This is part four of a whole series of posts I’m doing on my trip to go hear Rob Bell in February 2014. If you want, you can start at the first post.
While at the Rob Bell 2 Days event he made mention of the unique loneliness that leaders experience. This isn’t just a pastor issue either, it’s an issue for anyone who leads an organization. It is a strange issue for pastors though. When I was a supporting pastor, if I complained to my friends about my boss, I would be bad talking their pastor and undercutting all sorts of trust. So there’s a strangeness to the vocational pastoral role that’s difficult to navigate.
It makes me think there should be some training for this – like somewhere along in seminary they drop you off in the woods and you have to live by yourself for a month. It would be great training, and it would weed out the ranks in a hilarious way. So this got me thinking of other great classes pastors could use in Seminary:
- Speaking in Alliteration: The very best preachers always alliterate and have 3 points at a time. Even when asking questions in this seminary class it will be useful to practice and show how smart you are. You were in bible quizzing for crying out loud, let everybody stand in awe at your knowledge of obscure Scriptures.
- Mediocre Musicianship: Since you own an acoustic guitar, you should probably play it. After all, there’s likely not any good musicians in your church, so you should hold that stage as long as possible. Also included, planning services where the pastor never has to leave the stage.
- Sporting Illustrations in Preaching: It’s important to be narrow minded and only pull illustrations from sports – preferably college football or NASCAR. God forbid an illustration from art or music or some other aspect of life. Optional seminar on how much people love it when you scold them for cheering at football but not at your church services.
- Navigating Loneliness: With a special emphasis on woodland survival and a special project involving the ability to stop whining and remember what’s what.
- Ancient Languages: Sure the Bible was written with Hebrew and Aramaic and Greek, but this class will take you back to the very earliest languages using caveman grunts and hand gestures to find the real original meaning. Class will focus on using “nuances” in original languages to change the meaning of a passage to match whatever topic you want to preach on.
- Preaching when sick: Any dummy can preach a good 25 minutes when they are solid and healthy. In this class participants will be exposed to near-lethal viruses and still need to give a legible message. Emphasis on maintaining balance during closed-eyes praying and medications which will not induce speaking in tongues.