At a certain point, it becomes stalking

A while back, I mentioned that I was “invited” to participate – along with seven of my lay-leaders – in a “Perceptions of Ministry” study.  Now, I and the good people under my care have much better things to do than this.  Since then, nearly two months now, I have received roughly a letter week encouraging me to “begin the validation process”.  I have received heartfelt letters, some of them (obviously and rather poorly) electronically signed by seminary faculty.   Others are simply signed by the director of whoever is starting this silly thing.  I have also received postcards.  I expect the phone calls to start soon.  They better not come to my home.

All of this means : They must not be getting a very good response.  Which is good.  I’m pretty sure that “how people perceive their pastor” has precious little to do with training pastors.  I’ve seen a number of congregation self-studies.  They have no idea what they are looking for.  They want someone who is nice, a good preacher, teaches well, can do evangelism in the community, leap tall buildings in a single bound, and can stop bullets with his teeth (The last is only required in Wyoming and Montana).

Just once I would like to see a congregation that doesn’t consider “good preacher” to be one of the top five attributes they desire.    Or how about a congregation that wants “introverted, shy, quiet type, who isn’t overly gregarious.”

I mean really.

By the way, about the preaching thing : Half of all pastors are going to be below average preachers.

Think about it.

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One Response to “At a certain point, it becomes stalking”

  1. Everybody wants to be validated, and with this program you can “begin the validation process.”

    At the end of it all, I guess one is thoroughly validated. And here I thought your seminary training, vicarage, ordination and installation were valid enough.

    What was I thinking???

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