Ethics: Kicked Out of Church for Touching the Pastor

What would you do Wednesday!

There is a mega-church in the next town over where your neighbor attends. The church has a young, hip 35-year-old pastor whose church has grown to around 10,000 in a few years.

Your neighbor has been trying to get you to visit the mega-church with him for a while. He promises you the message will be good, the people friendly, and the atmosphere worshipful.

You give in and decide to attend one Sunday morning with your neighbor. The Sunday morning agenda is to attend the first of three services and then go to Sunday school.

It’s Sunday morning and you just finished worshiping with your neighbor. Surprisingly, the sermon was edifying – not at all what you expected.

Then, a strange thing happened. The pastor walked past you down the aisle while you about to go to Sunday school. You reached out and touched the pastor on the shoulder saying, “Thank you, pastor, for the great message this morning.”

Immediately, you are surrounded by what seem to be bodyguards. They tell you no one is allowed to touch the pastor during his preaching time on Sunday mornings. You apologize, but the security team escorts you out. They say you may come back another time, but today you must go and remember the rules if you come back.

What would you do 1) if you were the one kicked out, and 2) if you witnessed the event?

  • Walk out with the person kicked out.
  • Touch the pastor to test the waters of being kicked out.
  • Try to reconcile with the pastor as soon as possible.
  • Cheer that someone is being kicked out.
  • Give the story to a local investigative reporter.
  • Or…

Here I blog…


p.s. Unfortunately, the above scenario is based on a true story.

tagged as , in Christianity,Church Issues,Culture

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 rhology October 16, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Walk out with the person kicked out, then give the story to a local investigative reporter and for the church’s own good call the pastor and congregation and leadership to repentance in a public way.

2 brigand October 16, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Thou shalt not touch the LORD’s annointed taken to its extreme.  I’d tell them, I have a no-touch-back policy and they’re going to be guilty of assault if they don’t remove their hands.

3 LarryFarlow October 16, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Leave, shake the dust from my feet and never return.

4 doughibbard October 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm

This is one of those “Wait, what?” moments. 

And I believe you that it happened. That’s too nutty to be made up.

5 doughibbard October 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm

And I’m with the “get out and never come back” folks. I’m not sure what else I would do, but it’s just a bad situation.

6 HeatherGoodman October 16, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Blog about it 🙂

7 particularbaptist October 16, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Walk out with the person and shake off the dust.

8 Cathy M October 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm

#1.  You know the saying, “In for a penny…”  So, if your going to be thrown out anyway, may as well make it count.  
#2.  (Tee he!) Your current AdChoice banner: “See Joyce and Phil Wickham at The Fieldhouse, October 24-26”  (I’m laughing “with” you, not “at” you.)

9 Mark Lamprecht October 17, 2013 at 4:39 pm


10 Mark Lamprecht October 17, 2013 at 4:39 pm

I would probably leave and never come back. I may, however, try to talk with someone at the church.

11 RStarke May 9, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Heather wins. 🙂 But in an effort to have a 1Cor 13 perspective on things, I’d email the church the next day to ask what the justification was for that nonsense (I wouldn’t use the word nonsense 🙂 ) and let them know how it made you feel, even as a believer, especially when the sermon indicated this a was better place than you’d expected. The speed and nature of the reply you get will communicate a lot about what the place is about. I actually did something similar to this when I experienced a different, but worse, scenario at a large church when we were new to a neighborhood. I learned later that the week after I sent my letter, the entire elder board resigned.

12 GK November 16, 2014 at 10:51 am

If I was being kicked out, I would walk out, and seek to contact the church’s leadership to see what they say about this bizarre and unbiblical behaviour.

If I was with the person being kicked out, I would walk out with them, and encourage/assist them in contacting the church’s leadership to see what they say about this bizarre and unbiblical behaviour.

In both cases, if the church’s leaders ignore or harrass in any way, I’d give the story to a local investigative reporter, adding that this isn’t just bizarre, but is truly unbiblical. Its sad that this is based on a true story, but I can unfortunately believe that.

13 gregory lococo January 25, 2015 at 9:25 am

‘Went to a mega-church with the “charismatic-young pastor” type..Once he began speaking, NO-ONE MAY LEAVE THE SANCTUARY..well,I was way in the back pews and had to use the restroom…That happens at 58yrs. old..But I’am a quiet,reserved,respectfull person, yet I had to GO! The GOONS at the exit would NOT let me leave…it was like a kidnapping…the EXIT was blocked and WHAT YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT pal???WOW…no thank you and never again! Is this the future church? PROUD,GREEDY,VIOLENT???


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