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Author: Subject: Ministers with no clue
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[*] Post 326727 posted on 21-3-2008 at 09:49 Reply With Quote
Ministers with no clue

We had a series of religious assemblies yesterday - one for each year group. I toddled along to the second year one with about 200 youngsters aged about 13/14 from an area of deep deprivation.

Not for us the Easter story with a few readings and maybe a song or two -oh no.

The American minister stood at the front of this group and for the next 20 minutes read the whole of the "I have a dream" speech word for word. He didn't bother to set the scene, or explain anything or even tie it up by saying what the message was. He didn't emphasise the best bits or show them a picture of Martin Luther King. He assumed that because this speech resonates with the American public that it would resonate with working class white children. The fire of Martin Luther King was missing and it wasn't even particularly well read. It was a disaster. To give the students their due, they sat there stoney-facecd and listened politely but it wooshed right over the heads of most of them.

It was an object lesson on how to turn people off religion. Don't American ministers get training in how to present and appeal, or maybe even teach? He's been in this country for about 2 years - it's not getting any better.confused2

The speech in case you're not familiar with it
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[*] Post 326776 posted on 22-3-2008 at 03:10 Reply With Quote

Originally posted by marymary100
Don't American ministers get training in how to present and appeal, or maybe even teach?

The training varies widely, from denomination to denomination, and even within denominations. Different colleges or seminaries can turn out students for the same denomination, with different curriculums, and there may be different paths within the same institutions. I know of a denomination that pushes for a "wish list" of everything they would like a pastor to have for students who attend denominational schools for eight years (from right out of high school), but they have streamlined requirements for people who started outside the system and transferred in, and minimized requirements for older second-career people. (The thinking is, you can't get a man in his fifties to take eight years of training--he won't have time to pay off his student loan before retirement.)

One problem: ministers don't necessarilly follow their training (they might let their language skills fall into disuse, might not spend as much time in preparation they are taught to do, etc.)

Another problem: ministers are commonly given a whole list of duties and tasks, among which their skills are usually uneven. I hope the man who did so poorly at the assembly is better at classroom teaching, or preaching, or home visits, or evangelism, or comforting the sick, or working with youth.

The best congregations have ministers who gladly enjoy using the talents of their lay people to supplement their own, and who use their own abilities generously. It's also good for ministers to continue to increase their abilities--people to whom a skill does not come intuitively can still make an effort to learn it. They may never be the very best, but they might learn to do something well enough. (Actually, that's a good idea for all Christians!:D)
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[*] Post 326785 posted on 22-3-2008 at 08:16 Reply With Quote

I do hope the minister in question isn't getting paid.
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