A very very brave Snarkling offers up this:
"Success does have its privileges." John Connor smiled to himself as he looked over the cheering crowd. They waited anxiously to hear what the young pastor of the fastest growing church in Texas had to say. Pastors twenty years his senior hoped to glean something from his words that would help them see their churches grow, even if they couldn't experience his phenomenal success.
John didn't disappoint. "Many of you want to know how to make your church grow like mine has," he began. "My first suggestion is to put it in an area that is about to have a population explosion." He smiled at the laughter that rolled across the auditorium. Connor knew that many people attributed the growth his church had experienced solely to the population growth in the Southwest Dallas area, and most not very kindly at that.
Having disarmed his critics immediately, Connor continued, "But if all you have is a building, you'll never have a church, let alone a growing church. You need to make sure that you build the church on the foundation of Jesus Christ!" His voice became more intense. "While the growth in numbers is exciting, what is even more exciting is to see how each member is growing and being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ."
Connor then went on to explain that he saw his success not in the huge numbers of new members, but in the changed lives of his new members. He told of a young man with four arrests in the past and even now on probation that turned to Jesus because a friend invited him to a Youth Activity. Forty people including his father and a teacher had turned to Jesus because of his influence. "One person took the initiative to talk to a friend he cared about in spite of legal and drug problems and God has worked a miracle in forty-one lives." He turned and pointed to a young man sitting on the platform. "Excuse me. Mike, including me and that friend -forty-three lives." The crowd demanded that Mike stand and John urged him to acknowledge the crowd."You're not finished yet, are you, Mike?" The camera for the giant screens zoomed in on Mike as he smiled shyly and shook his head.
John waited until the applause died down. "Mike told me earlier that he isn't finished because God isn't finished. As you look at your own lives, how many of you can say that you're living as if God isn't finished yet?" John's words echoed throughout a hushed auditorium. For too many people, those words hit closer to home than was comfortable..
He continued to tell of lives changed, marriages saved, children reclaimed and a community of Christians who were excited about what God was doing. The light on the podium changed to yellow just as John began winding down.
"I'm a science fiction fan and I saw a DVD recently called "Galaxy Quest" They faced impossible odds and prevailed because they were reminded of their motto. I leave you today with the motto of the crew on "Galaxy Quest" 'Never give up, never surrender.' When the odds are against you....." he pointed to the crowd to get them to respond; a few did. "Never give up, never surrender. When the devil is attacking....," he waited for the crowd and they responded with,
"Never give up, never surrender."
This writing illustrates the critical importance of your cover letter. In the email that came with it there is no hint of WHAT this is: fiction, non fiction, a call to arms at the local church.
If I read this without any clues, I'd think it was a non fiction guide to building a church. If it's fiction, there's a LOT of TELLING rather than showing for example: "Having disarmed his critics immediately, Connor continued" rather than showing us the critics different response after hearing him speak. And: "For too many people, those words hit closer to home than was comfortable" tells us rather than shows us.
And if it IS fiction, I'd be hoping it's supposed to be funny cause otherwise the idea of seriously quoting a movie that is a parody of Star Trek would elevate Miss Snarks carefully plucked eyebrow.
This would be a no from me.