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Ordained Irreverence

(Elmo Jenkins #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,432 ratings  ·  186 reviews

With over 275 "Five star" reviews.

Elmo Jenkins is about to graduate from seminary with a masters degree in religious education and a minor in cynicism. When he lands an internship at a large metropolitan church, he quite literally stumbles his way through as he learns to baptize and bury, visit and marry the faithful flock. Think Ferris Bueller Goes to Church with a side o
Kindle Edition, 242 pages
Published June 23rd 2014 by OBT Bookz (first published August 1st 2011)
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Heidi Peltier
Jul 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my goodness! This book was so much fun to read! It's all about a graduating seminary student, Elmo Jenkins, and his final step toward finishing his education - the internship. A chance meeting lands him a position in one of those big, almost mega-churches where there's a minister for everything from youth to seniors to dust bunnies (ok, not really). Elmo encounters just about every glitch you can think of that a minister might have and more! And he handles it in true Elmo style, but you can o ...more
David Kemp
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Actually I have not read this book: I listened to it. Sonja read it to me during our recent vacation travels. We both enjoyed it very much. Matter of fact, we enjoyed it so much that we brought the second book in the series and Sonja has started reading it to me. I recommend "Elmo's adventures" to anyone and especially those that are involved in fulltime ministry. ...more
This is a cute book to read in small spurts. There is no strong plot line that you might forget if you put the book down for awhile. But it is an interesting read into the inner workings of a large church. I liked the way the author made the main character seem very real. Many ministers-in-the making may come across as very righteous. Not Elmo. He's very down to earth and amusing. I'm sure there's a lot of truth to what is written here, but don't take it too seriously. It's a good, fun book. I g ...more
“I felt like the refuse of the rich and famous. If this is what it was going to be like working full-time in a church, I didn’t want anything to do with it.” “… Mrs. Jorgensen, who had watched Oprah faithfully for years.”

“… to be careful around the Queen Bee. ‘Greater men than you have been beheaded by her whims,’ I’d been told.”
An engaging funny, and at the same time sad opening to a series about a young man becoming a Baptist minister. (The denomination is only mentioned once or twice, but it’
Deb Brammer
Elmo Jenkins takes a 6-month internship on the pastoral staff of a very large church (over 3000.) I'm always on the lookout for books about ministry. This one is funny and sometimes ministry is funny. Even more rare than books on ministry is ministry books in which the pastor is not involved in moral failure. This book was one of the rare books that didn't deal with moral failure, and I like that about it. "Ordained Irreverence" was a good title for it. It contained a lot of slightly coarse lang ...more
Norma Budden
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in stages. It was the type of book I could relax and enjoy without feeling I needed to read it all in one sitting.

The book was written in episodes, detailing a pastor's life in a big church, and the people and situations he encountered along the way. I laughed a lot at the author's sense of humor, as told from the perspective of the major character, Elmo Jenkins. It was a refreshing read and is great for when you want to read but don't want to worry about losing precious hours
L.T. Fawkes
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
McMillan Moody, $2.99 **** Guess what. You can be funny and entertaining without getting dirty. Moody does it in this terrific novel about a young pre-minister who gets his first job working as an intern in a big, prestigious church. Filled with funny characters and anecdotes.

Guess what else. You can talk about matters like faith and church without getting pompous, strident, or bombastic. Moody makes it look easy.

Guess what else. I think that's the first time I've ever actually used the word b
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up as a freebie on Amazon for Kindle. I am very thankful I did, it is a great story about a third year seminarian doing a 6 month internship at a Mega-Church. Well written, good character development and a fun story. The ministry incidents are great and anyone in ministry will find themselves laughing remembering their first time encountering some of the same things
Bill Tillman
This is an endearing book, its full of fact as well as fiction. The Black Toe mystery is one fantastic subplot worth not missing. Hard to put down with gentle humor and the life of a big church.
Charles  van Buren
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Entertaining and mildly funny, July 4, 2017

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This review is from: Ordained Irreverence (Elmo Jenkins Book One) (Kindle Edition)

An entertaining and mildly humorous account of a young seminary student beginning his ministry by interning at a large, established, socially prominent First Church, presumably Baptist. If you belong to such a church you will see similarities to your church. Not laugh out loud funny but an interesting insider's view. Nothing scandalous but fu
Well this book surprised me. I don't remember when I got this, but I was under the impression it was a humorous Christian detective story.

Non-spoiler: It's not.

Elmo is a seminary student doing an internship, and these are some of the experiences he had doing so. I really enjoyed it. The author doesn't veer to either extreme in showing life at a church made of real imperfect people.

I'll definitely be picking up book two.
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I expected this to be a very light change of pace for me. I actually really enjoyed the book and all the characters. Everyone had a purpose and was part of the story. The inner workings of a church are seen both good and bad and it was nice that no one was perfect. Overall a fun book and while I won't binge the series I will continue to fit it in. ...more
Chaplain Stanley Chapin
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A nice light hearted read

