Summary: A person considering a career as a church pastor hasn't appreciated the finer points of the calling.
Style: Light-hearted Duration: 7min
(Counselor sitting at desk, going through papers. Applicant approaches.)
Applicant: Excuse me, is this career counseling?
Counselor: Yes it is, please sit down.
Applicant: [sits in front of desk]
Counselor: So how can I help you?
Applicant: I wanna be a pastor!
Counselor: A pastor? Really? Why would you want to be a pastor?
Applicant: Well, I think I’d be pretty good at it. I’m pretty spiritual. I like people, mostly. I’ve got a pretty good handicap. I love potlucks, and I really like the idea of only working one day a week!
Counselor: [Sarcastically] Oh well, I can see how that would qualify you to be a pastor. Well, there are some papers to fill out and I have a few questions to go over. Ready?
Counselor: You said you’re spiritual. Do you read your Bible?
Applicant: About as often as most people.
Counselor: So not very often, then.
Applicant: Weekly isn’t good enough?
Counselor: Depends if you want to be any good at it.
Applicant: Why’s Bible knowledge so important, anyway?
Counselor: It kinda helps when you’re writing a sermon. Plus, you have to be prepared for people to quote verses to you to prove their point. Then other people will use the same verse to prove the exact opposite point. (Pause) Are you very mechanical?
Counselor: A pastor needs to fix things.
Applicant: Like what?
Counselor: Like a jammed copier, or a stuck drawer, a broken handle or a broken heart. You might need to patch a tire, patch a wall or patch a relationship.
Applicant: This is getting kind of complicated. I might need to sleep on this a bit to think about it.
Counselor: Good point. Are you a good sleeper?
Applicant: I like to get a good 8 hours of sleep.
Counselor: What, in a row?
Applicant: [Hesitant] Yeah, that would be nice. Why?
Counselor: Because you might get a call in the middle of the night to sit with someone at ER, or get up early for a prayer breakfast, or you may spend a sleepless night praying for someone in need.
Applicant: I guess I could do that, if I had to. I didn’t think this was going to be this hard. But I know I have a calling to preach.
Counselor: That may be, but I’m trying to find out if anyone has a calling to listen to you. But that reminds me of another question, since you mentioned calling. Do you have a cell phone?
Counselor: And an office phone. And a home phone, plus at least two email accounts?
Counselor: Because people need to get a hold of you. To ask for help, or prayer, or support. Or to get you to decide about something, or complain about something you decided. And, of course, opinions. They need to tell you theirs, and let you know what yours should be.
Applicant: I don’t mind talking to people.
Counselor: How are you at handling criticism?
Applicant: I’m probably as good as most people.
Counselor: So not very good, then.
Applicant: Why? Is there a lot of criticism?
Counselor: Depends if you ever say anything. Like preaching, for instance. You should expect to have your sermons misinterpreted, or be told what you should have said. And, people will tell you exactly who that sermon was for, and it won’t be them.
Applicant: Sounds like a tough situation.
Counselor: Try this. How many pastors does it take to change a light bulb?
Applicant: How many?
Counselor: One. But three people will tell you it’s about time and they never liked the old light anyway. Two others will tell you the old light was better and they don’t know why everything has to change all the time anyway. Several people will send emails asking why you picked that particular light and tell you about three other lights that are better and at least one person will be glad for the light and will be warming in its glowing.
Applicant: Ya know, I think I might try something easier, like brain surgery. Are there any benefits to this job?
Counselor: If it’s just you deciding you want to do it, it’ll be a lot of hard work. But if it’s God calling you to it, then it will be a lot of hard work. But, it will also be the source of uncountable blessing, and you will have a group of people around you who may sometimes make it hard on you, but will make it far worse on anyone else who tries to. Because you are their pastor, and they will love you like no other.
Counselor and Applicant: [Standing up] And once and a while we’ll even let you know it. To our pastors!
© Copyright Bob Grinsell, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.