Tonight I went with an old friend to IHOP, so I could fill out a form for her. She wants to be in ministry/leadership training at her church. She goes to Madison Park Church, which has the most janky survey/recommendation sheet that I have ever seen for ministry positions in a church their size. Despite the fact that this sheet was for lay-ministry positions, you would think that a church like theirs would be able to actually use proper grammar and spelling on its forms. Also, I wanted to ask whoever decided to put some of the questions on the form, would any of the disciples or early church leaders have qualified for leadership positions in your church?
Seriously, the first question asks if the person is clean, hygenic, and dressed appropriately. Well, sorry, John the Baptist, but your camel skin loin cloth just doesn’t cut it, so we’ve not approved you for leadership. And, it’s a little creepy the way you keep eating locusts and yelling about straight paths. It scares the children, so we think you might consider simply being a parishioner rather than trying to be a leader.
The second question leaves Peter out: does this person have an appropriate attitude for ministry? Because Peter, Paul, John, and other disciples/early leaders always maintained proper attitudes and played fair. How many ministry partners did Paul go through?
I don’t remember all of the questions verbatim, but the third question pretty much excludes anyone who takes the verse that says, “If anyone comes to me, and does not hate father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, and even his or her own life, that person cannot be my disciple,” to heart. That Scripture, Luke 14:26, also throws out the question about mental health. Hating yourself is probably a sign of some mental illness, which theoretically disqualifies someone from leadership. I assume if the questions aren’t designed to weed people out based on their unfavorable characteristics, then they wouldn’t be asked.
At any rate, I had lots of chocolate chip pancakes. It really makes no sense to run and bike and watch what I eat and then turn right around and eat seven pancakes covered with delicious chocolate chips and whipped cream. I couldn’t help myself; they had me at “All You Can Eat Pancakes 24 Hours a Day”! I also have two chocolate, chocolate chip pancakes in the refrigerator for breakfast tomorrow. Mmmm.
On the way to my house after dinner, we were talking about ethical corporations. I need to think more about my feelings toward companies attempting to live ethically. It is certainly one thing for a person to try to make ethical choices, but it is entirely another for an entire (sometimes multi-million dollar, several thousand employee) company to consistently make ethical choices.
It was interesting to hear Julie’s take on this topic since she has an MBA from Notre Dame. For the most part, I think we agree on this, but I am a little more strict on what I think it means to be an ethical business. Mostly, I think this is due to the fact that I want to hold companies to an individual ethical standard, forgetting that they are trying to make broad-scale decisions for many people and with a much more broad-sweeping impact on the world. Probably it is due to my lack of business experience and over-concern with some ethical issues.
I forget how difficult it is for me, as one person, to hold to my own created ethical standards. It must be infinite times more difficult for an entire company to uphold a consistent ethic. It’s sort of like extrapolating personal choices out multiple times and expecting them not to get watered down. How much more difficult is it to get a large group of people to buy into ethical ideas and behaviors and then to maintain those standards while still being able to make a profit? I would argue quite a bit.
I am thankful that Jesus doesn’t require a questionnaire, and that I expect a certain level of corporate ethics from all businesses I support.
Exercise: walked from Burris to Puerto, from Burris to RB
Food: banana, juice, granola bar, potato enchiladas, rice, chips and salsa, decaf tall soy caramel macchiato, peanuts, chocolate chip pancakes