Montana pastor Tim Christensen pranked his congregation on Sunday afternoon when he pretended to end the service so he could go watch the San Francisco 49ers' divisional playoff game.

Montana Pastor Leaves Church To Watch Football

In a video recorded by Christensen’s son, the pastor is seen standing upon the altar at the Gold Hill Lutheran Church in Butte, Mont., in his white vestments. "You may not be aware there is a football game starting in just a few moments," he told the members of the church. "I was thinking we just have a little bit of an abbreviated service."

"Would you all like to be forgiven for your sins?" he asked. When the church members replied “yes,” he said, “Ok, that’s great. You are. I was going to talk in my message about wine and about servanthood, but I think you probably know enough about that, right? […] OK, great."


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After the minute-long service, the pastor offered the congregation wine and bread. Kissing his biceps in tribute to San Francisco’s QB Colin Kaepernick, he shed his vestments to reveal a 49ers sweatshirt. That sweatshirt is the one thing Christensen regrets about the now-viral video that was originally posted to the church’s Facebook page.

Tim Christensen On His Viral Video

"I just did it for the church's Facebook page, but it really took off," Christensen told the New York Daily News. "The one thing about the video I hate is I look incredibly fat, but I'm wearing a large double-pocketed hoodie underneath.”

How did the members of his church react? Christensen said that they’re familiar enough with his personality to know that they hadn’t really come out to worship for only a minute with their pastor. "People know my sense of humor. They knew I was joking," he told the News. "In fact, when I got halfway down the aisle, the parishioners who are Packers and Vikings fans started booing me."

– Chelsea Regan

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