Apprentice lessons learned
December 17, 2006 02:23 PM | Candidacy
Okay, the "lessons learned from The Apprentice" series got hijacked by the snow storm (we were without electricity AGAIN for a couple of days!) and I never got back to it. So here are a few wrap-up thoughts on how The Apprentice can teach us about pastoral candidacy and placement:
- The Apprentice reminds us how much we are just one fish in the pond. While the other applicants for a pastoral position are not even close to the quantity that Trump and Co. evaluate, they are nevertheless more than we are probably aware. Don't take for granted the fact that you are a candidate, not a shoe-in. Unless your father was the founding pastor for the church (and perhaps even if he was), NO ONE is a foregone conclusion in the search process. Assume that you are one step or misstep away from being eliminated and the search team moving on to someone else-- because it is probably true.
- The Apprentice shows us how wide the view of the evaluators. Even Donald Trump is concerned about the people and the relationships in his organization, and he has to hire based on more than just performance. If that is true, how much more true is it in the church? Search team members are looking at everything about you. In fact, at certain stages in the search they are simply looking for an excuse to eliminate you-- because they have more candidates than they know what to do with (see the first point, above). By all means be yourself. But also take stock of what things about "being you" would likely eliminate you if they are allowed unfettered control, and mitigate them appropriately. (It might be helpful to work on this anyway, since these types of struggles are the things that Satan uses to destroy ministries.)
- The Apprentice reveals the humility required to "get the job." Arrogance and pride does in more candidates on The Apprentice than just about anything else. Perhaps this is because there is only room for Trump's ego, but the lesson is important: do not think more highly of yourself than you ought. Pastoral candidates who embody a sense of entitlement or presumption will have a difficult time getting placed.
- The Apprentice demonstrates the difference between the way we (candidates) approach the search and they way they (corporations/churches) approach it. Most candidates believe that they are in good shape until the final stages of candidacy, but Trump's signature line "you're fired!" reveals the attitude of those who are searching. They need to eliminate candidates, not add more to the mix. As with The Apprentice, it is a game of elimination until the very last stages of the process. (See Richard Nelson Bolles's What Color Is Your Parachute (Berkely, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2007, pp. 19-23) for more on this.)