A Swinging Pastor?!?!?
Okay, so with a title like that I’m sure your mind is wandering to all kinds of twisted places! Let me explain how my Events Manager, Terrica, and I recently met a “swinging pastor” – and how he gave us the most hilarious and priceless moment of my entire 20-year speaking career!
We were recently leading a women’s conference, and the anonymous question was submitted (as it
always is), “What’s OKAY in the marriage bed?” I launched into my schpeel about how some uptight Christians might respond to that question, “The missionary position… once a week… lights off!” And where is THAT located in Scripture?
Actually, do you know where the term “missionary position” gets its name? Missionaries who lived among tribal communities saw that they were engaging in sexual acts in all kinds of unusual positions, and they tried to tell them that it was “unnatural and ungodly.” And how did the tribal people respond? They laughed, and called what they were trying to teach as the only acceptable way the “missionary position.” True story.
Not that there’s anything wrong with the missionary position if it floats your boat, but I think God had something far more interesting in mind when he created men and women. Some say, “Humans are the only species created by God that CAN have sex face to face, so that’s obviously the way He intended it.” Oh, yeah? I hate to burst anyone’s evolutionary bubble, but guess what? Armadillos and humpback whales have sex face to face.
I agree with my friend Wil, who so eloquently explains, “Human beings are the only species that can have sex UPSIDE DOWN in a SWING, so maybe THAT is what God intended!” And yes, I explained all of that from the platform… into the microphone… in broad daylight in a church in northern Alberta, Canada. Interestingly enough, the church’s gray-headed, sweet-spirited pastor was in the room, and Terrica told me afterwards how he threw his head back and laughed hysterically when I said that!
So the next morning we’re in this same church for their worship service, and this pastor takes the stage after the band wraps up the last song. He welcomes everyone, then asks the congregation, “Has your spouse ever given you a big eye roll in response to a suggestion you make? For example, just this morning I walked into our bedroom, looked at the ceiling, and said, ‘Honey, this spot up here on the ceiling… it would be PERFECT for a SWING!”
I swallowed my gum! I looked at Terrica wide-eyed and asked, “Did he really just say that?” All of the women in the audience who’d attended the conference wondered the same thing – Did he REALLY just say that??? – and they began hooting and hollering and trying their best to explain to their oblivious husbands what the heck he meant by that! It took a long time for all of us to regain our composure enough to baptize the 10 women who came forward that Sunday morning (which was yet another ministry highlight of my life!)
On the way home I asked our hosts, “Would you like to pull a prank on the pastor tonight?” We were leading a “Sexually Confident Couple” seminar for husbands and wives that evening, and I suggested I’d like to make a special presentation to the pastor for allowing us to minister there. So we took a 2-foot board, drilled holes in each side, strung rope through, and made the pastor and his wife a SWING as a gag gift! But the really cool thing is that my accomplice tied the ends of the rope to a CANE with a curved hook at the top. We wrapped it in a large gift bag with tissue paper such that only the top of the cane was sticking out. So at the close of our Sexually Confident Couple seminar, I made the announcement that Terrica and I wanted to present the “shepherd” of this flock a special gift for his partnership in ministry. Both he and his wife came forward, thinking this was some sort of shepherd’s hook. But as they removed the tissue paper and pulled out the contraption, they recognized the device as their own personal (make-shift) SWING! Both of them turned as red as the Canadian flag, and we all bellowed until our sides ached! I didn’t have to remove my mascara that night after wiping so many tears of laughter from my eyes!
You might be thinking, “All that happened in a church?” Yeah. And I think God got a royal kick out of it too! And every time I pass a swing set, I’ll fondly remember this incredibly special group of people and the fun we all had with their “swinging pastor!”
