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This raises issues around the employment and treatment of women in the church, it’s also about what are a church’s priorities when appointing a youth worker. What matters in the church? Are we missing out on the fundamentals of what Jesus has called us to do – replaced by pseudo and unnecessary ‘traditions’ and ways of doing things?

(2 candidates sat facing Pastor Best)

Pastor Best – Hello, I’m Pastor Best, the best pastor outside of Italy! And you are?

Simon – I’m Simon, Simon Jones

Seamus – I’m Seamus O’Donnell

Pastor Best – OK, you’ve both applied to be our new pastor

(Katie enters, another candidate)

Pastor Best – Hi, I’ll have a coffee. Simon? Seamus? What do you want?

Simon – (not knowing Katie is a candidate) Coffee for me please

Seamus – A pint of Guinness, only joking, coffee…

Katie – No, I’m here for the job interview

Pastor Best – That’s kind of you but we already have a church cleaner and the flower rota is pretty full…

Katie – No, I’m applying to be the new youth pastor

Pastor Best – (laughs) That’s a good one. Seriously, why are you here?

Katie – I’m being serious!

Pastor Best – You’re a woman!

Katie – Well observed

Pastor Best – We don’t employ women in this church

Katie – Why not?

Pastor Best – It’s all here in ‘Baptist history, traditions and guidelines’ (hands Katie a large dusty book) pages 673 through 927. Read this and come back if there’s anything you don’t understand.

(Katie leaves, disgusted – other 2 candidates sit, bemused)

Pastor Best – (shouts after Katie) Two sugars please! Women youth pastors… let me write that down (writes) ‘a woman walks into a church and says “I’d like to be the new youth pastor” ‘ that’s brilliant that is, doesn’t even need a punchline! They’ll love that at the Baptist Seminary (turns to Simon and Seamus). Let’s start with an easy question. Are you both Christians?

Both – Yes!

Pastor Best – One all. This is going to be more difficult than I thought. Seamus, have you been baptised?

Seamus – No

Pastor Best – (picks up jug of water) No time like the present

Seamus – I mean yes!

Pastor Best – (puts down the jug) Mmm. I’m sure that you’re as familiar as I am with the first 5 verses of Habbukuk chapter 3. Could you please translate these verses into the original Hebrew and explain the theological implications for the Israelites then, and for us today?

Seamus – Um, no

Pastor Best – Then there’s no point in you being here. Goodbye

Seamus – Are you a real Minister?

Pastor Best – Of course I am, and I have the dog collar to prove it (picks up an actual dog collar)

(Seamus leaves, disgusted) 

Pastor Best – next candidate please

Simon – Here I am – as I said, my name is Simon Jones

Pastor Best – thank goodness you’ve got a normal name. My name is Pastor, Pastor Billis. Why did you come for this job?

Simon – Well, I felt God calling me to…

Pastor Best – I see, now are you a Christian? You’re not from Z Church (replace with local church) are you?

Simon – Er, yes and no.

Pastor Best – Could you be a bit clearer please Mr Bayes

Simon – Hayes

Pastor Best – Hayes?

Simon – My name.

Pastor Best – What about your name. Have you forgotten it?

Simon – No. (confused)

Pastor Best – Excellent. Now, what would you bring to the youthwork. I brought a rainbow guitar strap…

Simon – Um, I’d bring experience with young people…

Pastor Best – Yes, yes but how green is your valley Mr Babe?

Simon – My valley? My name is Hayes not babe.

Pastor Best – Well done. Now, what’s your waist size? (Gets out a tape measure…)

Simon – Are you well? I’m not sure what my waist size has got to do with anything.

Pastor Best – It’s got a lot to do with your stomach. We’ve got a pizza card you know.

Simon – Right…

Pastor Best – Mr Smith, do you think Quiche has a place in God’s house and which variety?

Simon – Well I suppose so, I like ham

Pastor Best – Ahh, so you’re a charismatic

Simon – Well, not exactly

Pastor Best – I like cheese quiche… with extra cheese

Simon – (confused) So what does that make you?

Pastor Best – Cheesy! (laughs at his great joke. Steve shakes his head). Now, have you been baptised (picks up jug of water)

Simon – Yes, yes…

Pastor Best – (sits down, thinks then gets back up with jug) It wasn’t as a child was it?

Simon – No, no.

Pastor Best – Good. Now Mrs Galthwaite, what theological impact did Malachi 3.4 have on Messianic Jews in 12th century Palestine?

Simon – I’m really not sure to be honest mate. I’m not sure I want this job.

Pastor Best – Oh, is there a job going? I might apply. Are you the interviewer?

Simon – Yes that’s right. My name is Pastor Best…