It is now over 15 years since I was ordained and I have discovered some deficiencies in my ministerial training. I would like to suggest that vicar factories include some or all of the following in their training programmes:
“Excuse me” – how to suppress embarrassing body noises when visiting / in the pulpit. This will include hiccoughs, tummy gurgles, burps and worse.
“More tea vicar” – expanding the capacity of your bladder.
“On the door” – this would be a series that includes: decoding comments about your sermon; remembering everyone’s name; holding three conversations simultaneously; ensuring you spot everyone…
“Dealing with omnicompetency” – admitting you are not good at everything
“Coping with compliments” – how to be gracious and humble when you want to jump up and down punching the air shouting, “Yes!”
“Coping with criticism” – how to be gracious and humble when you want to jump up and down punching someone shouting, “No!”
“I wish I hadn’t said that” – how to recover with dignity when your mouth lets you down in a service (such as “in the same way, after cuppa”) – linked to “Keeping your brain engaged all the time.”
“I don’t get it” – coping with the silence when a sermon joke crashes and burns. Also covers when you write a tongue-in-cheek blog entry about courses for ministerial training that people take seriously.
By the way, I accept that it is possible that these courses were run while I was at Bible College but I was ill, inattentive, asleep or have forgotten!
Be blessed, be a blessing.