Interviewer's name: Mrs. Reed
Applicant's name: Thomas Bolens
Interviewer: (Clearing her throat and speaking in a very professional tone) Ah...next applicant, please...
Applicant enters quickly from opposite side, smiling, but acting nervous.....Interviews stands and goes around the table to greet applicant, they shake hands)
Interviewer: Hello, Mr.....?
Applicant: ...Bolens, Thomas Bolens. You can call me Tom, if you like. (smiling)
Interviewer: Ah, Mr. Bolens, we address each other with our last names here at First Holy Church. We have found that it creates a more 'noble' atmosphere.
Applicant: (Cringes) Oh, sorry, Mrs.....
Interviewer: (Speaking in a very proper voice) Reed. Please be seated, Mr. Bolens.
(Both sit; Interviewer opens and appears to study the folder; Applicant sits on edge of his seat, fidgeting, leg shaking, tapping side of chair, etc.)
(After a short pause...)
Interviewer: (Still looking at the folder) Mr Bolens...(she is cut short by Applicant)
Applicant: (eagerly) YES?....
Interviewer: (Lowering folder) Mr. Bolens, I see here that you are interested in joining our church, THE FIRST HOLY CHURCH (emphasize)...Is that true?
Applicant: Yes, it is. I have attended your church several times, and I think this would be a good church for me.
Interviewer: (In a condescending tone) WHY?
Applicant: (Surprised) Well,...I guess,...I like the services and the church is close to my home.
Interviewer: (condescendingly) No, no, that will not do. You must meet our criteria for church membership. Did you not read the letter that was sent to you by our MAD committee?
Applicant: A letter from the what committee?
Interviewer: The MAD committee...Membership Authorization and Depreciation committee...MAD for short. We must keep a tight reign on who joins our church and why.
Applicant: (Disbelieving) Oh.
Interviewer: Yes, there was a time when our church was growing rapidly, but it was at the expense of the 'QUALITY' of our membership. There are so many 'different'people with strange ideas that can pollute our fine church.
Interviewer: Yes, really. (pause to look at folder) Now, let's see...the first criteria.....financial support of the church. (Passes an index card to applicant) Please write on the commitment card the amount of your gross annual income.
Applicant: My INCOME?
Interviewer: Yes. We use that amount to compute your Required Offering Budget, or 'rob' for short. (Applicant looks at audience with amazement) You see, as it says in the MAD letter, First Holy Church requires that you give 25% of your gross income to the church.
Applicant: (Jumps up from chair) 25%...Are you kidding me!
Interviewer: Mr. Bolens, please calm yourself! We cannot have these types of emotional outbursts here!
Applicant: (sitting down) Sorry, but....25%?!! How can I do that?
Interviewer: I am sure that you and God will find a way if the First Holy church is to be your home church. Now, criteria #2...Service in the Church Revitalization and Utility Detail committee, or the CRUD committee.
Applicant: You're serious? The CRUD committee?
Interviewer: Yes. The CRUD committee was set up for people like yourself who wish to become members of First Holy Church. We have found that applicants need a year or two of service before they can qualify for membership status.
Applicant: What does this committee do?
Interviewer: Oh, various jobs such as cleaning bathrooms, taking out trash, cooking church dinners, ...(continues to talk as the applicant talks)
Applicant: Wait a minute...
Interviewer:...mowing the grass, vacuuming the carpets and other sorts of maintenence items. In fact we have a special shirt for each of applicants with the name of the committee emblazoned across the back. We have begun to call them our little 'cruddies'.
Applicant: Stop, stop. Exactly how many cruddies do you have right now?
Interviewer: Well, to be perfectly honest, none. But we have had a number of inquiries lately...
Applicant: That would be no surprise to me.
Interviewer: Now if we can move on to #3...
Applicant: Look, can you just give me the 'Membership....Authorization what ever it was' letter and let me think about this? I don't know if I really 'fit in' here.
Interviewer: Yes, of course (Both stand, interviewer hands applicant a letter) I would not want you to make a hasty decision. Thank you, Mr. Bolens for coming today.
(Shake hands, interviewer immediately returns to her seat, Applicant just stands and watches her in amazement)
Interviewer: Good day, Mr. Bolens...
(Applicant silently turns and walks slowly to exit. and stops at end of stage)
(Lights down on interviewer...Lights remain up on Applicant)
Applicant appears to read the letter; then looks up for a moment. After a pause, Applicant tears the letter apart slowly and drops it to the ground.
© Fred Lane, Crosswind Community Church, All rights reserved
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