Having explained the whole Calling process, it's worth thinking about the theory behind it. Basically, the vicar you get is the perfect one for your church at the time.
A discussion about the vicar's role on Ship of Fools and remembering the whole Settlement process made me think about the shopping list churches have when looking for a Minister.
- Challenges the congregation so they grow spiritually. Doesn't offend them or change anything.
- Holds services that are not too long or too short. Contain the right mix of hymns and choruses. Sermons are the correct length. Not too high or low brow.
- Works from 7am to midnight on all aspects of church life. Is always available if needed. But has a good family life.
- Invests 25 hours a week in sermon preparation; 20 hours in pastoral ministry; 10 hours in meetings; 5 hours in unexpected emergencies; 20 hours in visiting and evangelism; 6 hours in funerals and weddings; 30 hours in Bible reading, prayer and their own spiritual development; 12 hours in administration and correspondence; 10 hours in creative thinking and 15 hours organising the building project. Still has time for family.
- Has a burning desire to work with young people. Spends all their time with old ones.
- Always has time for all committees and activities of the church. Never misses a meeting of any church organisation. Is always busy building relationships with people outside the church. Still has time for family.
- 30-something years old. With over 40 years of experience.
- Is good looking. But not too good looking. Not too tall or short. Not too fat or thin. Not too funny or serious.
- Talented, gifted, scholarly, musical, practical, popular, compassionate, understanding, patient, level-headed, dependable, loving, caring, neat, organised, cheerful, and above all, humble. Can leap tall buildings in a single bound.
- Has perfect, well behaved children of all ages.
- Has Spouse with all the spiritual gifts listed by St Paul. The qualities of the perfect woman listed in Provers. The judgement of Deborah and the wisdom of Solomon. Plus any practical gifts that fill all the skill gaps in the church's ministries. Plus (!) psychic powers so s/he always knows where the Minster is and what's happening. I apologise in advance to any church that calls Rev T in the future. Falling over your feet and saying ar*e a lot may not be considered good qualities, but they're what I bring to the table.
- Is at someone else's church.
If your vicar does not measure up, send this to six other churches that are tired of their vicar as well. Bundle up your vicar and forward to the church at the top of the list. If everyone cooperates, in one week you will receive 1,643 vicars. One of them should be perfect. Have faith in this letter. One church broke the chain and got their old vicar back in less than three months.