Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Reality, Presbyterian style?

I don't watch much Reality TV--or much TV at all for that matter. But my sister is into it. Once when she visited I watched the final segment of The Bachelor with her. The premise of this show is that dozens of lovely single women compete to be chosen by the handsome Bachelor who proposes to one of them on the final night of the show. So I'm watching this and I'm thinking, "How degrading! How awful! How---OH. MY. GOD. ---How exactly like the call process in the Presbyterian Church. "

Now stay with me on this. The Bachelor starts off with dozens of women meeting the bachelor of the season at a large party. After this party, he narrows the group down to around a dozen ladies he'd like to know more about. This group then goes out on group dates--boating, bowling, etc. after a few of which events he further narrows the list to five or so chicks he really digs. He goes on individual dates with each of these girls, then cuts the list down to two he thinks he could have a real future with. He spends an entire weekend with each of them and then we watch breathlessly as he goes through the agonizing task of deciding which one he will pop the question to on stage the last big night.

Consider. In the official PCUSA call process, a congregation's Pastor Nominating Committee receives dossiers from dozens of pastors. They read through these and narrow their list to a dozen or so they feel have real possibility. They may send these pastors a series of questions to answer, or have a committee member give them a call to "get a feel" for how the real person compares to the person on paper. At this point, the committee will cut the list to maybe five or six serious contenders. These folks will do a phone interview, send sermon tapes, and submit references. As the excitement mounts, two or three of these candidates will fly/drive in for a whole weekend of interviews, preaching in a neutral pulpit and psuedo social events with the committee. Then, finally, the committee meets to decide to whom they will issue a call to serve as their pastor.

Coincidence? You tell me........


Friday Mom said...

Yes, I can see the similarities. Kinda scary when you look at that way.... So did you learn anything about making the process work for you from watching the Bachelor? :-)

PPB said...

ooh, but you forgot the point where the committee picked you but the church hasn't....the ultimate rose is after the candidating sermon.