A few weeks ago, in addition to emceeing the rehearsal dinner which I mentioned on Monday, my in-laws asked me to speak during their daughter’s wedding. They basically wanted me tell a story during the ceremony. As long as I promised not to make any sex jokes, I could handle the “charge” portion of the wedding. I said sure and proceeded to write some ideas down.
As with most speaking opportunities I get, the first thing I did was consult the two people who are closer to the raw coolness of creativity than I am, my kids. I asked them what I should say that would make the crowd laugh.
McRae, my 3 year old, scrunched up her face, thought for about 2 seconds and then said, “Tell people that you spanked a house.” Logically that joke doesn’t make any sense but McRae, much like the music group Another Bad Creation, knows all about the playground, you know?
Apparently spanking inanimate objects humor is killing right now in 3 year old circles.
After getting my daughters seated on the second row once they completed their flower girl obligations, I walked up on stage and did my thing. My daughters proceeded to play with “distraction crafts” (those crafts whose only purpose is to keep your kid quiet during things like weddings) and then I sat back down when I was done.
At the end of the ceremony, as we were getting ready to walk out of the sanctuary, McRae leaned over to me in the aisle and said with no small degree of disappointment, “You forgot to tell people you spanked a house. You forgot to tell people you spanked a house!”
Not only did she listen to what I said during my speech, but she noticed I didn’t use her material. As she shook her head in disbelief in the aisle I felt like she was saying, “I gave you some comedic gold. Gold, dad, gold. Why even ask me for advice if you’re not going to take it? Seriously, this whole thing is amateur hour.”
I should have taken her advice and I might have if I hadn’t been distracted by a sighting of the husband and wife ministry team during the wedding. (HWMT)
The HWMT, a married couple who both go into the ministry together as kind of the church equivalent of a wrestling tag team, are kind of like a unicorn to me right now. It’s been so long since I’ve seen one because North Point Community Church, where I attend, doesn’t tend to have many old school HWMT.
The only problem with the HWMT at the wedding was that they didn’t fit all the stereotypes I fell in love with so long ago when I was growing up. They seemed way too normal and balanced to fit the crazy definition of HWMT I grew up with in church. And I miss that, so when my wife and I recently decided we would give this whole Stuff Christians Like thing a whirl (spend money on redesigning the site so it is easier to use, use vacation days to go speak places etc.) I saw a grand opportunity.
What if me and my wife became a Husband Wife Ministry Team?
How awesome would that be? I’m not going to lie to you, she’s resisting the idea right now mostly because she doesn’t want to wear the denim jumpers I assured her all good HWMT teams wear, but if I am able to convince her to get on board with team SCL, here is what you can expect:
The Ultimate Husband Wife Ministry Team
1. We will be getting new haircuts.
My wife isn’t a big bun fan, but from what I can remember, the two hairstyle options for the wife in the HWMT are either buns or a beehive with the thickness and girth of a car radiator. And I think as the H in the HWMT I need to have a bald head with silky smooth side hair. So we’re both going to work on that.
2. My wife will need to learn an instrument.
Preferably the organ, but given the down economy probably a recorder or a tambourine.
During year two of our SCL tour we will develop a puppet show called “SCL Kidz” in which a lovable gang of misfit kids go on adventures and along the way learn that loving God is the biggest adventure of all. (One of the kidz will be named “Gus” and he’s kind of dirty and always gets in trouble but he’s got a heart of gold.)
4. We will get mad at each other during performances.
We will have awkward moments of marital strife when I miss a note in a song I’m singing and look over at my wife with unmasked frustration, blaming the misfire on her tambourining.
5. Our clothes will match.
We will not have matching denim jackets with our ministry logo stitched into the back. That’s just silly. The jackets will be leather and they’ll be classy.
6. There will be blood.
We will at some point get into a turf war with the Power Team, the weightlifters for God, as we realize they’re on the same circuit of church performances as we are. We will lose that war when one of them rips a telephone book in half in front of me and I tinkle a little on my leg in fear.
7. This will be a family affair.
We will at some point incorporate our kids into the show, mortifying them greatly and ensuring countless therapy sessions in the future.
8. Animals will be involved.
We will eventually and briefly add an animal routine to our performance, which will yield disastrous consequences and result in me yelling at my wife as we speed away from a church, “Well how was I supposed to know lizards can even do that?”
9. I am going to RV like few people have ever RV’d.
We will get a small motor home behind which we tow a car with a wry Philippians pun written on the back windshield that says, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward my goal of making it up this hill!”
10. We will go down in a blaze of glory.
We will eventually get caught in a “love offering scandal” that rocks the HWMT world, forcing us to retire and hang up our tambourine and matching leather jackets.
Wow, that’s a pretty bleak future. Maybe we shouldn’t become an HWMT. Maybe that road is too bumpy for the Acuff crew. But you never know, you might show up at church some day and hear the soft jingle jangle of a tambourine floating from behind a curtain as the SCL Kidz emerge and tell you about the lesson they learned when they stole some of old Farmer McGee’s cucumbers. That Gus, he is such a rascal.
I can see it all now and it’s magical.