Recently I was telling a pastoral colleague that I have no idea how people become preachers without having first been stand-up comics. In the early 1990s when I was getting clean and sober, I worked for a few years as a stand-up comic; getting paid to be caustic on stage was cheaper than paying for therapy and had much the same result.
Now, 20 years later, I’m a Lutheran pastor. I have a pulpit instead of a mic stand, a congregation instead of an audience of drunks, and it is incense instead of stale beer and bad jokes that fills the air when I get up to speak.
Each of us preachers faces different challenges in writing sermons. Mine is to cut out most of the jokes from my manuscript before I preach. But it’s hard because I just find the Bible to be so darned funny. Especially parables.