Bits and Pieces
CHOOSING A GOOD PASTOR
One of the toughest tasks
a church faces (for those that
elect) is choosing a good minister. A member of the official
Board undergoing this painful process finally lost patience. He'd
watched the Pastoral Relations Committee reject applicant after
applicant for some fault, alleged or otherwise. It was time for a
bit of soul-searching on the part of the Committee. So the Board
member stood up and read aloud a letter purporting to be from
"Gentlemen. Hearing that your pulpit is vacant, I should like
to apply for the position. I have many qualifications. I've been
a preacher with much success and have had some success as a
writer. Some say I'm a good organizer. I've been a leader in most
places I've been. I'm over 50 years of age. I have never preached
in one place more than three years. In some places, I have left
town after my work caused riots and disturbances. I must admit I
have been in jail 3 or 4 times, but not because of any real
My health is not too good, though I still get a great deal
done. The churches I have preached in have been small, though
located in several large cities. I've have not got along well
with other religious leaders in towns where I have preached. In
fact some have threatened me and even attacked me physically. I
am not too good at keeping records. I have been known to forget
who I have baptized. However, if you can use me, I will do my
best for you."
The Board member looked over the Committee. "Well, what do you
think? Shall we call him in?"
The good church folk were aghast. Call an unhealthy,
trouble-making, absent-minded, ex-jailbird? Was the Board member
crazy? "Who signed the application?" they asked. "Who has such
colossal nerve in applying as our Minister with this record?"
The Board member eyed them all keenly before he answered,
"It's signed, the Apostle Paul."
The Barna Research Group
ran a survey on the importance of
religion in people's lives. The results say something significant
about self-sufficiency. Here are the results where people of
various levels of income answered "yes" when asked the question,
"Is religion very important to your life?"
- Less than $20,000 annual income - 71%
- $20,000 to $30,000 - 69%
- $30,000 - $40,000 - 62 %
- $40,000 to $60,000 - 61%
- $60,000 or more - 45%
It seems to prove that the more money one has, the less need
there is for God!
A Rabbi dreamed he
had been given the opportunity to see both
heaven and hell. He was directed to a closed door and informed
that hell existed behind the door. As he opened the door and
entered he was surprised to see a banquet hall set for a feast.
Everything was exquisitely prepared, but all of the diners moaned
and wailed in agony. In the centre of the table was a
mouth-watering dish of food, and each person had a very long
spoon set beside them. The spoon was long enough for one to dish
out the food, but too long to reach one's mouth. Consequently
they were unable to eat and were shrieking with pains of hunger.
The horror was more than the Rabbi could bear so he asked to
When he opened the door to heaven, he was petrified to see the
same scene. Everything was the same, except laughter replaced the
pitiful cries. The difference in the two places was that those in
heaven did not cry over their inability to feed themselves. They
simply celebrated the privilege of feeding each other with the
same long spoons. The Laws of the Harvest promise joy to those
who will joyfully serve others.