Several years ago a few of my friends and I decided to post a job on churchstaffing.com. We were bored watching football on a Sunday afternoon, so each of us chipped in some money and created a job that did not really exist. Now churchstaffing.com is a serious site that churches uses to seek a staff member and leaders use to look for a new place of ministry. We were not attempting to be deceptive as we thought our advertisement was clearly a joke.
We called ourselves Main Event Church and we were searching for a “Pastor of Extreme Worship Arts.” The ad read like this:
Main Event Church is seeking an exceptional leader to be our Pastor of Extreme Worship Arts. We believe the right person will be a unique fit for such a time as this. This person will serve under the Senior Pastor, and will oversee all areas of worship. Candidates must embrace the Senior Pastor’s vision of aligning all people of all denominations under the same vision. The person must also meet these requirements:
- Ability to infuse the TULIP doctrine into all worship sets
- Postmodern, Visionary, Missional leader capable of creating an ethos and apostolic movement in an Ancient-future church
- Willing to find some songs written from a premillennial dispensationalist theological tradition
- Desires to develop an emerging hand bell choir
- Some snake handling may be appropriate (for Believers service only)
- Agree that the Lord is to be worshiped through magnificent attire and appropriate versions of the Bible
- Demonstrate proof of a second blessing … tongue speaking in various accents is a major plus as we’re a multicultural church.
- Exegetically establish a movement of fluidity in the Extreme Worship Ministry
The email address was valid so that responses could be read. One of my buddies (JR) even built a temporary website for Main Event Church. The site simply said “Main Event Church: under construction.” On the site was a picture of a young guy with long hair wearing a suit and holding a coat hanger. Attached to the coat hanger was a big random photograph of a snake. It couldn’t have been more ridiculous.
Sadly dozens of people applied—with real resumes and cover letters. Real people responded and asked for job descriptions. Some even sent in DVDs of themselves leading worship. We were shocked. To apply for the position a person would: 1) have no basic theological belief system that guides his/her ministry or 2) be willing to compromise his/her beliefs in order to get a ministry job.
The person described in the advertisement does not exist. The theological tenets placed in the want ad opposed each other at the most basic level. We intentionally crafted the advertisement to contain opposing theological labels under the banner of Christianity. If a person claimed to ascribe to all of the thinking in the advertisement, he or she would be schizophrenic in his/her beliefs. The person would lack a coherent belief system. Or worse, the person would be willing to subscribe to any belief system in order to land an interview.
If church leaders are unsure or willing to waver on their personal theology, our churches will be filled with people who reflect the same uncertainty. Or as A.W. Tozer once stated, “If we were able to know what our religious leaders think of God today, we might be able with some precision to predict where the Church will stand tomorrow.”
We first revealed the story about Main Event Church in Simple Church in the chapter on alignment.