To the Board of Trustees at LifeWay Christian Resources,
I am writing this open cover letter to express my interest in succeeding Thom Rainer as President of LifeWay. As you know, LifeWay and its sister organization, Guidestone, are unique among Southen Baptist entitities in that they are self-supporting concerns which operate as profit-generating businesses. At the same time, they seek to carry out a Christian mission. In the case of Lifeway that mission is “to assist churches and believers to evangelize the world to Christ, develop believers, and grow churches by being the best provider of relevant, high quality, high value Christian products and services.” I believe I can lead others to fulfill this mission. I have spent my 14-year career in the business world, however, like Thom Rainer, I have a theological education from a Southern Baptist seminary. My background provides “a best of both worlds” foundation for leading a Christian business organization like LifeWay. This hardly makes me unique among candiates for the job. Frankly, there are many men and women who are similarly qualified, some more experienced than I am, who could competently lead LifeWay to fulfill its mission. What differentiates me from the pack is the multi-part plan I have developed to vastly improve the LifeWay organization as its President.
The first part of my plan involves getting on my knees before God to beg His forgiveness for the actions of LifeWay under Thom Rainer. Perhaps, if I beseeched the Lord for mercy, He would not crush LifeWay under His feet for being a stench in His nostrils. As President, I would lead you, the Board, in a prayer repenting for selling Heaven Tourism books, unsound ladies Bible studies (like those of Beth Moore), heretical books (like The Shack), books by prosperity pimps (like TD Jakes), New Age books (like Jesus Calling), and books by hireling businessman vision-casters (like the Marcion Andy Stanley and the cultish Steven Furtick). I would lead you all to pray for God’s forgiveness for putting money before glorifying God and serving his kingdom. I would also personally share the gospel with each of you because you have acted like lost people for years.
The second part of my plan involves firing everyone in the popular-book publishing arm of Lifeway in an effort to ensure that Southern Baptists were no longer responsible for publishing the asinine musings of women like Beth Moore and the mystical claims of women like Priscilla Shirer. In fact, I would eliminate that division altogether.
Thirdly, I would travel to every county Baptist association and apologize to local pastors for selling theolgical poison in their missions fields and to their sheep.
After repenting, eliminating, and apologizing, I would convert each LifeWay retail store to an educational training center. The purpose of these centers would be to train Sunday school teachers in hermenuetics and church history. They would need to be so trained because I would change the format of Sunday School literature to be geared towards actual teaching and not facilitating a canned lesson full of silly, subjective, and experiential questions. If churches wanted to purchase Sunday School literature geared towards gathering people of similar age around a quasi-pastoral social organizing facilitator, I would inform them to shop elsewhere (and/or repent) because providing such tripe is outside the scope of the “one sacred effort” mission of LifeWay and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Finally, I would change the name of the organization back to “The Sunday School Board” because LifeWay and everything associated with that brand is an embarrassment to the cause of Christ. I would likely also fire a lot more people but I don’t yet know who.
I strongly encourage you to hire me for the position. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and my resume is on LinkedIn.
Yours in Christ,
G. Seth Dunn
I went to seminary for 8 years and didn’t buy a single school book from you, despite the 40% discount offered to me as a student, because LifeWay is a reproach to Christ.
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.
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