This week following the Leadership in Ministry workshop, I visited my friend and colleague, Meg Hess. Her daughter, Keziah, has on the refrigerator a list of “Test Taking Tips” left over from elementary school. I love tips, and I thought these might actually apply to pastoral ministry more than you might expect.
Here they are:
Test Taking Tips
- Get a good night’s sleep. Enough said.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. Likewise.
- Read and follow directions. I remember taking a class from Bob Goeser at the Lutheran seminary in Berkeley. He said: “It’s not the parts of Scripture I don’t understand that are the problem. It’s the parts I do, like ‘Love your neighbor.’”
- Your first answer is probably right. This one doesn’t always apply – if your first response is anxious, it may not be right. However, if you have an instinct about someone you want to hire, especially a twinge that they might be a problem, you are probably right.
- Use time wisely. Enough said.
- Answer fully and accurately. Generally, greater openness is better than less.
- Stay calm and focused. Enough said.
- If unsure, take an educated guess. As my grandmother said, “Do your best; angels can’t do better.”
- Make sure all answers are readable. Be as clear as you can in your communication.
- Celebrate your effort. This one may be the most important.
What do you think? Do you have any tips to add?