“Come in, Brother Bob,” Fred exclaimed as he greeted the pastor at the door. “Come in and have a seat.”
As the pastor settled into a living room chair, he said, “I appreciate the chance to come by and visit. We haven’t seen you in worship for a few weeks, and I wanted to stop by and see if everything was OK.”
“Why, of course,” answered Marilyn. “It’s just that we are home-churching these days.”
“Excuse me?” Pastor Bob had a puzzled look on his face.
“It all started with that Home Shopping Network,” Fred responded. “It’s so convenient to be able to sit right here in my easy chair and order anything we need — fishing gear, car polish, even those great-looking diamonique earrings Marilyn’s got on.”
“It was our anniversary,” she said with a smile.
Fred continued: “Then the folks down at the office had this bright idea about home-based work. Why come into the office everyday, when I can sit at the computer and carry on all kinds of projects?”
“After that, we read about home-schooling,” Marilyn added. “Little Billy doesn’t have to be exposed to all those terrible influences in the public school now. We just educate him right here at home.”
As Pastor Bob began rubbing his eyes, Fred moved ahead.
“That’s when it came to us, pastor. We now shop at home, work at home, and school at home. Why not church at home? So that’s what we’re doing.”
“Just exactly how does that work?” asked the pastor.
“We divide up the responsibilities,” Marilyn explained. “Billy is the choir, I lead the music, and Fred is the preacher.”
“Pretty good, too, for somebody without any seminary,” Fred interjected.
Marilyn continued: “Occasionally we like to bring in a guest preacher — that’s when we turn on the TV. Robert Schuller is OK, but I like to bring in that nice Kennedy man from Florida. What a pleasant voice — not that Fred’s isn’t nice, too.”
“But what about Christian education for Billy, and fellowship with other believers?” the pastor implored. “Don’t you miss that?”
“Well, it’s not perfect,” Fred responded. “But then again, we also don’t have to get dressed up on Sunday or put up with that obnoxious usher Tom. And no offering plates, either!”
Pastor Bob sighed.
“There is one thing you could help us with, though,” Marilyn said to the pastor.
“What’s the problem?”
“It’s like this,” Fred replied. “We’ve been thinking of getting a divorce. We’re spending so much time around the house together, we’re driving each other crazy.”
“That’s right,” Marilyn said. “Could you recommend a good home-counseling service?”

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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