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Unreal hunts for ghosts, gets right with God and tails Fido into Heaven.

Skyline, which is loosely affiliated with the Baptist church, maintains that "God does not have to be a dry, boring process filled with a lot of undesirable nonsense." Unreal spoke to Scott Milford, whose official title at Skyline is "Pastor of Worship Arts." (But he says that sounds "too churchy" and prefers to be known simply as "Music Director.")

Unreal: So this service is going to be led by a comedian/magician/preacher? How does one get that job title?

Scott Milford: Matt Hampel used to do a lot of speaking at church youth events. His delivery style is just kind of manic, crazy, funny — you talk to him for two seconds and you know he's pretty much a nut. He did a traveling circus for most of his childhood, so he developed this presentation of magic and comedy. So he was an obvious fit for the service we're doing.

Mike Gorman

Those professions do have a lot in common.

[Laughs] Yeah, this whole thing is nuts — it's kind of reflective of the type of church we are. Some churches would advise people never to go to a comedy club. We hold a service there!

How is God funny?

Well, we as Christians believe that He created everything, and humor is something that exists, so somewhat by default He had to have invented it. Anything that is funny, if you use that logic, is going to be traced back to Him.

Like the duck-billed platypus?

Exactly. There's a few instances of creation where you say, "How does that make sense?" There are a few things like that that wouldn't have been created without a certain sense of humor.

What denomination is the least funny, and why?

That depends on the church. It's more which churches are least relevant — that's the key. [So many] churches are not relevant. I mean, who loves to sing hymns? Mostly old Christians.

The most funny, then?

In a literal sense — sincere humor — only churches like Skyline really try to have a sense of humor.

Your church avoids the "undesirable nonsense that usually gets preached in church." What does that mean?

I would say guilt. All the rules that some churches try to put on people — rules about giving money, lifestyle stuff. Don't get me wrong. We're not a church that says, "Live as crazy as you want." But getting back to some of that old-school stuff like drinking, gambling — we're not a church that says, "Don't do those things."


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