some time at the end of may, beginning of june, i received a email from a bud telling me they heard of a church in the sacramento area that was looking for a pastor - he sent me a email address, but no web link [cornerstone christian church in el dorado hills does not have a website - recently i did find out it was formally "el dorado hills baptist church - in el dorado hills; which i had no idea about at the time i sent my resume] - and a short note saying, "they want to go in a new direction" - well, i am not keen on that [as i will explain later] but he was a friend so i send an email anyway saying:
"i received a email from a friend telling me that you were looking for a pastor, if that is the case i would be interested in sending a resume" -
that was it, the gist of the email - short and sweet; you see, i try not to send a resume just to send a resume - it is kind of a "test." you see, i have found that most churches are not caring enough to send a reply to an email asking for information, and that is the kind of church i have no desire to team with in ministry. i desire to open a dialog and ask questions about the church long before i send a resume. let me be honest, i can be a rather "radical" individual and as a pastor i truly expect those in "overseer" roles to actually do something and be an example of faith ["boards" are stiff and are only useful if they are walked on, or to build boxes with - and in either case i am not comfortable] - so i know i can be a pain in the ass, but i believe to walk in the light of christ requires us to stop talking and start doing, but i digress.
i send that email on june 5th, and as my test proves more times then not i never received a reply back; i figured they just "blew me off" [as most churches will do] - and that is not a big deal, because the more i thought about it the idea of "wanting to go in a new direction" should have caused me to not even think of sending an email - because in "church speak" "wanting to go in a new direction" always means "we got pissed at our old pastor and fired his boney little ass because he would not listen to a thing we told him to do - so, we are looking for a pastor with no balls to come in and do as we demand; keeping in mind that if what we tell him to do does not work we will still blame him for the failure and kick his boney little ass out on the streets with his family - like we did the last pastor." i should have known, but i sent anyway - why? i have no idea.
the "red flag"
the more i think about it, the more i realize the "want to go in a new direction" and the no website thing are two very large "red flags." you see in my world if the church does not have a website it is not in the 21st century - and that speaks volumes to "wanting to go in a new direction." now, at the time i had no idea the church was with the southern baptist church [another red flag], but that seems to be the the "norm" for southern baptist churches in the sacramento area, of all the southern baptist churches in the association less then 30% have a website, and just over 60% have an email address. maybe i was caught at a weak moment and thought, "well a friend said it was ok" - i have no idea, all i know is that it all came back this morning.
i got a reply:
this morning i opened my email and received a email from the "cornerstone christian church" - almost 3 months later - saying this:
"Thank you for your interest in the Lead Pastor position at Cornerstone Christian Church. We received over 130 applicants and, after much deliberation and prayer, we have narrowed our search to five individuals. We regret to inform you that at this time, we are no longer considering your application for this position.
May God guide you as you continue to seek his will and direction."
the lie - and the reaction:
what caused me some "concern" was that i never sent them an application - so what did they give "much deliberation and prayer" over? of the 130, mine was not in the mix - so, what were they praying over with my "application" [the one they did not recieve]? you see, to me, this is a lie - the church lied - it never received an application, so it could have never consider it at any point in time - but that is par for the course.
this little adventure reenfources my feelings twords the church and is just another reason why i do not like organized religion, and why i find most - if not all - churches to be a place of "questionable morals" at best - what i have found oer my years of dealing with churchesmis that, almost all the churches i have emailed and asked for information have either not answered my email at all, or if they did answer my email they simply referred me to their website for answers - and they never answer any questions i have had - why?
cornerstone christian church lied - now, i am sure that may seem harsh for some to here - and i am sure others will put it back on me saying things like "well, we all lie" - but i expect much more from a church - think about that for a sec, if the church lies about something how can i believe what they say about anything? if they lie about receiving a resume [which may seem small] how do i know they are not lying to me when they say they will love and care for me and my family? when does a church, or christian, cross the line between "little white lie" and "big bold black lie?" at what point does the church say, "it is ok for us [the church] to lie, but it is not ok for others to lie?" if i were to lie in the church would i be asked to leave? why should we view what they do as a "mistake" and what others do as a "lie?"
cornerstone christian church does not care - hard to grasp? but that is exactly what it tells me by not responding to my email for almost three months, and then replying with a message that does not apply to me at all - think about that - the church, as i have experienced it, treats people applying for a position with less dignity and honor then corporate america - i have been treated much better when i apply for a non-church position then when i apply for a church position - my questions are answered and my calls are returned.
churches need to be above what the world expects - they need to care, be honest and gracious in replying to emails - they need to be above what others expect from corporate america, and they need to show that people come before anything else - churches need to get rid of the corporate mentality and start to treat people with honor and dignity - they need to go beyond lip service and truly express the desires of christ - because the words of christ guides us, not the laws of man - hard to grasp? maybe, but until it changes, many people like me will not step foot into a church because we are tired of being hurt, insulted, belittled and thought of as something less then a child of God