Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Will save your soul for food

A story in the NY Times deals with another hard-hit group of victims of the recession: preachers. The number of available pastoring jobs has not kept pace with the numbers of individuals answering the “call” to set themselves up as custodians of souls.
Preaching has always struck me as a fairly cushy gig, consisting largely of comforting the afflicted with platitudes and parsing the word of God on Sunday – which may be why there’s such a glut of job seekers in this segment of the market. (The Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches reports that there are more than 600,000 ministers in the U. S. but just 338,000 churches.)
My advice to these particular unemployed, short of counseling them to remember Jesus’s precept about tomorrow taking care of itself, would be to do what so many others do when they can’t find anyone to hire them: go into business for yourself.
Start on any street corner. “Wherever two or more are gathered in my name, there am I.” (Jesus again.) Voila! You’re a church, and therefore tax-exempt. Pass the plate. If you take in anything, you’ve made money your very first day in business, and it all went into your pocket. How many entrepreneurs can say that?
Build on that rock, no matter how inconsequential. The key to success, as in any other business, is to give people what they want. Entertainment, in this case, with a little hellfire and damnation thrown in.  Work up some good stories, develop a sound delivery, and you’ll be on your way. If you’re good enough, you’ll be able to get people to let you sleep and eat in their homes.
Maybe you think I’m being facetious. But why should you expect someone to hire you if you can’t do the job on your own?

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