by Dave Gustavsen

This content is part of a series.

A Well-Led Church (9 of 11)
Series: 1 Timothy - Vintage Church
Dave Gustavsen
1 Timothy 5:17-25

There's a pastor out on Long Island named Matt Woodley. And he's got a friend named Emilio who runs a pizzeria. And Emilio the Pizza guy hates ''organized religion.'' (Do you know anybody like that?) And if you go into his pizza place, right above the stove where he sticks the orders, he collects newspaper clippings about ministers and priests who have done stupid things and gotten into trouble. And so every time Pastor Matt goes in for pizza, Emilio grabs a few clippings, and he leans over the counter, and he says, ''Hey, look at this. This priest walked off with $80,000. This pastor slept with three church members. This guy abused little boys for twenty years.'' And then he says something like, ''Now, do you understand why I don't need your church?'' And then he takes the articles, and he sticks them back on the rack.

So after that went on for a while, Pastor Matt was really fed up with all the pastor-bashing. So he came into the pizza place, and he said, ''What does all this prove? So priests and pastors do terrible things. What if I started to save articles about all the pizza guys who do awful things, and then I decided I would never eat pizza again!'' And then over the next few weeks, he tried looking through the news to find articles about pizza guys doing nasty things-like maybe spitting in the bread dough, or maybe using cheap Ragu instead of homemade sauce-but he couldn't find anything. And he said, ''Apparently, pizza guys live pretty clean lives!''

And he ended up going back the pizza place and apologizing to Emilio. And he said, ''I'm sorry I was so defensive; I'm sorry I argued with you. You're right-pastors do stupid stuff sometimes, and I do stupid stuff sometimes...and we're no better than you are.'' And he said that little bit of humility really softened Emilio, and a friendship began.

But I think Emilio the pizza guy reminds us of som ...

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