you heard about it here first

On 1 February this year I mused on my blog about what would happen if there was a transfer window system for Ministerial moves. I have another idea which may be a brilliant TV show. (I will tithe my royalties to BUGB Home Mission). When it comes on your TV screen as the next ‘reality’ show, remember where you saw it first.

DISCLAIMER: Any similarities to the ways in which churches actually choose their ministers in real reality is hopefully unlikely, is coincidental but would be very sad.

This was inspired (?) by watching the US version of The Apprentice last night. Other than being mesmerised by Donald Trump’s hair (is that the world’s biggest combover?) I was amazed at the way in which the would-be apprentices fought so hard to out-do their colleagues or run them down.

So… what about a Ministerial Settlement version of the Apprentice? We could get a dozen ministers who are looking to settle into a new church and set them a series of challenges each week. Each week the church in question would hold a church meeting and get rid of the candidate that was weakest.

the axe
who’s for the chop first?

Challenges could include: setting out an evangelism strategy for the church; carrying out a community survey; preaching on obscure passages; conducting pastoral visits to awkward church members (they could be acting if insufficiently cranky to make good TV viewing); explaining the Trinity to four-year-olds; baptising in icy water; changing the colour of the church tea cups; working a seventy-five hour week; and the finale would be judged on how many people became Christians during the show.

The last challenge came to me last night as I was contemplating this blog in the early hours (when I wanted to be asleep) and remembered hearing of Charles Spurgeon and the question he asked all would-be trainee ministers. He would ask them how many people they had brought to Christ. If the answer was ‘none’ he would send them away as unacceptable.

That is a sobering thought, since all of us are called to be ministers wherever Jesus has placed us.

So what about the denouement of each show – the moment when the church meeting gets rid of the weakest candidate? It’s a shame we are not a robe-wearing denomination, otherwise each week instead of being ‘fired’ the individual who is leaving could be declared ‘surplice to requirements’ and be defrocked. So how about they are told, “You’re not required!” or “You’re undesired!” or “You’re unadmired!”

And the name of the show?

How about: “The Injustice” or “The Bad Practice” or “The Prejudice” or (my preference) “The Disservice”

One final question: Where’s seeking God in all the razzmatazz?

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