We do not have a happy report to give. We've had trouble finding a suitable candidate for this church, though we have one promising prospect. We do appreciate all the suggestions from the church members, and we've followed up each one with interviews or calling at least three references. The following is our confidential report on the present candidates.
Noah: Former pastorate of 120 years with no converts. Prone to unrealistic building projects.
Abraham: References report he offered to share his own wife with another man.
Joseph: A big thinker but a braggart; believes in dream interpreting and has a prison record.
Moses: A modest and meek man, but poor communicator, even stuttering at times. Sometimes blows his stack and acts rashly. Some say he left an earlier church over a murder charge. Also had an inter-racial marriage.
David: The most promising leader of all until we discovered the affair he had with his neighbor's wife. Also thought to have murdered her husband and used the power of his office to avoid charges.
Solomon: Great preacher but our parsonage would never hold all those wives.
Elijah: Prone to depression - collapses under pressure.
Hosea: A tender and loving pastor, but our people could never handle his wife's occupation.
Jeremiah: Emotionally unstable, alarmist, negative, always lamenting things, and reported to have taken a long trip to bury his underwear on the bank of a foreign river.
Isaiah: On the fringe? Claims to have seen angels in church. Has trouble with his language.
Jonah: Refused God's call into ministry until he was forced to obey by getting swallowed up by a great fish. He told us the fish later spit him out on the shore near here. We hung up.
Amos: Too backward and unpolished. With some seminary training he might have promise, but has a hang-up against wealthy people - might fit in better with a poor congregation.
John: Says he is a Baptist, but definitely doesn't dress like one. Has slept in the outdoors for months on end, has weird diet, and provokes denominational leaders.
Peter: Too blue collar. Has a bad temper - even has been known to curse. Had a big run-in with Paul in Antioch. Aggressive, but a loose cannon.
Paul: Powerful CEO-type leader and fascinating preacher. However, short on tact, unforgiving with young ministers, harsh and has been known to preach all night.
Timothy: Too young.
Jesus: Has had popular times, but once when his church grew to 5,000 he managed to offend them all and his church dwindled down to 12 people. Seldom stays in one place very long. And of course, he's single.
There is one strong possibility, however:
Judas: His references are solid. A steady plodder. Conservative. Good connections. Knows how to handle money. We're inviting him to preach this Sunday. He just might fit in.