Cover Letter - help need

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by chris_price, Aug 14, 2004.

  1. chris_price

    chris_price
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am planning on sending out my first résumé for the position of a pastor. I have been involved in youth ministry and outreach prior. I have only sent out a resume once to apply for a position. I don't think I even had a cover letter. So my question is what should a cover letter contain or say. A résumé can be so bland and not really say anything. Should a cover letter give a little color or life to the résumé.
     
  2. Major B

    Major B
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/6069.jpg>

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    0
    I sent you an email with a draft letter.
     
  3. Major B

    Major B
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/6069.jpg>

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you get an interview, remember the following:

    1. Pulpit committees often have their own agenda, and they will lie to you.

    ["Oh, yes, we forgot to tell you about Deacon Jones, he ran off the last two pastors, but he's related to 25% of the church, so we can't deal with him."]

    2. When you go to speak to the committee, have a carefully thought out list of questions to ask them, such as:

    a. "What are your ideas concerning the duties of a pastor?"

    b. "Do you count time spent studying and preparing sermons as work time?" [Many churches don't!]

    c. "What are your views about the role of the pastor's wife?" [Lots of churches have high expectations here, sort of an unofficial associate pastor, unpaid, of course.]

    d. "What translations are acceptable here?"

    e. "Who has the authority to decide upon evangelists for special meetings, and upon pulpit supply?" [If they won't give you control of the pulpit, excuse yourself to the restroom, run to the parking lot, and burn rubber out of there.]

    f. "Who is responsible to organize and manage Vacation Bible School?"

    g. [If they have a parsonage] "What are your expectations with regard to upkeep, mowing, etc., of the parsonage?"

    h. "What are your expectations with regard to hospital and in-home visitation?"

    i. "How long were the last three pastors here, why did they leave, where did they go, and would you mind if I spoke with them?"

    j. "What is the budget and committee structure of the church?"

    k. "Do you have a list of special days and events, holidays, etc., that this church particularly stresses?"

    l. "Who decorates the church for special occasions?"

    If anyone else out there can help the young man out, add to this.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    My son Josh (GrifDog) sent a colorful cover letter, with lots of humor and even a recommendation from his son (2 year old).

    Churches get lots of letters and you should show your personality in that introductory 2-3 paragraphs.

    (Unless you are a slow, deadpan - don't fake it and make it seem to be more than what they will get!! :rolleyes: )
     
  5. Trotter

    Trotter
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/6412.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey, Major B! Could you post a basic form of your cover letter? There are several around here who need this kind of help.

    Dr.Bob, you mean you'd actually want me and my twisted wit loose on a cover letter? But, then, I guess that would help the search committee to know where to file it, huh?

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  6. Major B

    Major B
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/6069.jpg>

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    0
    [The most important thing is to be straightforward, direct, and honest. Pupit committees have probably read from 15 guys that they think God is leading them to their church, so "preacher talk" does not usually impress. Avoid passive voice and write plainly.
    Here is an example of the type writing I'm talking about:]


    Dear Brothers and Sisters,

    I am writing this letter to you to express my interest in the open senior pastor position at your church. My attached resume has a summary of the information I think useful for you to evaluate my qualifications; if you require more information, I will be pleased to give it to you.

    [paragraph 2--give a BRIEF testimony--no extended stories. Also mention your wife's religious background]

    [paragraph 3--give a BRIEF account of your call to the ministry and make sure to include your wife's support of this call]

    [paragraph 4--briefly mention your preparation--Bible training, school, etc.]

    Thank you for reading this letter and resume. If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact me at ________. My wife and I pray that your committee will find God's man for your church, whomever he may be.

    In Christ,



    [Remember, the purpose of the cover letter is to get them to read the resume seriously, and the purpose of the resume is to get you an interview.]
     
  7. chris_price

    chris_price
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks a lot for the help guys. Especially MajorB.
    This was a great help, because the résumé is so plain and really does not tell the committee anything. At least mine does not. Maybe I should have asked for help for on that too! [​IMG]
     
  8. chris_price

    chris_price
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dr. Bob,

    the problems is I am a real character in a conservative work - B.M.A. I have to try to tone it down enough to be accecptable and not to over the top!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. Major B

    Major B
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/6069.jpg>

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wear a grey suit, a black tie, black shoes, black socks, and listen to depressing music an hour before the interview...George Jones ought to do.
     
  10. Rookiepastor

    Rookiepastor
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    Major, it is wonderful tips like yours, that have made me happy that I have found this forum.

    God Bless You.

    Fred
     
  11. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Our church received 17 letters from young persons wanting to get into the ministry or looking for their first church that did not include any sort of resume and cover letter and those were all put aside and not considered. I'm glad Major B has been able to guide you!

    BTW.... 3 of the 17 have been arrested since they sent the letters to our committee. :eek: Local boys :eek: We rec'd 425 BEFORE the cut off date!

    Diane
     
  12. GODzThunder

    GODzThunder
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    1,094
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you get an interview just be yourself. There are already enough lies on the part of the pulpit committee so there is no need to have lies on both parties.

    At least that way no one can accuse you later of being something that they had no idea of knowing about!

    oh yes, and expect the people to be nothing at all like they present themselves. Chances are that there is even one of them that never even attends Church and hasn't for five years.
     
  13. chris_price

    chris_price
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Major B, your honesty/humor almost make me cry.......from laughing so hard. [​IMG]

    Wow Diane! 425 is a lot. 17 with no résumé and 3 arrested. I hate to see what would happen in your church looked for a youth minister! Yikes!!
     
  14. Major B

    Major B
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/6069.jpg>

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, laughter helps deal with the pain sometimes. Churches can be cruel with pastors, especially small "family-oriented" churches. Some time Maybe I'll share some of how I learned how cruel churches can be.

    I have behind my desk (where I can see them)two banners:

    Martin Luther 1483-1546

    “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

    And,

    Luke 6:26 "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets."

    My straightforward approach to Truth and my inability to ignore stupidity has gotten me into lots of trouble over the years--that is why I teach high school instead of pastoring a church.
     
  15. chris_price

    chris_price
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    to banners posses a lot of wisdom.
     
  16. chris_price

    chris_price
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    my fingers are dyslexic.

    those two banners posses a lot of wisdom
     

Share This Page

Loading...