While at a leadership conference at my church, I was invited by my pastor to lunch with a group of his friends. Preachers hang-out with other preachers and when this happens, the topic of conversation often turns to golf.

Preachers love the game of golf.  I don’t know why, but they often tell jokes about from the their pulpits and weave stories of it into their sermons.  On a Saturday afternoon, you will find a group of pastors and their guests on the golf course.  My pastor, noticing that I was not participating in the discussion, asked my opinion about a certain driver.  “I couldn’t tell you Pastor, I’m not a golfer” I responded.  His reaction was one of surprise, “You don’t play?”  How can you be in ministry when you don’t play golf?” he asked.  “Is required?” I asked amid the chuckles of the other pastors.  “Well, yes it’s required!” he almost shouted, “A lot of ministry takes place on the golf course.  You’ll just have to come golfing with us this Saturday Brother Matthew!”

So the following Saturday, there I was on the Green with a whole group of preachers.  For a ministry team-leader and aspiring preacher myself, I was a little intimidated.

“Here,” Pastor Danny said, handing me a golf bag, “I’ll let you borrow my old clubs.  I’ll coach you on which ones to use.  You’ll do great!”  Looking around at the smiles on the other preachers faces, I knew I was only there for laughs. I didn’t say it out loud, but my first thought was, “Holy shit!”

Nervous, I tee’d-up looked down the fairway and let it rip.  Next came a concoughany of laughter.  I couldn’t see where the ball went.  Looking down, I found the ball still resting on the tee.  “Try keeping your eye on the ball,” Pastor volunteered.  “Swing smoothly and follow-through.  

Needless to say, my first golf lesson was a bust.  We did have a good time in the clubhouse though, even though I was the blunt of their good-natured jokes.  I realized that day that I was accepted and that preachers can really have some good, clean fun.

I’m going back.