Perhaps you’ve gotten one of these phone calls.
“Hello, may I speak to your Children’s pastor or Families pastor.”
I laughed. The caller seemed confused. “We don’t have a Children’s or Families pastor.”
“Oh, well, could I speak to the team leader in charge of church wide education?”
I choked back more laughter. I knew he was just doing his job.
“I’m the pastor, you can talk to me.”
“Is this the senior pastor?” I could hear the glee in his voice.
“No, I’m the only pastor.”
“Oh, well, hello, pastor this is Michael calling you from the office of Dr. Elmer Gubersnoot.”
“Pastor, I know your busy so I won’t take up much time. Dr. Gubersnoot has just released his Family Growth Bible series. Now, I’m sure you’re familiar with the ministry of Dr. Gubersnoot.”
He waited for my answer.
“No, never heard of him.”
This response seemed to be the wrong answer. The voice inflection of my caller had the, “your not much of a pastor much less a Christian,” tone.
He continued, “Dr. Gubersnoot’s material is intended for families that are dealing with X.” He then went on and on without breathing for several minutes. I had plenty of time to polish off my coffee.
“We just want to put this in your hands to review over the next thirty days,” he finished.
After a few questions I discovered that I have to pay the return postage (but of course, I won’t want to return it.) Then the other shoe dropped. If interested, this wonderful Gubersnoot study would only cost my church $395.00.
When I told my caller that my congregation couldn’t afford his material, “We’re a small church and use only our denominational material.”
He continued to try to sell me. “But this is not just any study. It’s Dr. Gubersnoot’s.” As if I was turning down Daniel and his three companions.
We don’t have a large deposit of undesignated money laying around. We budget for all of our literature every year and have to stick to that plan. Every year it gets harder as literature prices increase and general budget gifts decrease or stay the same.
Someone should tell the vendors who target the church market to make an attempt to understand who it is they are calling. And please don’t try to sell me a Bible study like your selling insurance.
Maybe they’ll read this post.