Preparing for Professional Ministry = Hunger Games?

Is the Preparation for Professional Ministry process like The Hunger Games? Really? Or does that simply make a better story?

This question sparked a conversation on Facebook yesterday and I wasThe Hunger Games: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion surprised at how many people shared that either:

  1. Their own experience had not been so bad, and
  2. Some people have a difficult experience because they should have a difficult experience (i.e. they have misunderstood their call, they need guidance but don’t think they need guidance, they are maybe not called to professional ministry.)

I recently heard someone compare her experience on the road to ordination to The Hunger Games.  I did not walk alongside her in her entire journey, but for the small part I witnessed, it actually seemed quite supportive with constructive criticism and good questions asked.

Keep in mind that, in The Hunger Games, the participants killed each other.  I’m pretty sure that Preparation for Ministry is not like this.  At all.  What has been your experience, O Pastors/Candidates/Inquirers?

Image source.

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4 responses to “Preparing for Professional Ministry = Hunger Games?

  1. I have said this many times, but I feel truly blessed by the quality and integrity of the people who took time out of their otherwise busy ministries to help guide me in my discernment process in CPM — both ruling elders and teaching elders. I think those working on CPM are a great gift to our community!

  2. Love your blog. Read it almost every day. You asked for thoughts…. http://sbigwood.blogspot.com/2013/10/hungry-for-change.html

  3. My experience was positive. I thought it might be difficult because I went to a non-Presbyterian seminary. Two of my friends that went to the same seminary had a more difficult time with the CPM process, but I never did. It seems to be uneven, with some people having more issues than others. But, as you point out, perhaps they need a more difficult process.

  4. Alexis Fuller-Wright

    My experience in the UCC In Northern California was amazing. I felt supported, encouraged, and held to important standards. I felt like I had advocates rather than adversaries and it was very clear that they wanted me to succeed. I heard a lot of colleagues complain that they had an unfair amount of work to do and I kept reminding them that they were lucky not to be in other denominational processes. I noticed that there seemed to be a divide between the reactions of those straight out of college and those coming from a second career. Those who had done serious self-examination before and had gone through the process of professional credentialing seemed to find the process much more evenhanded than those who had never done something like this. Now I’m serving in a different part of the country and have found the process in my current conference to be far more inconsistent and focused on issue-vetting rather than preparation for ministry. I would probably have had a very different response to your question had I gone through the process with this COM.

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