I remember watching a few episodes of In Search Of… It was a television program that was broadcast weekly from 1977 to 1982, devoted to mysterious phenomena. It was hosted and narrated by Leonard Nimoy, who played the character Spock on Star Trek.
According to Wikipedia;
The program conducted investigations into the controversial and paranormal (e.g., UFOs, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster). Additionally, it featured episodes about mysterious historical events and personalities such as Anna Anderson/Grand Duchess Anastasia, the Lincoln Assassination, the Jack the Ripper murders, infamous cults (e.g., Jim Jones), and missing persons, cities, and ships (e.g., Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Hoffa, D. B. Cooper, the Mary Celeste, the Titanic, the lost Roanoke Colony). Because the show often presented offbeat subjects and controversial theories, each episode’s opening credits included a verbal disclaimer about the conjectural nature of the evidence and theories to be presented:
“This series presents information based in part on theory and conjecture. The producer’s purpose is to suggest some possible explanations, but not necessarily the only ones, to the mysteries we will examine.”
The production values were fairly typical of the period, with interviews, reenactments and scenic footage shot on film, all voiced over by Nimoy. The style was often more expository than explanatory.
The television show was designed to direct the audience toward a particular view or line of thinking based on the information provided. It was never intended to actually solve any mysteries.
In some ways I view resumes in the same manner that In Search Of… presented information. Many times a prospective employer requires a resume from candidates. The resume is almost always written to project a certain view the candidate thinks the audience may want to hear. It still leaves a huge mystery about the individual. As an attempt to clarify some facts a cover letter is often written. More often than not the cover letter is designed to lead an audience to a particular conclusion. This makes it tempting to altar truth in order to obtain a desired position. Anytime someone is hired strictly on a resume the organization that hired the person gets what they deserve.
I have shared my concerns with a friend that has been my spiritual leader for quite some time. My friend knows me well and has allowed me to serve and minister under his authority. There is no doubt he knows my heart’s desire. Over the years I have really grown to love him deeply. Recently I was talking to him, rather complaining, about my struggles looking for a church to pastor. I talked to him about my resume and the frustration of being my age with no vocational ministry experience. He did not offer any sage wisdom or quote scripture but he did gently reminded me of his start in ministry. It felt foolish complaining after thinking about his story. Out of curiosity I decided to write a cover letter based on my friend to find out if any readers would consider him for their church leader.
To whom it may concern,
I am writing in response to your search for a church leader. It would be my pleasure to lead your church congregation. I have a very secure relationship with God and the Holy Spirit. Although I do not have any college degrees, I do have extensive knowledge of the scriptures. My leading style can be compared to a Shepard/teacher. I started a small group at the age of thirty. That same year I was water baptized and began a street ministry. It was a popular ministry and sometimes large crowds would come to hear me teach. It was necessary for me to move around a lot and so our group did not have a permanent meeting place. It was clear God had plans for me that included being instrumental in a church start. After three years of street ministry and leadership development, a non-denominational church was planted. That church is still growing despite some rough patches. There has been some misunderstanding about some of the things I’ve taught on but everything I have taught has been from God and spoken in love. It is my desire that you prayerfully consider me when making the decision about a church leader.
If you were on a Pastoral Search Committee would you look at my friend’s credentials after reading this letter? Be honest, most people would have already passed judgment and not taken the time to ask any questions of this candidate. For the most part we enjoy our time honored traditions too much to look beyond a resume or cover letter when choosing church leaders. What if we sought the prompting of the Holy Spirit when deciding who to interview and who to turn away? Is it more important to find the type of person we want as church leaders or who God wants?
By the way I have been intentionally vague about the name of my dear friend. He is Jesus Christ and he is asking to be the Lord of your life as well as leader of your church congregation.
Rev. Burt Schwab