Local Pastor Dreads Basic Seminar
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Pastor Joe Gray dreads the week each summer when the IBLP Basic Seminar comes to his town. "I feel like I'm holding my breath the entire week," he said. "As soon as they complete that last session, my phone starts ringing off the hook."
Pastor Gray says that parishioners immediately want to discuss how to improve the church. "Congregational involvement is wonderful. As a pastor you PRAY for people to be involved. The problem is that each year they just want to implement Bill Gothard's most recent insight. One year it was something about energy-givers...then we were going to win the hearts of the rebels...and now everyone's talking about putting the sermon before the hymn singing!"
Gray also gets his share of calls on what "sensual influences" need to be removed from the church.
In recent years, Pastor Gray has observed that his counseling load doubles after the Basic. He attributes this to the Basic's emphasis on non-optional principles. "Everyone operates under this oppressive system of duty and obligation. They either feel guilty for not living up to the standards, or they're disappointed at someone else's failure," he said.
An alumnus of the Basic Seminar himself, Pastor Gray no longer attends. "What if I preached the same sermon over every single week? Would people find it THAT insightful?"
Pastor Gray loves being in the ministry. "But sometimes I feel like a janitor...just cleaning up after IBLP."