I wish they’d taught me to…

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.

One thought on “I wish they’d taught me to…”

  1. Thanks for the post – it made me smile. It’s not yet been 15 weeks since I was ordained, and I’m already wishing there was some sort of advice out there for all of these things! The name one especially – its amazing how quickly everyone expects me to know the entire life history of every church member (alive and dead…)

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