A book I read a few years back on the subject of developing one's creative thinking explained the technique of combining categories that don't usually mix. In other words, think of an A and a B that don't normally get considered in context with one another and put them together to see what results.
This occurred quite by accident in a recent conversation I had with my wife. We were discussing either football or the ministry (I can't remember which) and she thought I said "Roughing the Pastor" instead of the official foul in the NFL called "Roughing the Passer." Laughter followed, and of course this led to a ten or fifteen minute jam-session in which we both tried to come up with other such penalties a "National Faith League (another NFL)" referee might call on a misbehaving congregation, minister, or both!
With football season winding down, I thought it only fitting to honor my many close friends in the ministry with the following Official List of Church Penalties. Here are our top five:
1. Roughing the Pastor
2. Unnecessary Gruffness
3. Illegal reFormation
5. Delay of game (this occurs when the sermon goes long and gets parishioners home too late for kickoff)
In the spirit of collaboration, I welcome the dear readers of this blog (all 3 of you) to contribute additional violations for this list. Thanks for playing (and praying!)