How NOT to hire a worship leader

This from

After repeated conflicts with his church board about the direction of Family Life Center, pastor Dave Chandler decided to leave the church. But on his way out he used a little-known clause in the bylaws to singlehandedly hire a new worship leader: Bill MacNerny who specializes in “alien folk music” and “tunes for chickens and other intelligent beings.” MacNerny was last employed as a street performer in Key West, Fla., and has made several albums of himself playing the ukelele and making barnyard sounds.

“We’re in a true bind,” says board member Jeff Garrety. “We couldn’t believe when this bozo showed up to lead worship.”

The quirk in the bylaws gave Chandler sole authority to hire and fire the worship leader and to define contract terms. The contract includes a severability clause of $150,000 if MacNerny is fired before two years. It also specifies that he must lead worship on Sunday mornings and any other time the church meets. Lawyers informed the board that the contract is legitimate and must be respected.

On a recent Sunday morning, MacNerny opened the service with a rendition of “Amazing Grace” in which he encouraged audience members to make “Martian noises.” Few people joined in. He then segued into “This Old Man, he played one, he played knick-knack on my thumb” and seemed unfazed by people’s non-participation.

Read more here…


  • Gregg Lamm June 28, 2013 Reply

    “Lark News” is to religious news what “The Onion” Is to secular news. Using satire, irony, parody, lampoon, caricature and flat out lying, it captures and exposes religion at its best and at its worst.

    “Lark News” has more bandwidth than the now defunct magazine “The Wittenburg Door” ever had, but I still miss it. “The Wittenburg Door’s” first issue hit newsstands in June 1971 with Hal Lindsey on the cover. And issue 214 was last in print as “The Door” in December/January 2007 … and its smoldering remains can be found at

    “Lark News” has delivered “laughter the good medicine” to me more times than I can count — often reminding me that the ability to laugh at myself not only gut-punches my pride, but it can also open my eyes to discover the teachable moments God is always offering to me, but that I so often miss.

    Thanks for this funny/sad “news story” (a genre often referred to in journalism and in theater as a “ha, ha, ouch” formula) on a Friday morning that finds me with a bad cold and a lot of sermon preparation to do. Godspeed.

    Gregg Lamm
    Newberg, OR

  • Mike June 28, 2013 Reply

    Wow! Imagine getting that aggravated with leadership to completely sabotage the entire congregation! Again, I say…Wow!

  • Fred June 28, 2013 Reply

    Gave me a good laugh!:)

  • N8Bristol July 1, 2013 Reply

    That is hilarious! Talking about going out with a bang!

  • DA July 1, 2013 Reply

    I’ve seen some other reactions besides this page & it’s a sad indication of where humans are spiritually when very few of shake their heads and shun this kind of activity. It is also an indication of where the church is when a person makes a public (or private statement like, “this bozo”

  • Gregg Lamm July 1, 2013 Reply

    Everything posted at is satire, made-up, and written for entertainment. Because “imitation is (often) the sincerest form of flattery”, when the behavior of a person (a pastor) or of a group of people (a herd of pastors) is lampooned, at some level, it’s usually based on the truth or on someone’s interpretation of the truth. So here’s the two main questions that came to mind as I read this story last week and then reread it again this morning … “Do the transitions in my life more reflect the character of Jesus Christ or my sin nature?” “If I’m harbouring resentments, are they leading me to seek revenge, or is it my heart’s desire to move toward resolve in all disputes?”

    • Todd Rhoades July 1, 2013 Reply

      Lark News is a beautiful thing, isn’t it Gregg. Especially to those who don’t understand satire. 🙂


  • Jeff Ruble July 1, 2013 Reply

    The pastor shouldn’t have gotten even. And church bylaws need to be changed .

  • Ron July 1, 2013 Reply

    Satire…again…satire…’s not a kind of sword

  • Jeff Ruble July 2, 2013 Reply

    Oh ok. didn’t know it was meant to be funny. I thought it was aserious article .

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