Dear Pastor Search Committee,
Thank you for taking the time to consider my resume and writing your questions to me. I do want to be pastor of your church and hope you find my answers adequate.
Regarding your question about how many baptisms I’ve performed, I must admit I’ve lost count of the few I’ve done. My concern has been more for the gospel and teaching of Scripture than counting baptisms. I hope this is not a problem.
You are aware of some of the controversy surrounding my teaching and that there have been riots in several cities. It was not my intention that anyone get hurt (including myself), but those who rose up against me thought violence was the best course of action to silence me. It is my opinion that truth divides people; and though I want peace, even more I want others to know the truth about Jesus and His substitutionary death on the cross.
It is true that I’ve recently been in prison for several years, but I was wrongly charged. I know some of the church members are concerned about this, since it may not look good to visitors who are looking for a safe place to bring their children. To be honest, I have not always been a good man, and about twenty years ago I personally witnessed and approved of the murder of an innocent man. I’ve repented since then, though I was never charged for the crime.
Over the years I’ve written some harsh letters to various churches, but it was necessary to admonish some who were spreading false teaching. I prefer politeness and peace to conflict, but not at the price of truth. Some teachers with high academic credentials have spoken against me, accusing me of things that are not true in order to win over many Christians in various churches. I suspect they will not stop their verbal attacks, even if I become pastor of your church. I say this so you will not be surprised if/when difficulties arise.
Lastly, over the past twenty years I’ve not lived in any one place very long. Friends usually allowed me to stay with them. I have no wife or children, and this has permitted me to travel extensively. I’m aware that some in your church are concerned about my lack of a steady home life, and are afraid I may leave after a year or two. I cannot offer any assurance that I will stay for long, but only that I will offer the best teaching possible while I’m present.
I hope you will not think less of me for the answers I’ve provided. I would prefer to talk about my academic qualifications face to face, since some have expressed concern about my graduating from a non-Christian school. I look forward to meeting you.
Steven R. Cook, D.Min.