I remembered this “tongue in cheek” job description as I was thinking about Paul coming to lead Laurel Heights. I have edited it a bit for San Antonio. I know you will welcome Paul and his wife Liz with all the love and compassion you have shown others for the past 100 years.
The Perfect Pastor
….The Perfect Pastor preaches exactly 10 minutes and never goes over when the Spurs play at home. S/He condemns sin roundly, but never hurts anyone’s feelings. S/He works from 8 am until midnight and regularly takes two full days off every week right after s/he visits my favorite shut-in.
….The Perfect Pastor makes $400 a week, wears quality clothes, lives in a nice home, drives a good car, stays informed, supports all special causes and donates 25% of gross to the church budget. S/He is 29 years old with young children living at home and has 40 years’ worth of experience. Above all, s/he is good looking and works out to stay physically fit.
….The Perfect Pastor has a burning desire to work with teenagers, and s/he spends most of her/his time with the senior citizens. S/He smiles all the time with a straight face because s/he has a sense of humor that keeps her/him seriously dedicated to her/his parish. S/He makes 15 home visits a day, intuitively knows when people are in need and is always in her/his office to be handy when needed.
….The Perfect Pastor always has time for Administrative Council meetings, never misses any committee meeting, anniversary or birthday celebration and is always evangelizing the unchurched.
Of course this is satire, but we may find ourselves touched by one or two similar expectations over the course of our time in any one congregation. Early on we may be more concerned about youth or children’s ministry while later we become concerned more about pastoral care and home visits. When a church receives a new pastor, it may be that the areas you felt were neglected by the previous pastor are not the ones other people are concerned about while the ministries they felt were neglected are not your priorities.
Paul will do many things better than I and there will be things people will think I did better. If you have suggestions, share them with Paul. If you have suggestions for me to be a better pastor to Windcrest, please share them with me. Laurel Heights is a big congregation with broad interests and callings. Paul will pastor, nurture and love a diverse people and support their varied callings. Not the same way I did, or the way Rev. So-and-so did in years past. But I assure you, Paul will do the best he can, faithfully and with love.
See you Sunday,