Friday, May 11, 2007


I saw today that my friend Mark is going to be presenting a seminar this year at the National Youth Workers Convention in San Diego. His lecture is going to be titled, "The Expectations That Killed the Youth Worker." I'm excited to hear it. If you're planning on attending a NYWC this year, and haven't chosen the site, go to San Diego, if only to listen to Mark for 90 minutes.

As an homage to Mark and his keen perceptions of the forces that create doom and destruction for youth workers, I'm going to create my own list of death-invoking expectations. Let's call it a Top Ten list...and instead of just Youth Workers, lets use all pastors.

Here goes: The Top Ten Expectations That Killed the Pastor

10. To single-handedly triple the congregation's membership within the first 2 years.
9. To make everyone happy, all the time.
8. To look as sharp in your suit as that one guy on TBN.
7. To drive as nice a car, and live in as nice a house, as the rest of the congregation, on half the income as the rest of the congregation.
6. To be the congregation's largest tither, on half the income as the rest of the congregation.
5. To have a staff that gets along perfectly all the time.
4. To be there every time Ethel Mae goes to the emergency room because she's worried about her toe fungus, even when on vacation with the family, 2000 miles away.
3. To be a Republican to the Republicans and a Democrat to the Democrats (Green Partiers hang out in the church basement, usually).
2. To preach a sermon that makes everyone "feel good" every week.
1. To have the best looking head of hair in town.

If there were a number zero, it would have been: to be as handsome as my friend Mark.

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