The coverage of the 2015 NFL draft has taken over sports media. Who is the best player? Who will be drafted first? Which team will blow their future for a marginally better player in this year's draft? These are the pressing questions of the day.
However, a more significant question is out there. That is, who are the top prospects available for the 2015 Pastor's draft? In this post I'll take a modified "Big Board" approach to list my top prospects for this year, with commentary. I'll also stop at five, because that's about how long anyone might care.
1. David Blakely is the top prospect on my Big Board this year. He’s an all-star student that can really bring the house down when he preaches. The best things about him are that he plays the guitar AND the organ, and he’s got experience as a church janitor because that's how he paid his way through seminary. He comes as a twofer, because his wife will get her MA in Biblical Counselling this Spring, and has spent the last six years working in early child education. She can bring home the bacon and run VBS, which makes this couple the top pick in this year’s pastoral draft. Blakely has no leadership experience, but that makes him ready to be controlled by a solid deacon board. He’s likely to go to Crick River Baptist, who finished at the bottom of their association last year after the volunteer Youth Leader and Pastor ran off together.
2. I think the next prospect off the board will be Eli Felluten, though it's not because of quality. Eli declared for the pastoral draft early by taking an MA instead of the MDiv. He says it’s so he can “get on mission” sooner, but sources say that it was the D- in Hebrew that scared him off biblical languages. At any rate, he’s likely to be off the board early because his name is Felluten and Felluten Baptist Church of Felluten, Alabama, which is in Felluten County, wants an Associate Pastor to serve under Reverend Elvis Felluten, who happens to be Eli’s Grand-daddy.
3. Philbert Dolittle is the near the top of the talent pool in this year's draft. He was a top student in each one of seminary classes and always produced when it came to paper time. Everyone remembers the Hermeneutics paper where he delivered the blow-out 35 page paper on the 15 page assignment. This guy has staying power. The downside is that he comes from a Calvinist system, so there are questions about what kind of scheme he will fit into and whether he can adjust to associational politics in Georgia or Louisiana. I think he's a solid first round pick, but his stock is likely to dip a little come draft day because of the "TULIP" tattoo on his right forearm and his mismatched socks. Though he's got the chops to be an every Sunday starter from day one, his stock may fall until he gets selected as a Youth Pastor at a large church, where his X-Box skills will serve him well, even if his overall talent is underutilized.
4. The next guy on my Big Board is Thaddeus Pig. Pig brings in the bacon at a meaty 302 pounds, 5 feet 7 inches. He has the physical characteristics of the average mid-career pastor, so he's way ahead of the game. Pig is also known to be a top performer at church potlucks. In fact, his numbers were off the charts in calorie consumption at the Combine. This guy excels at the apt art of alliteration and avoids conflict like a treadmill, so he's a good fit for a number of small churches. His lack of theological awareness was a liability in seminary, but it will stand him in good stead when he gets into their pulpits. Look for this guy to go early and then disappear into the rural church system.
5. Julian Barnsworth is really the best prospect in this year's draft, but I've got him pegged at number five on my Big Board just because he's not likely to get much attention. When you watch the tape on Julian, he's got good delivery. This guy stands in the pulpit and reads the congregation well. He needs a little polish on his sermons, but the intangibles are there and I think he's the most pastor-ready of all the candidates. His theological accuracy is way beyond the rest of the field. However, since all the tape on this guy is in the practice setting and scrimmages--you know, class assignments--it's unlikely he gets picked in the first three rounds. You just can't get a job without experience, which makes it tough for guys like Julian who have families and can't take youth pastor positions. Julian is a second career pastoral candidate who spent ten years as an Electrical Engineer and Supervisor for a major corporation, which should be credited to him as experience, but it's likely churches will be concerned with how well his people skills will translate to the local church. This guy is a late round gem if he doesn't decide to pull out of the draft and get a PhD.
Editor's Note: For those that aren't aware, this is satire. Which, of course, means that it is probably more true to life than I choose to admit. Any likeness of names, descriptions, and personalities in this to anyone you know or have heard of is incidental, because when I wrote it I was going off of stereotypes and not individuals. Really.