I fear that I will be unable to distribute Big B or Little B awards this time, my dears. You all seem to be hibernating in the wake of holiday excess. Where’s the winking sarcasm? The scandal? The hip aloofness? The glamour, for Satan’s sake? Poverty and environmental concerns are delightful as part of a cause celebre garnering the attention of major media outlets, but you explore them ad nauseum. Please get back on the job. I have more than a few flatulent cacodemons in my employ that would be delighted to keep you on task. I’d do it myself, but I just got a manicure.
For now, perhaps a lesson is in order. Given the prevalent preoccupation with pastors on the BWC blog, I will provide some instruction regarding this fabulous vocation.
In the 20th century, the denizens of Hell flourished under the auspices of the prosperity gospel, legalism, and the promise of miracles in return for cash. The Obama era, however, calls for a new kind of Christian shepherd. Humans are more cynical and savvy than ever, so a good pastor will have the type of panache that confounds the likes Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn, or Chuck Swindoll. Here’s what it takes to be a “Man of G - -“ in 21st Century.
1) Pre-emptive humility. Public confession, self-deprecation, and thoughtful anecdotes about one’s mistakes are the bread and butter of today’s pastoral leadership. It disarms one’s critics and provides carte blanche for firm doctrinal edicts. If you’ve already demonstrated how humble and “broken” (what an entertaining word) you are, your congregation is less likely to decry narcissism and manipulation.
2) Say you put your family first. Though no one who pastors a large church could possibly put family first, you must saturate your followers with charming tales of sacrificial family headship. Not only will they think that you’re priorities are properly aligned, they’ll assume you have boundless energy and stamina.
3) Be smart yet folksy. I don’t care if you have an Ivy League Ph.D., darling, don’t act too educated. Tell stories about farming, changing your oil, and eating fast food. Assume that theological exegesis will be interpreted as unbelief.
4) Be hip and youthful, but don’t piss off the old folks. Identification with the younger generation is best achieved through wardrobe and pop culture references. Do this, and they will not notice you don’t share their values. Those with substantial wealth in your congregation will generally be over fifty-five. They are to be placated at any cost. Even if they are solipsistic dullards, always behave as if they are imparting deep wisdom from a better, simpler time.
5) Say something shocking in order to prove how “authentic” you are.
Those of you in the ministry will do well to abide by these policies if you wish to garner influence and weal-, um, financial security. In truth, darlings, the fastest way involves a written agreement with yours truly. It would be my utmost pleasure to help you "grow" your ministry. I can provide multiple references who will attest to my effectiveness. Of course, I’m only interested in long term relationships, if you take my meaning . . .
Please don’t disappoint me again, my dears. I expect to be flabbergasted with delight upon my return. Until then, my darling beauties, I remain . . .
Your friend until The End,