Thursday, September 25, 2008


I'm thinking the Holy Spirit-- or someone-- has an ironic sense of humor.

First of all, I had a gen-u-wine, official, dizzy spell this morning when I was ironing my shirt to get ready for my continuing ed event. Had a sudden, irresistible inclination to sit right down on the floor. Whoa! I was thinking it might be even more suitable to lie down on the floor, but my dog disagreed. He shoved his body under me and made me get up. So I finished ironing the shirt, got ready, and arrived safely at the conference site-- but my head felt like someone had shaken everything out of it and pumped it full of dirty air. Not the state I wanted to be in to impress my peers with my Marvellous Potential.

Then I saw the small group lists posted on newsprint on the meeting room wall. What kind of a sick joke is this? I'd been put in with a group of some of the most intimidating people in my presbytery, some of whom have been effective in restricting my progress to a new solo call. What kind of chance would I have of proving my competence with them?

And then-- you'll love this-- I looked in the folder they gave us at registration, and there in the front pocket was a copy of the Pastor Competency Model. Yes, I wasted three hours or more last night looking for my own copy. How ironic is that?

The Pastor Competency Model was talked up by an official from Big City Presbytery* (this conference is a multi-presbytery event). She cheerfully and enthusiastically told us that they require all the churches looking for pastors in their presbytery to use it and its questions. O woe! O depression! I've got my resume in to some churches down there looking for associate pastors; what hope can there be for me under these circumstances?

But the sessions began. And my head began to clear. And though the discussions concerned the competencies dealt with in the Model, we didn't consider the interview questions at all. In fact, when we convened for our first small group session, the very pastor who'd led the general discussion over the first competency commented that any pastor who could honestly come up with good answers to all those questions would be totally amazing. And is maybe (the implication was) nonexistent?

But wouldn't you think that she, of all people . . . ? Ironic.

As is the fact that maybe in the end being in that group gave me a chance to sound halfway intelligent around some high-powered people. And to consider and treat them as I would like them to treat me.

Which might do me some service next time there's openings to be recommended for.

At least, I hope so. In this, I'm definitely not trying to be ironic.


Mile High Pixie said...

now see? That wasn't so bad after all! isn't it great to be pleasantly surprised from time to time?

Sandy said...

I agree with Mile High Pixie!

St. Blogwen said...

Yes, thanks, but see belated (backdated!) follow up post.

A lot of my agonizing over this comes from the fact that the document in the case is couched in very corporate-motivational language. I've never worked in that environment, even as an architect, and it makes me feel bery bery stoopid! Whut duz awl dese beeg wurds ov treemenjus vagenesses meeeenn????