Mailbag – clown ministry question

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2002 09:25:02 -0600
From: Dianna K Hale <>
Subject: Re: passing on a question


I’m catching up on emails and spotted your reply to Sandy about Clown
Ministry. Just wanted to thank you for such a candid response, you hit
the nail right on the top!! I couldn’t have said it any better.

Lil Smidgen

On Sat, 09 Mar 2002 14:03:18 -0500 Frank -Buff Phoon- Bunton
<BuffPhoon@BalloonHQ.Com> writes:
> tf_raymond wrote:
> > Hello, everybody!
> >
> > At my website (, I tend to get
> > questions — I normally can answer them, but I’d like to get a
> variety
> > of opinions on this one:
> >
> > “Hello.
> > My name is Sandy. I live in Southern Alabama. I have a
> couple of
> > clowns that I do. I would love to get my Clown ministry off the
> ground,
> > but I’m not sure what to do or how to get started. What
> information can
> > you pass along to me that would help? I’m having trouble deciding
> if I
> > should do this as a ministry type thing and limit myself to just
> > churches or to go at it like a business kinda thing and include
> > bookstores and other businesses. I have been battling with this
> for a
> > couple of weeks now, and I have found NO ONE to give me any
> insight into
> > either direction. Is it possible to do both? The ministry and
> still
> > make appearances at bookstores and other stores Grand Openings? I
> just
> > need a little direction/ organization help.
I may not be of any help in the starting or developing the clown ministry group thing but I might offer some help on the performing end. Please don’t think that “clown ministry” means just performing in churches or health care places. A clown can “minister” to the ills of people in just about any situation. I tend to also have a problem with people that say they do “Christian clowning.” What they say they do is visit hospitals and health care places at no charge. I have no problem in WHAT they are doing, only in the terminology. What they are doing is acting as “caring clowns.”

Let me back up a minute. Let’s take a look at each of these words separately. “Ministry”, as we are using it here, means the act of ministering or serving. “Clown” is defined as 1.) a clumsy, rude person; bore 2.) a man who entertains by antics, jokes, etc., as in a circus. To find the word “caring”, you have to look in the dictionary under “care.” CARE, v.i. [cared, caring] 1. to be concerned; mind 2. to wish or like (to do something). {{definitions taken from WEBSTER’S NEW WORLD DICTIONARY – 1971 printing}} Now with these definitions a “caring clown” would be someone who entertains by antics and jokes to people that they are concerned with or wish to do something for. Now a “ministry clown”
is someone who serves while entertaining.

Okay! So, where does that leave me (or you)? A “Christian clown” is a clown that entertains but is also a believer in Christ. Now Jesus tells us that we should minister (serve) one another and that we should care (be concerned) for one another and that we should spread the gospel. I see no problem with doing birthday parties and store openings and company picnics as a “Christian clown” because I will still be showing the love of our Lord while “ministering” to the needs of the people (make them happy and forget their troubles for a short while). Can I take money for doing this? Sure! I am an entertainer and I should be paid for my efforts. There is one clown that will discount his price a little if the hiring party/person/company will permit him to use some gospel routines as well as other, more “normal” entertainment. Do I keep all of this money? NO! Because I am a Christian and I could NOT do the entertaining that I do without Christ’s help I give back HIS share, the first share – tithe – 10% (ten percent), as is commanded in the Bible. As far as clowning in church or health care places, I still get paid for those also but I will usually greatly discount my rate (and may give all of it back to the church in which I’ve performed).

Since this reply is going to a e-list as well as the person that asked the question, I want to explain that health care places that hire me to do a “show” do NOT get the discount. If a place is hiring me to just come in and “visit” with the residents, then THAT charge is discounted.

Bottom line – when confused about something, look the words up in a dictionary and put the words together along with their meanings and then see if that helps you understand and make a decision.

Frank -Buff Phoon- Bunton

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