A nice light hearted read

Most church members are unaware of what goes on in getting together the weekly service and related functions that are needed to pull a congregation together and yes there are politics and humor involved
This novel is about a seminary student's intern experience at a mega church to fulfill his requirements to graduate. It got off to a slow start for me and after a few chapters, I almost called it quits because I felt it was presenting a sarcastic view of church and particularly church staff members. However, I grew to really like it as I progressed in reading it partly because the main character, Elmo Jenkins, began to include some meaningful spiritual comments in the narrative---not preaching-- ...more
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elmo Jenkins is almost a full-fledged minister except he has to fulfill a six-month long internship. Under the guidance of Tom Applebee, the Associate Pastor at First Church, Elmo learns the ropes of ministry. Sometimes stumbling, sometimes questioning, and even playing it by ear, he works with everyone at First Church from the Pastor, Dr. Horace Jorgensen, to old Dunston, the janitor who knows everything about anything at the Church and fishing. Elmo discovers what is required; hard work, keepi ...more
This is a pretty decent story with some humorous moments. I did start to lose interest near the end, and I didn't really appreciate every single loose end that needed to be taken care of happened in the last scene of the book. I felt the author made a list of all the loose ends and then just marked them off as he wrote about each one. It felt off. There are also some moments that should be somewhat emotional, but they never went deep enough. The story felt more like journal entries and so any em ...more
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A humorous book about a man who had a masters degree in religious education. So Elmo ( nickname) got a internship at a church. He was given a "closet" as an office and the janitor got some old furniture from the basement to help decorate his "office".The book describes some of the things that go on in churches. He is given duties such as funerals, baptisms , social duties and everything else they put on him. He meets a lady named Bonnie who also works at the church . Theres also this mystery lik ...more
Lynn Smith
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book to read! I only knew about it because of BookBub and if was offered free, so I thought, well the price is right and if I don't like it I haven't lost anything. I will likely continue reading the series because I enjoyed this so much. It tells the story of Elmo Jenkins who is about to graduate from seminary and his last task before graduation is an internship at a mega-church. The stories told are delightful, true to life, and filled with humor and wisdom. I'm usually n ...more
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining look at life at in the church from the viewpoint of seminarian Ellington Jenkins as he embarks on his last requirement before graduation, a church intership. For those of us in full time Christian ministry or married to the minister, this will bring back many memories you may have forgotten or that we all go through. Not many of us work in churches where the annual budget tops $11 million but some of things he gets into...take a walk down memory lane or relax on a rainy day with ...more
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
E-Reader Chrstian Fiction

Elmo Jenkins at Harvest Morgan Seminary in his final year.  He takes the intern position for six months at First Church.  The richest church in the city.  His office is a closet with table and metal chair on the second floor.

He truly is  man of God.  You will laugh at his humor and thoughts at times.  But he is dedicated to do the best can.  The people of First Church become a family to him.

This book can be a life changing book.  It's an excellent read.  I hope you enjoy
Keith Beasley-Topliffe
A lighthearted look at a seminarian's internship at a big downtown church. Elmo Jenkins gets a chance to use every skill he has and to plunge into all aspects of pastoral ministry. And find the woman of his dreams along the way. There are at least five more books in this series. I'm looking forward to reading them. I only served small churches as pastor, so it's interesting to get even a fictional version of how the other 1% live. ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny but filed with golden nuggets

What a delightfully funny book! As a longtime Christian whose father was a music pastor, I could completely relate to the funny happenings that Elmo experienced on his journey. His wit made me laugh out loud a couple of times while his message was subtly entwined within the plot. Very enjoyable lighthearted work of Christian fiction that didn’t disappoint!
michele thompson
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Funny Take on Church Life.

It was easy to get attached to Elmo. His storytelling on his day to day life was hard to put down. I couldn't help chuckling through many of his quips, foibles and his humorous outlook on things.

This novel is not a self righteous nor preachy book. I was actually pleasantly surprised that the author showed the imperfect side to church life and didn't try to cover it up with sanctimonious drivel.
Terri Weitze
I was hoping for a much funnier book. This is cute and a very easy read, and fine for any age because it is kind of like reading a church bulletin, but more detail and probably more gossip. You often hear that a book needs some kind of conflict to move the story along. This book has little to no conflict whatsoever. It's part of a series, and I will not be venturing any further into it. ...more
Carol Caldwell
This was an interesting story, kind of like a journal of a young man's internship at a large church after he finishes seminary. It includes tales of the various people he meets and works with, including a young woman. The story question is whether the church decides to hire him after the internship is over, especially after he makes some interesting bloopers. ...more
Linda Kay Orpet
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved it!

It is laugh-out-loud funny without being ridiculous. It has a little romance without being unrealistic. There are wonderful helpful words about decisions and expectations for a Christian. The Message of salvation is presented without being heavy handed or pushy. A very refreshing read!
Jeryl Smith
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pastor Elmo Jenkins

This book was so entertaining by the cast of characters & the situations they find themselves in! Not only did I laugh but I found myself deep in thought about church growth! Elmo is loveable & you get to experience his transformation throughout the book. I plan to purchase the entire 6 book series!
michael smith
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best read

This has been book in a very long time.
I've been a believer since I was 21 & I am now 55.
Relating to all the characters and scenarios, as I've been in various parts of ministry. It made me laugh, remember & look forward.
Written with much care and wonderful relationships.
Barbara Bingham
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved it!

Thank you, Mr. Moody for a wonderful, easy to read and extremely entertaining read! I am moving to book 2 now and can hardly wait to get started. Humorous and with much to learn about the way mega church operates is in a class all its own. Highly recommended. Pleasant and entertaining for everyone who relishes a good read!
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I started with this trilogy because I had nothing else handy to read. Didn't expect to like it, but I do! It's fluff, no real story line, but there's something about the characters and the "inside scoop" of the workings of a large church that draw me in. Christian writing without being preachy. I'm hooked! ...more
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McMillian Moody lives quietly in the rolling hills of central Tennessee with his wife, celebrated author Diane Moody.

Other books in the series

Elmo Jenkins (7 books)
  • Some Things Never Change (Elmo Jenkins #2)
  • The Old Man and the Tea (Elmo Jenkins, #3)
  • A Tale of Two Elmos (Elmo Jenkins #4)
  • A Time 4 Friends (Elmo Jenkins #5)
  • Hearts on Fire (Elmo Jenkins #6)
  • 7 Craggie Hope Road (Elmo Jenkins - Book Seven)

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