I am looking for a new job. In searching the online for a pastor-like position at a culturally relevant church, I found the following job posting . . .
"You probably connect with today’s culture if your iPod is part of your wardrobe; if your play lists include U2, Black-Eyed Peas, Moby, and Coldplay; if your library shelf contains N.T. Wright, Leonard Sweet, Bill Easum, Jim Collins, John Grisham and John Steinbeck; if your DVD collection goes beyond Disney to Cohen brothers, Oliver Stone, and Mel Gibson; and if you can successfully order at Starbucks without tripping over your tongue or holding up the line. Westwinds Community Church is seeking a subversive teacher/communicator and team player who can connect with the inquirer as well as the seasoned Christ-follower and who accurately and passionately exegetes Scripture and culture. This catalytic leader must guide the ongoing theological and cultural dialogue while exploring different approaches to ministry. Five years experience in an emergent church would be ideal as well as a master’s degree and/or seminary training."
to which I responded with an email . . .
i saw your job opening online and am curious about your church. I currently volunteer (preach, teach, brainstorm and perform manual labor) at an emergent church in austin, tx: Mosaic (www.mosaicaustin.org). I was involved at UBC in waco before that (www.ubcwaco.org) also preaching and teaching small group bible study. Having graduated from Truett Seminary last year, I currently work as a permanant sub at a high school here in austin, but am searching for a "real job" where I can use my gifts and pay the bills. any further info you can send me regarding your church and the specifics of the job you're looking to fill would be great.
after which I received the following message . . .
Shootin' straight from the hip to you Ann - I wish I could say we had arrived at accepting gals into a lead teaching position, but we aren't there yet! There has been progress, but because of a pretty major transition in losing our founding pastor about 9 months ago, we're taking any huge changes pretty slow right now.
It would have been interesting to see your resume etc., but at this time I'd be looking elsewhere. Sorry about that, but didn't want you to get your hopes up! I wish I could have been more positive!
Blessings on your search!
Westwinds Community Church
So you can imagine how I feel now. Emergent is the moderate/progressive interdenominational church movement that has swept across the US, Britain, Australia and beyond. It is a response to fundamentalism, and an attempt to reclaim the beautiful traditions and truth of Christianity in an artistic, thoughtful, culturally relevant dialogue. For Westwinds Community Church to call themselves “culturally relevant” is a joke. Anyone or any church who wouldn’t hire a woman because she lacks the proper anatomy (i.e. is not a man) is not living in 2005. One of my friends wrote about how sad it is that Jesus could have been so progressive towards women 2000 years ago, but we insist on living minus that mission and truth. Christians should be the most progressive, truth embodying, gift embracing people on earth - why can we not step up to that challenge?
I remember now why I never wanted to be employed by a church.