Monday, July 31, 2017

Inaugural Church Trading Deadline

Today marked the trading deadline for the inaugural Church Staff Draft. After the World Council of Churches agreed earlier this year to facilitate this draft there's been considerable interest in which churches would make a move. As the dust settles from a flurry of late trades this afternoon, this is the new American church landscape:

Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir for John Ortberg
This long rumored trade was completed prior to lunch. Both sides are hopeful that a change of scenery of reinvigorate their ministry.

While Menlo Park Presbyterian members respect Ortberg's willingness to get out of the boat to walk on water, they noted that his sermon to book ratio has been in decline in recent years. He's often padded his production numbers by producing video series, and small group guides. An anonymous source observed, "For a long time we could rely on him for home runs. Lately, he's been relying on an increasing number of singles to get on base. Perhaps a new clubhouse will give him the fresh perspective he's been missing."

In New York, the BTC seemed like an odd trade partner, but believe they have what it takes to enliven the Presbyterian choir pen. BTC are known for the energy they bring to the mound. They'll prove particularly valuable if the preacher decides to extend the service to extra innings, as they have a lot of experience performing late.

Bill Hybels for David Yonggi Cho
Bill Hybels foreshadowed this trade with the recent Willow Creek publication Move. When church leadership were approached they reflected fondly upon Hybel's longevity as a charter member of the church. Bill has been a clutch hitter for years, but recently has concentrated more on getting walks across the room. While that has proven effective at getting on base, the church is looking for something that makes a bigger splash.

The church recently conducted a self-evaluation that REVEALed some weaknesses in the approach to this point. By bringing in Yonggi Cho as an international trade agent the church believes it can realistically grow from 24,000 to 100,000 by taking things one small group at a time. Meanwhile, Bill is reportedly excited at the prospect of learning Korean over the next 6 months before launching his preaching ministry in Seoul.

The Gospel Coalition for Andy Stanley
In a major surprise move right at the deadline North Point Community Church pulled the trigger on a trade for The Gospel Coalition. North Point deacons felt like no one person could replace Stanley, but when the trade for the whole Gospel Coalition was proposed, they couldn't say no. It felt irresistible.

Through this trade North Point will now have a prominent pastor located at each of its campuses. Each pastor is equipped with a hardball exceeding 100 mph. It's expected that opponents of the Gospel will prefer to step aside that go into battle with the thunderbolts these guys deliver. Between a hardball and deadly cutter The Gospel Coalition is well equipped to cut a swathe through the ungodliness of Atlanta.

Andy expressed shock at the trade. He plans to take things a day at a time and to focus upon his multimedia ministry in the immediate future. He'll also spend more time with family. His next big venture may well involve starting a church in a baseball diamond. In true pragmatic fashion Andy reflected, "There's no need to build it if it's already built."

N.T. Wright for Rhode Island
American Evangelicals negotiated this trade with Queen Elizabeth herself. By returning Rhode Island, which Evangelicals already regard as a New England lost cause, to the British throne, the nominal head of the Anglican church will gift the Bishop of Durham to the American church.

Wright is truly the new Babe Ruth of this generation. A heavy hitter who also pitches with a mean curve ball. Although the price for Wright seems high it needs little justification.

When contacted, Wright was a little nervous about trading in his collar and robes for skinny jeans and a tee shirt. However, once it was explained that a more formal congregational setting could be found for him he seemed to relax. Wright explained that while initially surprised by the trade, he was hopeful he could resurrect his ministry on this side of the Atlantic. He expected to adapt well whimsically observing that after all it is Simply America.

Youth Minister for Players to be Named Later
The local congregation is hoping to place themselves in playoff contention with this acquisition. Jim, the full-time preaching minister is relieved to finally have a reliever when he needs a break. A prominent member noted that they didn't realise how much they needed the bullpen assistance until he arrived.

Parents were thrilled with the acquisition. They're hoping he proves to be a great closer in leading their teens to Christ. "We've had far too many walks lately, and then they're gone." one father commented. "We're looking for him to get butts on seats and halos on our kids." Filled with optimism, this young Youth Minister will certainly need the ability to perform under pressure.

The only question mark hanging over this trade is the "player to be named later". Young Jim Jr has been showing a lot of interest in the mission field lately. But Rebecca is also looking at attending a Christian college after graduating high school. Is the church ready to trade their children to the Lord? Well, that's why we play the games, and have lockins, and eat all that pizza... Time will tell.

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