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Rev. Jason Shelton—September 2005

MFC Liaison to Candidates Report

Nashville, TN

To my future colleagues:

Congratulations on reaching this step in your journey. The idea of meeting this MFC may seem daunting, and if you're feeling a little apprehension I'd say you're on the right track. But know this: the group of people you will meet in that room want you to succeed. More so than any body I have ever encountered, the MFC is passionate about ministry, and serious in their desire to welcome you into the ranks of our colleagues.

That said, my advice to you is not unlike what you've read in other reports: 1) know your packet; 2) be comfortable talking about your growing edges; and 3) take advantage of the opportunity given you by choosing a first question that shows you've done 1) and 2).

But most of all, be sure walk into the room as a minister. If you're not sure what that means, ask anyone who's been there. Remember your CPE experience and the challenge of taking on a ministerial presence, even when you were nervous or scared. It is truly amazing to see "ministers"—people who have a clear understanding of and are comfortable with their ministerial presence—walk through the door. The room becomes charged with an aura that is palpable to the members of the committee—and when they feel that energy, they tend to give it right back.

Finally, once you've established yourself as a minister when you walk in the room, show the committee the fire within you that sustains the minister they've just met. Your sermon is a 10-minute first-impression, and it should reflect your deepest passions, your hopes and dreams for our world and our religious movement, and the beauty that lives in the depths of your calling. I would recommend that you avoid preaching about the seven principles, but if you must, please pick something other than #1 and #7—they are overdone to the point that you risk boring the committee right from the start, and you don't want to do that.

In short, know your stuff and show your stuff. And trust that your journey will be affirmed in the process, regardless of the outcome.