Thinking Out Loud

April 11, 2013

Jesus Applies for a Church Job Opening

Filed under: Church, Jesus — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:33 am

Today we’re honored to feature the writing of David Murrow author of Why Men Hate Going to Church (now revised and updated), The Map, and What Your Husband Isn’t Telling You.  Heck, we even got written permission to use this. (Hope everybody else doesn’t think we’re setting a precedent.) This appeared at David’s website Church for Men and we encourage you to read it there — honest, take a field trip day — where you can visit the rest of the site.  This appeared under the title Jesus Christ, Job Applicant.


[CHURCH OFFICE SETTING. TWO MEN SEATED ACROSS A DESK FROM ONE ANOTHER.]

Jesus InterviewINTERVIEWER: Your name, sir?

JESUS: Jesus.

INTERVIEWER: Your full name?

JESUS: Jesus of Nazareth.

INTERVIEWER: Jesus F. Nazareth. All right Mr. Nazareth. Tell me, why do you want to work at First Church?

JESUS: I’m here to proclaim the good news to the poor, freedom for the captive and sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

INTERVIEWER: Well, that’s a rather ambitious agenda. But at First Church we like employees who think big! So how to you plan to accomplish these lofty goals?

JESUS: I’ll recruit a dozen men and lead them through a series of challenges over the course of three years. I’ll show them how to minister to others. I’ll test them at every turn, to see whether they have true faith.

INTERVIEWER: That’s it?

JESUS: Yes.

INTERVIEWER: And then what?

JESUS: They’ll change the world.

INTERVIEWER: I’m sorry Mr. Nazareth, but I’m having a hard time seeing where that kind of ministry fits into our church’s strategic plan.

JESUS: Strategic plan?

INTERVIEWER: First Church adopted a strategic plan two years ago. We’re targeting young families with children as a key growth demographic. Parents and kids are under such pressures today and we want to help them be healthier.

JESUS: An admirable goal. How do you hope to achieve it?

INTERVIEWER: We’re rapidly expanding our offerings for children. We’ve hired two new youth staff and recently broken ground on a new youth building.

JESUS: Why are you doing this?

INTERVIEWER: Mr. Nazareth, don’t be naïve. If we don’t offer quality children’s and youth programs, women will choose another church. As you know, women are the religious decision makers in the home. And if we lose women we also lose our volunteer base.

JESUS: What about your men? Are they being actively discipled?

INTERVIEWER: We have a men’s ministry. They meet for a monthly pancake breakfast in the church basement.

JESUS: That’s not what I asked.

INTERVIEWER: Mr. Nazareth, I believe I’m conducting the interview here. Now let’s say we hired you to challenge twelve men for a few years. What about all the other men? Won’t they feel left out?

JESUS: Some will.

INTERVIEWER: You see, that just won’t fly around here. Our goal is to reach as many people as possible. Our slogan is, “There’s a place for you at First Church.” We don’t exclude anyone – and we don’t put any limits on God.

JESUS: If you never single a man out and call him to greatness, he will never become great.

INTERVIEWER: Excuse me?

JESUS: I tell you the truth: every man secretly dreams of being called into an elite group and molded into something extraordinary. That’s what I intend to do with a limited number of men.

INTERVIEWER: Elite group? You make it sound like the Navy Seals. What if your challenges are so tough that men drop out of your group? Won’t these men feel alienated from our church? They might go around and spread lies about us, accuse us of being a cult, that sort of thing.

JESUS: Many are called but few are chosen. One cannot be faithful to God’s call without incurring criticism. Yet I tell you the truth: if you call and train a handful of faithful men you can change the world. In a generation, you will have the healthy families you seek.

INTERVIEWER: Mr. Nazareth, we are totally down with your good news to the poor message, but I can’t see how you get from A to B. How does working with one small group of men result in the outcomes you’ve described? How can we lavish limited church resources on such a tiny number of members, who quite frankly, being men, just don’t offer the R.O.I.?

JESUS: As these men change, the church will change, and your city will change. And at the risk of appealing to your flesh, your church will double in size over the next five years if you do the things I’ve told you.

INTERVIEWER: Well, Mr. Nazareth, I need to be at a planning meeting for the upcoming youth retreat in a few minutes. It’s been very nice to meet you and we’ll be in touch. [REACHES OUT TO SHAKE HANDS] Ooooh, that’s a wicked scar. How did you get that?

February 13, 2013

Wednesday Link List

ASBO Jesus - Fifty Shades of Grey

As you can see above; after a six-month break the UK cartoon ASBO Jesus is back (click image to link).

  • David Murrow at the blog Church for Men is running a series of posts at his blog on things that were formerly unheard of which are now suddenly OK; thinks like: Being gayextramarital sex, and less provocative topics such as informality and slacking. (Actually, I found that last article most interesting.)
  • At least check out the first part of this one: A play-by-play review of what can only be called a church service for atheists.
  • Matt Redman walks away with not one, but two gospel/CCM Grammy awards, for the song 10,000 Reasons, though one of them was so close, a tie in fact with Israel Houghton.
  • CNN talks to two characters central to the new TV show, Sisterhood, a reality show about pastors wives in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Are you familiar with the term, “first world problems?” If not check out this blog post and accompanying video.
  • A pastor wrestles with wanting to preach the funeral service of a close parishioner, but having to be in Zambia, Africa at the same time.
  • Steve McCoy offers various types of advice to parents, including some things you might not have thought of intentionally teaching your kids.
  • And on another parenting note, preparing sermons and Bible studies may constitute time in the word, but it can substitute for time in the word with your wife and kids; or for those of you who aren’t married or don’t have children, the personal time in the word God wants to have with us.
  • What do you do when someone tells you they are  “having trouble ‘gaining access to the leaders” at their own church’”?  Maybe they just believe too strongly that only those at the top can help them.
  • Cooking the books? A 59-year old church bookkeeper is charged with stealing a quarter million US dollars.
  • The weekend weather in the northeast meant the cancellation of many church services, but that also means the week’s offering was $0.00. What can be done when it’s a snow day at church? Here are some suggestions.
  • Can’t wait for your weekly fix of Andy Stanley? North Point has a local 30-minute show that comes on after Saturday Night Live in Atlanta with repackaged sermon content. Check out Your Move.
  • This is a sequel to the ‘damaged goods’ item we linked to last week: Emily Maynard looks at the ramifications of loss of virginity for Christian girls.
  • Virtual Recording is looking for people who want to be the voices of various characters in a dramatic Bible. Learn how you can audition.
  • No, it’s not a new video; but how often do you get to see a Jesus Toaster actually making a piece of Jesus toast?
  • Social Media Department:  A new site billed as “a Christ-centered devotional and social networking platform… with unique features for prayer, and great tools to help you stay connected with the people you care about;” check out Faithbuddy.com
  • A Canadian Christian journalist can’t get any action from her bank until she takes to social media, and then she gets a response within hours.
  • Once again, for Valentine’s Day, here’s our annual link to Biblical Ways a Man Finds A Wife.
  • Randy Alcorn tells of his dad’s experience with bulging wallet syndrome.
  • If at about this point in the list you’re thinking you’d like to read an inspirational devotional article, you can’t do better than The White Harvest
  • One more time, here’s the link for the response to one of the most popular and discussed pop music songs of all time; the Reimagine song at YouTube
An all-dressed-up Matt Redman collects two pieces of hardware at the 2013 Grammy Awards

An all-dressed-up Matt Redman collects two pieces of hardware at the 2013 Grammy Awards

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