09/01/08 03:50 PM
So we have a vice presidential candidate that served as the mayor of a town of less than 10,000 before becoming the Governor of one of the least populated states in the union. What did she have to prove and to whom in order to be offered the job? I don't know the answer to that and you probably don't know either, but guesses are being flung far and wide.
I do know , however, what I had to do to get the job I currently have. After earning an undergraduate degree, I spent four years combined in seminary, chaplaincy training and internship in order to earn a Masters degree in Divinity. I was evaluated each step along the way. My denomination required a battery of psychological tests and ultimately a committee of 12 examined my qualifications, my evaluations, my transcripts and interviewed me. The process is now longer requiring a subcommittee's approval before even entering the process. They now require a professional career assessment as well.
That was just to get into the "guild" and have the stamp of approval from the denomination. To get the job I have now involved a search committee appointed by the congregation. They were trained by the denomination on how to do their task. They spent two years in the process of assessing the congregation as to its wants and dreams in a minister. They prepared a binder the size of a large book with a profile of who they are and who they want to be in partnership with a new minister. They exchanged binders with probably at least two dozen ministers and had telephone interviews with most of them. They then had extended weekend long interviews with eight of us. When they narrowed down their choice, they consulted long lists of references, reports by the ministry office giving track records. Once chosen they hired a company to do a background check, and my guess is they used "the Google," too. I did the same in terms of checking them out as extensively as I could.
We then spent a week together, the congregation and I, in every kind of setting, social as well as business. It was an intense week long interview at the end of which they took a vote as to whether or not to call me as their minister.
This is what I went through to get a job to be the minister to a congregation of about two hundred adults and one hundred children.
You would think that the process of choosing a person who might well ascend to the job of the most powerful person in the world would be at least as rigorous as the process of searching for a person to minister to a congregation of 300 souls.
You would think so, wouldn't you?