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If St. Peter was interviewed for ordination today
by Graeme Davidson, May 2002

If St. Peter applied to be accepted as a candidate for ordination today, what kinds of questions would he be asked? He would face a panel of experts who are well versed in modern human resource management tools. Their questions would elicit behaviour trends that could be evaluated and compared against predetermined performance criteria. That means the interview questions would probably go something like this.
  1. Thank you Peter for putting yourself forward. We welcome nominations from people of all walks of life. We need leaders who are steadfast in the faith, are of outstanding moral character and have the leadership ability, skill-set and experiences necessary for this demanding role. We are here to help discern what God wants you to do in his Church. It may be ordination or it may be another valuable task.
  2. We notice that you have been a fisherperson by trade much of your life. Although your work experience is limited to one small lake, it is good to have someone from the trades. Many manual workers wrongly feel that this board does not welcome their applications. To help us evaluate whether you have the potential to meet the rigorous theological study required of our candidates, could you tell us whether you have passed a marine enginering certificate or qualification in aquaculture or marine biology? What did you find easy and what did you find hard in that course of study?
  3. Experience in leadership positions is important. Tell us about any leadership roles you've had in the fishing industry? Captain? Captain's mate? Fishing supervisor? Net-mending team leader?
  4. You mention your Mother-in-law in your résumé, but nothing about your wife or family. You also state that you left your job on a whim to follow a spiritual mentor, travelling around the countryside as an itinerant for about three years. How did you provide for your family during this time? What did you do to keep the relationship with the family going? Or was it a case of leaving home because of the Mother-in-law? Seriously though, family is at the heart of church life and we are looking for evidence of family commitment.
  5. In your résumé you also refer to how your spiritual mentor regarded you as one of the inner group of disciples. Yet all these disciples are men. That could indicate an unhealthy non-inclusive gender bias. How do you relate to women, cultural groups and minorities? Can you give examples of how you actively enabled women to take a key leadership role in the fishing industry or in your group of believers?
  6. One of your referees wrote that you had attacked a police officer with a sword while he was undertaking an official arrest. He did add that it was out of loyalty to your mentor and that your mentor may have originally encouraged you to arm yourselves. But that kind of violent behaviour is totally unacceptable for a clergy nominee. If you disagree with the legal process there are proper channels to voice your views. What anger management programmes have you undertaken to curb these violent impulses?
  7. A second referee stated how your mentor called you the 'rock', but also how he said you were Satan and to get behind him. These comments could indicate to us a duality of personality — a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Have you ever needed treatment for a personality problem or have others mentioned to you that your behaviour is different?
  8. You listed Judas Iscariot and a Simon the Zealot among your associates, both of whom are know to have terrorist connections. Explain any process you used to help persuade these men from following their violent aspirations and to seek just and peaceful solutions?
  9. Give examples of how you handle differences of opinion? You said in your résumé that you were very impressed by the way your mentor confronted ecclesiastical hypocrisy. That can be good. The Reformation taught us that. But the Church is built on the need for authority on matters of faith and order to avoid chaos and heresy. There are proper channels for the free and frank expression of ideas. But the confrontational and often abusive approach of your spiritual mentor is extremely divisive, hurtful and could result in unnecessary litigation and expense for the church. We would especially like to hear how you resolved the public confrontation you had with your colleague Paul of Tarsus.
  10. Anyone who puts themselves forward for ordination must be a servant to others. Yet in the essay we asked you to write on 'My Spiritual Journey', you actually admitted to falling asleep after your mentor explicitly asked you to stay awake and pray with him while he was having a personal crisis. And then you say you preferred the warmth of a fire and the company of soldiers to testifying on behalf of your mentor when he was on trial, despite having told him you would stand by him. We appreciate your candor, but we need people who are disciplined and ministry focused. What self-awareness and motivational programmes have you undertaken to remedy your failures?
  11. In your résumé you claim that preaching is a key strength and cite examples of the places and groups you preached to. While preaching can be an important ministry, people don't like to be told what to do, they like to interact and be consulted. Can you give examples of how you consulted with other believers, encouraged tolerance, reached a consensus and incorporated their ideas?
  12. You say in 'My Spiritual Journey' that dreams have been important in guiding you. How do you know your interpretation is valid? Have you considered that they may be pointing to your anima or feminine side? How would you use this psychological understanding in your ministry?
  13. In 'My Spiritual Journey' you also state how you dropped everything you were doing to follow your spiritual mentor. We realise that it must have been very tedious to work on the same lake with the same fishing team. But we need clergy who are steadfast and don't jump on bandwagons. What bandwagons have you avoided lately?




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