How To Lose A Parishioner: A 20-Step Guide 

1. Be in the middle of leading the Bible study as you watch your pastor dart out the door to answer the ringing cell phone. Know in your heart someone has died.

2. Have your dread confirmed when the pastor announces after Bible study that the first person to tell you “I love you” your first week on the job in your first church after seminary has died.

3. Clean up after Bible study, take the people back home, return to the office.

4. Endure the pastor trying to talk to you about it. Enjoy an Ativan while you’re at it.

5. Eat a pop tart.

6. Wait for office staff to leave.

7. Cry.

8. Go home and read Tolstoy.

9. Skip breakfast.

10. Drive to deacon meeting.

11. Take an Ativan.

12. Survive deacon meeting.

13. Have a second Ativan.

14. Go to your office and eat a pop tart.

15. Cry some more.

16. Practice violin hymn compilation for funeral.

17. Drive home.

18. Cry in the car.

19. Climb into bed still in your work clothes and read Tolstoy.

20. Wish you knew how to let go.




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