I am the very model of a…

I love Gilbert & Sullivan. And I love modern adaptions of their songs. In particular, “I am the very model of a modern Major-General”. Many years ago, when I was a Lutheran pastor trying to start a new congregation in a developing outer suburb of Melbourne, I went along to a “Church Planting Conference” which inspired the following text:

I am the very model of a modern Luth’ran mission’ry,
my methods are biotic and my leadership is vision’ry.
I cultivate the ministry of those with special giftedness,
and have a team of laity to save me lots of busyness.
I’ve statements that are visional and statements that are missional,
I’ve got a list of values that are solidly foundational,
and yet in my confession and in word and sacrament you see
I am the very model of a modern Luth’ran mission’ry.

I haven’t got a church and so I’m using rented premises
between a buddhist temple and a kingdom hall of witnesses.
I’m targetting intention’lly the unchurched and post-modernists,
our choruses are varied so they don’t become monotonous.
Chorus: our choruses are varied so they don’t become monotonous.
our choruses are varied so they don’t become monotonous.
our choruses are varied so they don’t become ….

[stop–look sheepish–carry on, “Now where was I? Oh yes!”]
I’m touching people where they’re at, my small groups are relational.
My services are relevant, my talks are inspirational.
And yet in my confession and in word and sacrament you see
I am the very model of a modern Luth’ran mission’ry.

I’ve studied demographics and prevailing ideologies.
My principles are biblical, just like my methodologies.
I’m reaching generation X, the boomers and millennials…
[“Oh…ah…um–Ahah! I have it!]
I’ve just redone the garden in both annuals and perennials!
I face opponents one and all with spirit quite irenical
and never will I stoop so low as to become polemical,
and yet in my confession and in word and sacrament you see
I am the very model of a modern Luth’ran mission’ry.

In a similar vein, but far surpassing my meagre attempt, I recently came across this particularly fine version of the genre, “I am the very model of a biblical philologist”. Enjoy!

About Schütz

I am Catholic, married to Cathy, father of Maddy & Mia. Since 2002, I have been the Executive Officer of the Ecumenical & Interfaith Commission of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. I was once a Lutheran pastor, but a "year of grace" and soul-searching led me into the Catholic Church. It was a bumpy ride, but with the support of my (still Lutheran) wife, I was finally confirmed on June 16, 2003.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *