BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich. — “It’s been going on since the ’80s,” said Andrews University-based pastoral therapist, Elsa Bradley. “Nine in 10 Adventist pastors stateside come to my practice for crisis therapy. They are all suffering from the same thing: ‘Dwight Effect.’ Most pastors seem to believe that no matter what they try they won’t be able to preach like Dwight Nelson and this really eats away at them.”
Bradley reports that the two therapists at the Andrews-based pastoral rehab facility take entirely opposite approaches when it comes to treating Dwight Effect.
“The method I use and recommend is simple. I get to the point and say, ‘Stop trying to copy Dwight. You’ll never reach your God-given destiny by dying your hair gray, experimenting with mustaches and preaching at triple espresso speed. Only Dwight gets away with that.”
Bradley’s colleague Sam Karlsson claims that the other method for treating the Dwight Effect is far more effective: “I encourage pastors to get in touch with their ‘inner Dwight.’ I know this might sound like Eastern philosophy but it isn’t. I just think that if we look deep enough, each of us can summon Dwight-sized charisma and PowerPoint proficiency.”
Pastors who come to Andrews for rehab are often deeply conflicted over which course of treatment to pursue.
“I still don’t know whether to be treated by Bradley or Karlsson,” said Jerry Blake, a young pastor working for the Northern California Conference. “I definitely need help. Dwight is too good. Even his children’s stories are untouchable. I can’t watch the Hope Channel anymore because I’m afraid he will come on air.”