Home > Main > A Repost: If the PC(USA) selected Pastors like the NFL Draft

A Repost: If the PC(USA) selected Pastors like the NFL Draft

Intro: Seldom do any of my posts justify a repost – but the feedback from this one was too good to not.

(In honor of this weekend’s NFL draft and the PC(USA) selection process…)

John Caltrip: Good afternoon ladies and gentleman and welcome to Peachtree Presbyterian Church, site of this year’s PC(USA) draft.  This annual event gives churches an opportunity to select the top seminary graduates from throughout the PC(USA).  Here with me are John Knoxville

John K: Thanks Cal

John C: and Mel Kipresby, our year long draft expect. Welcome Mel! It’s good to have you back in the booth after you’ve spent the last year scouting at every seminary in country for the top prospects to be taken here today. Mel, tell us, what are some of the main story lines?

Mel K: Thanks Cal, and it’s good to be back. Cal, three big stories are developing. The first is the pressing question of whether Candidate Leroy Morris out of Princeton Seminary will be taken by First Pres of Whitesville, who is picking first overall today. Morris has been the consensus top pastoral candidate this year but there have been some questions about him late in the game.

John C: Mel, what seem to be some of those issues?

Mel K: Well, First Pres really likes him , but his third sample sermon was just so poor. People were also a little disappointed by his performance in the baptism exercise at the PC(USA) combine – he almost dropped the baby and stumbled in removing the top from the baptismal font.

John K: So is it safe to say his stock is dropping?

Mel K: Absolutely, I still think First Pres of Whitesville will make him this year’s top pick though – he has the intangibles they’re looking for and the theological fit couldn’t be better. Plus, he did receive clearance from Whitesville’s COM this week – a huge plus in making him their pick today. The second major story line I see developing is John Knox Presbyterian of Petersville. They currently hold the #2 overall selection, but have been desperately seeking to trade down. They’re only looking for an associate and don’t feel they need the experience of some of the top picks, most of whom are looking for solo pastorates.

John K: Who are they talking to?

Mel K: Well, they’re in intense talks with Westminster Presbyterian of Cherry Township, who would love to move up into that #2 spot in case First Pres of Whitesville were to pass on Morris.

John C: Mel, if Morris is falling who is rising?

Mel K: Well, that’s the third story lines. Two names of notes.  Peter Providence is climbing fast after an awesome performance at the combine: an average sermon time of under 15 minutes, while still delivering top-notch content. That’s a combination you don’t find often. The huge concern with Peter Providence is his age, he’s only 25, and the fact that he graduated from McCormick Seminary, which makes First Pres of Cherry Township, a relatively conservative church, very nervous. The other concern was his exegesis paper that was review from his second year – some of the readers really objected to his parsing and hermenutics. He’s come under a lot of fire for that – but people just love his preaching that a lot of Executive Presbyters still expect him to go #2 overall.

The other name that is rising fast is Wayland Presbyterian Church, currently sitting at #3 who have their eye on Theresa Calvin. If Wayland were to take Calvin with the third overall pick that would make her the highest called women in the history of the PC(USA).

John K: You know Mel, there is talk every year about when we will finally see a candidate like Theresa Calvin go #1 overall – will it ever happen or is the glass ceiling real? It seems to me that Calvin has it all – she’s brilliant, she’s got some experience under her belt, she’s the finest preacher in the draft, she did two years in missions and has work extensively in social justice ministries. What isn’t to like other than she’s a woman? Why aren’t more people interested in her?

Mel K: To be honest John, I’m not sure. In part, her drop to #3 is a theological one – her background and strong views on social justice scare away the more conservative churches who are picking #1 and #2

John C: True – but she’s a solid Calvinist who rejects the later neo-orthodox interpretations of his work, why would that scare people away?

Mel K: Cal, I hear ya. And maybe it is the glass ceiling – but I still expect her to go #3 Wayland.

Final question before our commercial Mel, what seems to be the hang up in the trade between John Knox and Westminster?

Mel K: To be honest, no one is sure anymore. Knox really wanted to get Westminster’s minister of music and youth director in the deal, but that was simply too steep of a price to pay for Westminster. Plus, Westminster is somewhat hesitant to move up – the last time they did that they lost their pastor to free agency only two years after he arrived. You know the normal story, bigger town, bigger church, bigger budget, and bigger check.

Thanks Mel – we’ll be right back to the PC(USA) draft.

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