on, afraid to put their real struggles into print, which is also pretty sad.

Albert said...

Well, I have not claimed the title of pastor, unless it is with a lower case "p." Anyway, I am going to rate my blog against these syndromes: a) haven't referred to my wife on the blog; b) haven't talked about next week yet c) or gotten excited about next week on my blog d) i rarely take a dump on Sunday/Monday night - it's usually in the a.m. (sorry) every day of the week e) never posted a verse of the day or week but have talked about a scripture or two f) don't have any pix of my kids - just a really ugly dog that was poisoned and is now dead g) have to admit that i gloated once about the Patriots losing and living in Perfectville (I'm a Dolphin fan) but that was the Super Bowl and a lot of people were watching. Does that count?

revolution said...

albert, if i was going to assume that anyone was a non-conformist, it would've been you.

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