Wanted: Superhuman Pastor

Monday, October 14, 2013

October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and I’m dedicating this post to my son-in-law, Peter Ill (shown in the picture on his ordination day), and my pastor, Donald Stock. The two men are in similar positions right now. Each is currently serving as the associate pastor of a large church (over 1,000 members) with a school and a senior pastor vacancy, meaning that each is currently the sole pastor of a congregation that should have at least two pastors.

As a minister’s daughter, I know what congregations expect from their pastors and their pastors’ families. Here is a template want ad for a senior pastor, but it works equally well for associate, assistant, and sole pastors. If your denomination ordains women, feel free to change the gender-specific words.

Wanted, Senior Pastor. Position requires 150 hours a week attending meetings, counseling members, visiting the sick, teaching confirmation and Bible classes, leading services, and evangelizing. [If the church has a school, add “The position also requires working with school staff to raise funds and pacify the parent-teacher’s association.”] The winning candidate will be a dedicated family man who is actively involved in the community and spends many hours in Bible study and prayer. Someone who can go without sleep is preferred. Sermons should rival those of great orators such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Winston Churchill, and Billy Graham but must be given extemporaneously since the pastor will not have time to prepare them in advance. The candidate must be all things to all men, women, and children. Sinners need not apply.

The ideal candidate will have a spouse who views being a pastor’s wife as her full-time occupation and who will also be a dedicated wife and mother. Children should be perfect angels who can spout Scripture upon demand and unselfishly stand aside to let other children attend events with limited capacity or win awards that the minister’s child has earned.

Pastor and family are not allowed to complain about anything that happens at church or home. They must be gracious at all times, even when the congregation cuts the pastor’s salary or insurance benefits and provides substandard housing.

If you are qualified for this position, please send your resume to [fill in name and address here].

Satire aside, this is the month to make a special effort to say thank-you and pray for your pastor. I emphasize special effort because you should be doing both all year long.

Thank you, Pastors Ill and Stock. I’m praying for you.

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