LESSONS FROM A MUTT

It happened one Sunday morning in my previous church, and I didn't notice it until I began to preach. A dog had joined the worship service. What I earlier thought to be a hungry tummy turned out to be an authentic growl from a scruffy, black-and-white mutt pacing near the rear of our colonial sanctuary. His leash led to a thin, dark-haired woman-a stranger-who, like her dog, seemed vaguely uncomfortable.

That made three of us.

She must be blind, and that's her seeing-eye dog, I surmised. Then I saw her reading the bulletin.

When the dog persisted in yipping, the congregation began to fidget, and I realized I had only seconds to consider my options. I could try a little humor ("Is my preaching going to the dogs?"); I could boldly instruct the ushers to remove the beast; or I could get on with preaching and hope he didn't bite anyone before the benediction.

I took option three. I preached with one eye on my notes and one eye on the dog. As my sermon wore on, I grew increasingly angry. Why has ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

From Issue:Spring 1987: Emotions
Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
Meet the TikTok Generation of Televangelists
Meet the TikTok Generation of Televangelists
These young influencers want to #MakeJesusViral.
Editor's Pick
How Culture Shapes Sermons
How Culture Shapes Sermons
Recent books on culturally distinct preaching challenge misconceptions and equip diverse pastors to better address a multiethnic world.
close