Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Thank you for your call.

Ah, spring – that time of year when the phone begins to ring with calls to pastor other churches.

But how many times have you taken a call, only to find (as one of my friends put it) that “it may be a different can, but it’s the same old worms”?

That’s why I’m re-running this questionnaire -- one that I put together several years ago when a church and I were looking over each other. I then went on to post it on this blog . . . and the rest is history! Feel free to use it, adapt it, or . . .

Thank you for your interest in calling me to be your next pastor. In order to help us both make the right decision, please fill out this questionnaire and send it back to me ASAP.Thanks!

1. The last pastor of your church [circle all that apply]:
a. was a saint, no matter what the Grand Jury might have said.
b. retired, and now chairs the Church Board.
c. was doing fine, right up to the day he showed up at a Business Meeting wearing high heels and pearls.
d. disappeared – and while we don’t really miss him, we do wish he’d write and tell us how to run the church copier.

2. If your church was a TV show, which of the following would it be?
a. American Idol
b. Lost
c. Desperate Housewives
d. Gilligan's Island

3. Which statement best describes the way your church makes decisions?
a. We have a small group of key people who make all the decisions . . . whether the rest of us like it or not.
b. We like to wait until things reach a crisis, then panic.
c. We’ve formed a committee to answer this question – you should be hearing from it sometime in the next month or so.
d. We favor an open and inclusive style of decision-making that doesn’t really accomplish anything, but it does make everyone feel included.

4. Based on the way your church spends money, what are its real priorities?

a. We’re a historical preservation society that’s dedicated to the maintenance of our church building.
b. We’ll get back to you on that just as soon as we finish this month’s fundraiser for our school.
c. Actually, we’re still trying to figure out where all the money went.
d. One of our previous pastors helped us develop a “mission and goals statement” that we used to set our financial priorities. Now if we could only remember where we put it . . .

5. The Youth of your church are:
a. Mainly attending another church.
b. The future of our church – but meanwhile, they need to learn the meaning of “reverence.”
c. The concern of an elderly couple who’ve been working in the Youth Department for 47-years, and have some real issues with co-dependency.
d. Let’s talk about this later. In private.

6. When you hear the word “evangelism,” your first reaction is to:
a. Send money to 3ABN.
b. Take note of which evening they’ll talk about “the mark of the beast” so you can be sure to invite all of your Catholic relatives.
c. Suspect this is yet another attempt by the pastor to start a praise service.
d. Schedule a four-week vacation.

7. We hope that our new pastor:
a. Solves all of our problems.
b. Straightens out the following people [supply names here]:
c. Does not use phrases such as “paradigm shift,” “emergent,” “purpose-driven,” or “post-modern.”
d. Doesn’t change a thing – in fact, we have a list of recent changes that we want him to un-do!

BONUS QUESTION:
When was the last time someone got food poisoning at one of your potlucks?

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