(Excepted from Shannon’s blog – see more or subscribe to receive our blog posts by going to www.sexuallyconfidentwife.com/blog)
Aspiring Writers & Speakers:
I recently had the great privilege of being interviewed by long-time friend and fellow Life Coach Brenda Bertrand for her Blog Talk Radio show. We discussed how to discern your own call to a writing or speaking ministry, and how to bring those dreams to life, exploring some of the details about how our B.L.A.S.T. mentorship program works. Aspiring writers and speakers – you can listen in on that interview by going to
Mark Your Calendars - Shannon Is Coming To...
PLEASE NOTE: If you see a city on our speaking calendar that’s anywhere near you, and you’re interested in having Shannon speak at your venue while she’s in town, please contact events manager Terrica Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada - May 14 - 15, 2010
Join Shannon at the Heart Point Ministries “Break Thru” conference. Watch for more details to come at www.heartpointministries.ca.
Wollongong, Australia - May 30, 2010
Shannon will be speaking at "For Women Only" exploring Gods plan for sexual wholeness & confidence - for women of all ages. For more information go to www.lighthousechurch.com.au or email email@example.com.
C3 Bridgeman Downs, Brisbane, Australia - June 4 - 6, 2010
Join Shannon at the women’s ‘Heartbeat’ conference! Contact Hayley Gardner at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Tyler, TX - July 30, 2010
"Girl’s Night In" at Grace Community Church in Tyler, TX. For more info contact Crystal Smoker at email@example.com.
Louisville, KY - September 11, 2010
Shannon speaks at the Evangel Women’s Conference in Louisville. For more info, contact Wendy Anguiano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miami, FL - November 5 - 6th, 2010
Shannon will be speaking at Ekklesia Global, hosted by Mujer de Destino. For more information please contact Julia Yanes at email@example.com.
Colorado Springs, CO - March 31 - April 3, 2011
Shannon will be speaking alongside Fred Stoeker at Maximizing Intimacy: A Sex & Oneness Retreat at the Glen Eyrie Retreat Center. For more info please contact Melissa Schuerer at Melissa.Schuerer@navigators.org.
It's A God Thing...
We love hearing from you about what God is doing in your life as you read! Listen to these cool testimonies from all over the globe, and praise God with us…
Shannon, your book
Completely His truly helped shape my future. It was while reading your book that I really felt I could begin to hear God's voice. All my (spiritual) life I so badly wanted that, and was uncertain how to get it. Your encouraging words truly opened my eyes, ears, and heart to be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit was saying to me. I really felt that I could relate to you and everything you shared. Thank you so much for your obedience! I will always remember you as the woman who taught me to hear God's voice! God bless you as you bless women and girls all across the nation! You're my inspiration!
Every Woman’s Battle for a group study last fall and had 85 women sign up for it. We all grew tremendously as a result. Now the word is going around about it and I have been asked to speak on it at our church. This is such a needed topic! Our women’s ministry leader has also asked me to lead a study using your book
The Sexually Confident Wife, and I’m looking so forward to that! Your books are changing people's sexual relationships and I know many husbands are thankful! I also loved your book
Every Woman's Marriage as well and I recommend all of your books to people all the time. Thank you for giving us such great resources to use in our own ministries!
Shannon's response: We rejoice with you over your new-found level of spiritual intimacy, Heather! Once you develop an ear for the Holy Spirit’s voice, there’s no limit to what you can allow God to do in you and through you, so you go, girl! Make your mark on this world for God!
Shannon's response: Trudy, YOU are an answer to prayer! When I first started writing I said, “God, I’m only ONE person!” and I sensed that He would raise up other disciples for these messages. Obviously you are one of them, so THANK YOU for YOUR ministry!
If God’s doing something in your life, marriage, family, or ministry as a result of reading one of Shannon’s books, let us know so we can praise God with you!
How Can We Pray For You?
If you have a prayer request we can lift to God on your behalf, please let us know by
You can also
click here to
post prayer requests or connect with other readers on Shannon's online community.
We appreciate your prayers and encouraging support
for the staff and volunteers of Shannon Ethridge Ministries!