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Nothing Compares to the Church

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Many years ago, I read of a pastor who boarded a plane in a pair of old blue jeans and a T-shirt, looking anything but ministerial. He sat down next to a well-dressed business guy who was reading a copy of the Wall Street Journal.

They exchanged the usual pleasantries, and then the pastor asked the man what he did for a living. With obvious pride, he said, “Oh, I’m in the figure salon business. We can change a woman’s self-concept by changing her body. It’s really a very profound, powerful thing.”

He was a fairly young guy, so the pastor asked him if he had been doing it for very long.

“No,” he said, “I just graduated from the University of Michigan’s School of Business, but they’ve already given me so much responsibility I hope to eventually manage the western part of the operation.”

“So you’re a national organization?”

And he said: “Oh, yes. We are the fastest growing company of our kind in the nation. It’s really good to be a part of an organization like that, don’t you think?”

The pastor nodded in approval.

Then came the inevitable question: “And what do you do?”

“It’s interesting,” the pastor said. “We actually have similar business interests. You’re in the body-changing business, and I’m in the personality-changing business. In my field, we apply basic theocratic principles to accomplish indigenous personality modification.”

The younger man had no idea what that meant, but he said, “You know, I’ve heard about that. Do you have an office here in the city?”

“Oh yes. We have many offices, up and down the state,” the minister replied. “In fact, we’re national; we have at least one office in every state of the union including Alaska and Hawaii.”

By this time, the guy was racking his brain trying to identify this huge company that he must have heard about or read about somewhere.