Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Hash

Hash was one of my favorites when we were kids. Roast beef, sliced potatoes and a few onions for flavoring. M-m-m-m!

Today, let's mix up two ingredients and have ourselves a blog!

First, take a look at my daughter Becki's Veganish blog for some tasty and healthy food.

Then, here's a leadership story. I heard it about 25 years ago and it left a mark on my memory. To the best of my knowledge it's true...

A young man distinguished himself during his undergraduate days. His keen intellect and excellent communication skills seemed to indicate a healthy future as he pursued his dream of pastoring a church. A number of smaller churches near the college would have asked him to be their part-time pastor, but his Bible professors encouraged him to focus on his studies. "Wait until you get to seminary," they said. "You will have plentiful opportunities there."

He went off to pursue his Master of Divinity and heard similar words from his seminary teachers. "You will have ample time to get practical experience," they told him. "For now, take full advantage of the excellent education you will receive here." His strong academic performance also opened the door to funding so he followed their suggestions.

As he finished his Master's in that large, prestigious seminary, he caught the attention of a world-renowned theology school in Europe. He was not only accepted, but received a fellowship that fully paid for his living expenses and education there. After several years, he was awarded a Doctorate of Theology.

Now, with some of the premier education in his field behind him, he took his young family back to the United States to begin pastoring. But he had a problem. Large churches that normally would hire a pastor of his caliber weren't interested in someone with no practical experience. Small churches couldn't afford to pay him enough to meet the needs of his family. What was he to do?

No problem. The U.S. seminary he had attended hired him as a professor. His job?

Training people to become pastors.

What's wrong with this picture?


Scriptor Senex said...

Sadly, an all too common pehnomenon in a number of different fields. In my first lecture at college the lecturer made a mistake which two of us (each with a whole years experience of working at the most junior level) picked up on. The rest of the class, straight from school, all accepted it as fact. He had the good grace to acknowledge we were probably right. It turned out he'd never ever practised what he was teaching. He was a brilliant lecturer but how much of what he taught us was accurate I dread to think.

beckiwithani said...

Thanks for the plug, Dad!

The awful phrase "Those who can't do, teach" is true far too often. And when I was doing my graduate degree in education, my classmates and I discovered a second, less-known part of that phrase: "Those who can't teach, become professors at ed schools to teach others how to teach." It was sort of astonishing how many of our professors were really awful at teaching lessons. They had had teaching experience at the middle- or high-school level, but it was pretty obvious which of them had ended up going to get Ed.D degrees just because they couldn't find success in teaching kids.

Not that they guy in your story would've been bad at teaching/preaching/pastoring at a church ... but, with no experience, he wouldn't have been great, at least not at first. Definitely not the right person to try to teach others to go do the same thing.

C. Beth said...

Does this mean I need to give up my side job teaching people to become auto mechanics?

Sandra said...

Small churches couldn't pay him enough to support his family? The impression I get is that he wasn't really committed to pastoring. I've seen pastors with pretty large families shepherd very small churches, and make it work, because they were doing what they felt led to do.

Sam said...

Well-said, Sandra. It was probably more true to say, "He believed his educational achievement merited a larger church." Thanks for the reminder, for I have seen first-hand exactly what you described.

Beth, you are hilarious! Scriptor and Becki, I love your insights. Becki, especially "Those who can't teach, become professors at ed schools to teach others how to teach."