Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rabbinical Consulting and Mentoring for Christians?

I have this idea I want to throw out there and see how you respond, so please share this with others and ask them to comment.

As one that works directly with chaplains, I come into contact with skilled leaders of different religions on a regular basis. One of those is a chaplain working periodically for my hospice. It is periodic due to staffing/ funding issues. This chaplain is Jewish and served as a congregational rabbi for close to 30 years. He has studied in the US and Israel and served as a nondenominational chaplain for a number of years, working directly with Christian patients and pastoral professionals.

As he is looking at semi-retirement (just turned 60, but he is a total boomer- former rock drummer, drives Harley, etc.) and trying to figure out how to make money during this time, it popped into my mind that he has knowledge and skills desired and needed by Christian professionals and churches. Since Rob Bell has popularized a more Hebraic understanding of Scripture, through his relationship with a rabbi (as well more emphasis on the Rabbinical tradition that Jesus taught out of), there may be a need. This rabbi's knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), The Talmud, Jewish tradition and practice is vast. His ability to share this with Christians is quite good. So, here is my idea...

My Rabbi friend should start a consulting business in which:
  1. he mentors Christian ministers on a Hebrew understanding of Scripture, including the New Testament teachings of Jesus, Paul, etc.
  2. he consults with churches on incorporating Jewish practices in their congregation (not the fake Jewish practices many churches are practicing*). This could include liturgy, Passover, etc.
  3. he teaches classes to churches, ministerial alliances, etc. about Jewish practice, Jewish perspectives on Scripture, etc.
  4. he leads retreats for Christians from a Hebrew perspective.
  5. anything else that is thought of.
My questions are these:
  1. would this be valued by churches and ministers?
  2. would churches pay for his services?
  3. would ministers pay for this type of mentoring, counseling and continuing education?
  4. could he make a living, at least part time with this?
  5. if it picks up steam, would you promote it or consider his service?
  6. if I create a survey, would you promote it?
Full Disclosure: he is a great chaplain that should be doing this full time. However, there are not many area places hiring. I would gather no financial benefit from his business. However, I want to help him and see it as a cool niche. Before helping him out, I want to see if it is feasible.

Thanks for commenting (hint).

* in a meeting we were both in, someone shared the teaching of a Christian writer on "The Blessing" and its heritage in the Hebrew Scriptures and tradition, something that would not be challenged by most non scholarly Christians reading this book. The rabbi was aghast at how ungrounded in Judaism much of the presentation was. It was not historically or Biblically accurate according to Jews, but Christians choose to believe it.

2 comments:

Jonathan Brink said...

Rick, I would offer that Rob took a lot of hits for listening across lines. I think your friend will have a lot to offer "to those who are willing to listen."

Coach Troy said...

Rick
Check out http://www.rabbidaniellapin.com

Could give you some ideas as to a way to help him get started. I think many people would be interested in this type of thing.

T