be unleashed!

be unleashed! June 24, 2011

As a young pastor I tried to maintain control of the congregation and each person in it. It was not only a violation of the pastoral calling, but it was a violation of their humanity, their liberty and their own spiritual path. It was a disaster. I think, like this cartoon, entanglement was involved.

Then I became a parent.

Then I started to really mature.

Then I began to try to understand myself, others and human nature in general. I wanted to become truly wise. I wanted to be a good pastor.

That’s about the time I threw away the leashes.

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I have a book full of cartoons like this one. Nakedpastor101: Cartoons by David Hayward“, from,, Great for laughs and serious discussion!

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  • Dionne

    One of the pastors from my old church posted this horror recently: “The difference between a prize show dog and a mutt is it’s response to authority”
    So seeing yourself as a trainer with your congregation on leashes seems to be a common, if highly offensive, perception!

  • omg dionne!

  • ann

    I call it “herding chickens”

  • We are told we are dumb sheep in need of direction and correction and our pastor is the shepherd. This is how it starts……

    When we are told we are dumb sheep, we see ourselves that way. We begin to act like dumb sheep. We become dumb sheep. We are as much to blame for being controlled because we do not discover who Christ is for ourselves.

    Blessings to you, my friend.

  • Dionne,

    That is terrible!

    (what the pastor said)

    Should read Gal. 5:1.

  • WOW! This is good!!!

  • Tracy

    Maybe pastors should think of themselves as ‘people whisperers’.

  • Bonhoeffer’s “Life Together” is great on this. We have no power or control over each other. We only have Jesus between us. The other person belongs to him, not to me.

  • halavana

    pastors often forget they are also members of the flock. What’s that verse? THE LORD is my shepherd?
    Thanks Steve.

  • halavana

    (I mean David)

  • Jeannie

    OMG! Dionne, when I read your words I heard my old pastor’s voice saying them in my head. I mean, exactly those words.

  • Crystal

    Great cartoon. Even Caesar Milan’s methods don’t work for all dogs. Read his critics. Any pastor ought to take that to heart before trying to rein his sheep(or dogs) in.

  • rich

    Sometimes pastors and other religious people play the Holy Spirit.
    We forget where the Spirit of God is there is freedom and liberty.

  • rich

    You need another cartoon where the Church Council is reining in the pastor. LOL

  • That was one very thought-provoking post. I’m glad it turned out well for you. Most people these days seem to be headed into the arms of authoritarianism.

    Jerry Falwell somewhere said, “Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions.” Good old Jerry! He could always be counted on to make an attack of intestinal gas seem pleasant in comparison.

  • deb

    great ‘toon Dave
    @ Dionne: wow! yuck!
    happy to say i’ve never known you with a leash in your hand Dave