Sight Reading for the Musically Impaired: This course will teach you how to figure out whether a hymn is suitable for piano, guitar, or a capella singing. In addition, you will learn how to determine if a hymn goes above and/or below the normal human vocal range, and whether or not the rhythms of the hymn can be successfully sung by middle-aged white people.
Responding to Hate Mail: We will address appropriate responses to both individual notes of frustration, anger, and hate, as well as what to do when such a letter is distributed via computer technology to the majority of church members. The primary text for this course is Matthew 5-7. Deep breathing exercises will be taught.
Building Maintenance 101: Learn how to fix a leak, unclog a drain, change a furnace filter, set an electronic thermostat, replace torn window screens, sew curtains, wax floors, paint parking lot stripes, and use a chain saw to cut down dead trees.
Teletransporting and Self-Replication: How can you be at the clergy luncheon and on a hospital visit at the same time? What about that committee meeting and your child’s orchestra concert? How can you get from the nursing home to the library in the blink of an eye? Take this class and find out. The primary texts for this course are the Harry Potter books. (And if this class works out for you, may we also suggest the ever-popular How to Pull Money out of your Butt and Multiply It.)
Everything You Could Possibly Want to Know About Computers: Among the things you will learn in this class: how to set up a computer, how to send e-mail, how to actually use the helpful functions on your e-mail, how to develop a web page that is hip and relevant, and what to do when your computer starts making funny noises. (Please note: This is a 19-semester class.)
How to Be Christ-Like with Telemarketers: Learn effective strategies such as passing the buck (“I would be happy to give your information to our sub-committee on children’s art supplies.”), reverse evangelism (“Actually, we have our own revival scheduled for next week. If I could just get your contact information I’ll get some brochures in the mail.”), and foreign languages (“Par lay voo fran say?”). Those who earn a C or lower in this class will be recommended for the alternate class: How to Hire a Gracious Secretary and Set-Up a Caller I.D. System.
I could go on. And on. And on. (Feel free to leave a comment about what classes you wish you could have taken in seminary.) But you get the point. I, as the pastor, cannot do all that is necessary for our church to do the Kingdom work to which God calls us. And if I took every class that was relevant to some aspect of ministry, I would still be in school . . . probably until I keeled over of old age while trying to learn how to re-wire a hearing aid.
Thank God for the body of Christ! One of my deepest delights as a pastor is watching the Holy Spirit bring together just the right people to get the Kingdom work done. It is a humbling honor to work with the Spirit in choreographing the movement of the body.