And Peter came to Jesus asking: Who is my neighbor? Jesus told them another parable:
There was a church that sought a pastor to be its head of staff.
It was a beautifully immaculate church with gorgeous windows that let in a particularly divine light on Sunday mornings and gleaming floors so spotless that the reflection from the lights overhead made you feel as though you walked on heights. The walls were pure and bright unstained by even the stickiest of children’s hands. The carpet was lush and the dimmers were extravagant. It had an abundance of resources at its fingertips, and it professed to be ready to do a new thing.
Over the span of some months it looked to three potential ministers. One was young and charismatic. Another level-headed and reasonable. Still another with impressive academic credentials and experience. All three entered into these conversations with uncertainty, but equally faithful and trusting in God’s call with an openness to the movement of God’s spirit.
The church interviewed one candidate but then they immediately dropped all communications. The church interviewed the second candidate and expressed enthusiasm but the older members of the committee doubted whether the candidate would be able to perform weekly. The church interviewed the third candidate but faltered and splintered into two camps when asked what they hoped for in their head of staff.
After some time, none of the candidates were chosen, or perhaps they were at one point, no one seemed able to get a straight story from anyone on the committee.
Now, to which candidate was the church a neighbor?
Let anyone with ears to hear listen!
And he said:
Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get back. Money and resources can only get you so far, and privilege will cloud your judgment. For it is the church that deals with its earnest and faithful pastors in truth that will ultimately carry out the will of God’s kingdom, and experience the joy of mutual ministry. For all who exalt themselves will receive their just reward.