Blessed Subtractions…

So, I was listening to a sermon today by Charlie Baile, a Presbyterian Church of America pastor in the DC area, who told a pastor joke. I’ll try to retell the joke here, using some artistic license.

It seems that there was this new pastor in his first church who saw the numbers in his church dropping. His wife spoke to him asking him if he was worried and the pastor said, it was a good thing — that the church was getting smaller, but it was becoming purer.

Pastors often call that a “blessed subtraction” or a “Scottish Revival” or a “Backdoor Revival.”

People kept leaving and leaving until one day it was just the pastor and his wife. She said, “Well, Honey, you’ve finally got the perfect church.”

Her husband looked at her and replied, “Almost.”

Solomon was right — don’t be overly righteous, my friends. (Ecclesiastes 7:15-29)