LANSING, Mich. — “Former criminals make amazing pastors,” said Michigan Conference spokesman Dan Giligan this week as the conference launched a 5-year recruitment effort focused on ex-cons.
Giligan announced that the conference had decided on a slogan for the recruitment campaign : “A Con in Every Church.” He explained that “former criminals have far better back stories” than your average seminary student.
“Put yourself in our shoes,” said Giligan. “Would you rather hire some wet-behind-the-ears new pastor whose best repentance story is a resolution to lay off Twinkies or do you want someone that can tell awesome tales of pre-conversion car chases? It’s a no-brainer.”
Giligan called on Adventist ex-felons across North America to consider applying to the Michigan Conference for a scholarship fund set aside for ex-cons with a passion for ministry. “If you can provide documentation of a criminal conviction, we will pay for seminary, no questions asked,” said Giligan.
To pre-empt a flood of inquiries from ineligible scholarship applicants, Giligan stressed that minor infractions like speeding tickets do not qualify aspiring seminary students for funding from the Michigan Conference. “Don’t bother applying unless you have at least been busted for shop lifting,” said Giligan.
Gotta say, this one rings true! Can’t tell you how many weeks of prayer I sat through where ex-cons and drug addicts intimated that we couldn’t possibly love God as much as they did ’cause they had REALLY been bad.
I think MI Conf is on to something here! (And, apparently, they have some history. . . )
Experience matters. If you are applying for a job, and actually have no REAL experience, what good are you going to be for a few years, anyway? A conversion experience in a jail cell is far better story than one in a nicely wooded park.
In general, conversion stories with drugs beat conversion stories about unpaid tithe. Just look at the success of folks like Doug Batchelor. And he REALLY means it, too.
It’s about time we started qualifying our evangelists and pastors.
I wish it were true…inspires me to research our ministry policy to see if felons are indeed barred from serving? I do love me a good conversion story. Makes me jealous.
… Yeah this one hits home pretty well. My interactions were never good as most of the pastor majors I bumped into were a bit “brutish”