a shark’s welcome

a shark's welcome cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

Hopefully, and if so, fortunately, most churches and pastors aren’t like this. But there are enough of them out there that it can make it dangerous for some folks.

Like this poor guy here. He’s trying to find a place. But sooner or later there’s not going to be anything left of him.

You can purchase my art and prints HERE!

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • http://heretichusband.blogspot.com Heretic Husband

    We’re going to need a bigger pew.

  • Gary

    LOL HH.

    Another great visual David,

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    thanks gary

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    That’s what I think of churches and pastors who make the Christian faith into a self-focused, spirituality/improvement project.

    The few Christian pastors out there who understand that the world takes those chunks out of us, too, will hand over Jesus and His healing and regenerative power…without any strings attached.

  • Paul Frazier

    You must have had some different experiences.
    In the experiences I have witnessed, the roles are reversed.
    The pastor is almost always the shark food.

  • Gary

    I think it is safe to say Paul that David, like many of us here, have had some VERY different experiences than you have.

  • Ang

    Brilliant!!!

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Gary, you are being policeman again. What Paul said made sense and even David would testify to being shark food as a pastor.

  • Kris

    I have seen the head pastor be the shark and take a bite out of the associate pastors and staff.

    But I have also felt like that in some settings.

  • Gary

    No Brigitte…I was making a comment all of my own choosing. You forget I was once a pastor as well. I can testify to the biting that can happen both ways as I have also experienced it. But then…my comment was not disputing his point at all…it was adding my own commentary to the dialogue. You accusing me of “being policeman again” is both insulting and childish.

  • Nathanael

    Reminds me of the scripture, “If you keep on biting and devouring one another, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

    No doubt the abuse can and does go both ways (pastors and laypeople both get chewed up), but the pastor is supposed to be the more mature one. So it’s especially painful when he is doing the “biting and devouring.”

  • gail

    Gary i really like your opinion re A Shark’s Welcome,resonates with my own 20 year committed to the church experiences which the position of ‘Shark’ as (insecure)pastor…left its devastating mark..left fifteen years ago..freedom to live in spiritual freedom now. Brigitte you need to look in the mirror as to who is being policeman(woman)

  • http://adsensus.wordpress.com/ Johnfom

    Nathaneal, I thought of the same scripture.

    I don’t suppose that the pastor is to be more mature though. That tends to re-enforce the idea that a congregation is made up of immature people who need to be taught the rules and disciplined when they don’t comply. (one of my frustrations)

    Pastors are plebs just like the rest. They’re just well educated plebs with a job that fits their studies.

  • gail

    Nathaniel.. Pastors as the more mature one…I dont think so …that thinking in my opintion immediately places people(other than pastor)into a position of needing to strive towards, to idolise,to look to the pastor as he alone has all wisdom and knowledge.. i dont think so!!! show me the exit door please! I love Johnfom and Steve Martin’s point of views.

  • bob

    From my perspective, that is the result of sitting in any church where the minister preaches the notion of “all have sinned”, “all have gone astray”, “all who do not (insert doctrine here) will spend eternity in hell”

  • Gary

    Indeed bob. It is not that difficult to trace our church history back and find where the doctrine of eternal damnation was introduced as a means of control and IMO a gross perversion of the original gospel. (Hint: – It happened centuries AFTER Christ and the Apostles were long gone.) This abomination of a doctrine was never meant to be a part of the “Good News”.

  • Caryn LeMur

    I think that the bullying pastor takes pleasure from controlling others. Whereas the insecure pastor is frightened, and retreats rather than engages. The first attacks; the second builds walls and retreats.

    In my experience, I have seen our Lord Jesus destroy the bullying pastors (male or female)… they reap what they sow. But… I have seen our Lord gently remove and work with the insecure pastors… rebuilding them over time.

    How do we reply to the body of Christ with all its diversity of insight, perspective, and input? How do we reply to new movements of the Spirit towards (among and with) the alien, poor, the sick, homeless, or those in prison? How do we reply when we meet those that are more mature in Christ, be they part of our denomination or not; be they part of the structured church or not?

    Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. By our own replies, we can learn our hearts, and the hearts of others.

    For those that were bullies, may our Lord destroy them, and raise them from the ashes, as humble men and women. For those that were insecure, may they be brave enough to let the Lord Jesus rebuild them in a quiet place. We need them both.

    I suppose I am rambling. Good cartoon, David.

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    thanks caryn

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    i agree bob. absolutely.

  • bob

    But, I feel that so many misters are a product of their environment. I almost feel sorry for them, so many of them because they are (mosty likely) beyond saving. They are only doing (acting, feeling) as they were taught and conditioned to behave. It’s kind of like when I witnessed in our post office parking lot, a man change his baby’s diaper in his car, then just throw the dirty diaper down outside his car. I got the license plate number and a few minutes later the post master came out with a shovel. I told him I had the license number but he responded…”I won’t be able to teach them anything.”
    I often feel that way toward the “extreemly” religious – there is nothing I can say.

  • bob

    That was supposed to read “so many ministers”.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    i knew what you meant bob. most ministers are misters though ;)

  • Barry House

    Over 40 years in church from east coast to alberta as my work has brought me and pastors get my sympathy. If they conduct themselves in a confidence from the word they get eaten alive by gossipy nonrepentent pew warmers seeking justification and empathy for lukewarmness. Yes, there’s been a few bad apples but pastors are a wonderful breed. I’ve had my share of conflicts with them but in most cases it was due to a subborn and contrite of mine that needed dealing with. Having said that, my sympathies to those have sought God only to find a distracted and preoccupied excuse for a leader. Such should take their clloars off and go do as caryn suggested and allow God to raise up refocussed men of God who’s hearts are for the people not the programs. Programs are for the people. How on earth do pastors miss that?

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    barry: you try to speak so balanced but it comes out strange. or maybe it’s just me. and can there be other than “men of God” in ministry.

  • Barry House

    lol. My apologizes nakedpastor. I’m a two-finger typer and my thoughts-to-actual-words-typed can confusing sentences. Add that I rarely read over what I’ve typed before posting and you have indeed a poor attempt to come accross or be balanced in presenting my thoughts.

    That said….My thought is that in my early years I had little sympathy for pastors. I guess my thought back then was [Pastors=Close to God=Bullet proof]. In my last 15 years I have mostly sympathy for pastors. They soldier on despite the many sheep bites.

    The practical and logical in me says to deal with issues on a case by case bases and proceeds with wisdom and reason. Easy to say, not always easy to do.

    I’m sure many can relate to the cartoon but hopefully not irreparably so.

  • Barry House

    Oops, did it again.
    “my thoughts-to-actual-words-typed can “leave” confusing sentences.”


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