As a pastor now since 1980, I am continually amazed by the people whom God choses to be His team members. God loves to turn what the world think are losers into winners. If we are willing, God makes something out of nothing, the best out of our worst and the most out of our least.
I always enjoy reading this short story that someone penned when I’m tempted to judge, criticize, or marginalize others. It’s called a Report from the Pastoral Search Committee. It is written to the elders of a church on the results of the prospects of pastoral candidates for their church. Read on.
“After studying the pastoral qualifications in Timothy, we do not have a good report to give. We have been unable to find a suitable candidate for this church, although we have one promising prospect left. We do appreciate all the following suggestions from the church; we have followed up on each one with interviews and reference checks. The following is a confidential report on those, which we have rejected for the following reasons; only first names given:
Adam – Good man but has wife trouble. Gives in to her whims too much. Noah – former pastorate of 120 years with no converts, problem with the bottle, and a wayward son morals problem. Abraham – Scandal ridden, offered wife to another man, child abuse. Joseph – a big thinker but a braggart, a dreamer and a prison record. Moses – poor communicator, stutters, unanswered murder charge.
David – affair with neighbor’s wife, hired a hit man to kill husband. Solomon – husband of more than one wife, in fact parsonage too small. Elijah – prone to depression, nervous break downs and collapses under pressure. Hosea – our congregation could not handle his wife’s occupation.
11. Jeremiah – emotionally unstable, alarmist, negative, lamenter, reported to have buried underwear on a foreign river bank, claims to have a set of recreated originals
12. Isaiah – language problems, on the fringe, claims to see angels
13. Jonah – refuses to preach to the lost unless forced to by God
14. Amos – backward and unpolished, does not like the rich
15. John – does not dress like a Baptist, weird diet, provokes higher powers
16. Peter – bad temper, curses, hypocrite in racial matters, loose cannon
17. Paul – uses racial epitaphs, preaches all night
18. Timothy – too young and single
19. Jesus – dwindled church of 5,000 down to 12 or 120, offends folks
20. Judas – His references are solid. Good connections. Knows how to handle money, has compassion for poor. He is preaching for us Sunday. Possibilities here.
Yes, Christians that you know around you may have all kinds of problems in the beginning but give them a few years hanging around God’s word that stuff that we love to criticize about them starts to fade away. Like that bumper sticker says, I’m not perfect, just forgiven.
God starts with someone who is willing to be on His team. If we are willing, God is able to slowly but surely transform us into His image. God builds for the long term.
Church-Community Connection is published weekly in 10 newspapers all over the world. Most of these newspapers are local paid subscription newspapers. The goal of these 450 word articles is to build a bridge to the community through humor, wisdom and changing mental perceptions that the community has of the church.