Stephen by Andrew – By Andrew Smith
When I first met Stephen Cook, I could not help but say to myself, “He really is young.” At that time, I was 77 and he was 34 years old. I could have been his grandfather! I knew that I was on the committee to represent the interest of the older members of the church. When it came my turn to ask questions, I wanted to know which theologians had influenced his life. I was relived to hear names like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Carlyle Marney.
The notes from my journal read, “We began to discuss subjects such as the mission of the church, the responsibilities of the pastor, the involvement of members in the kingdom of God, inclusion or exclusion of people with diverse backgrounds and beliefs, and ways to relate to different ages. His responses were thoughtful and well-reasoned. We then knew why his mentors had told us, ‘He is mature beyond his age.’”
Soon after Stephen Cook came to Second Baptist Church, I felt a stirring in my pen. I have never wanted to outline or summarize the pastor's sermons, but many times something he said started my pen to writing. Later, after some reflection and thought, sometimes weeks or even months later, the scribbling was sorted out and organized and became what I call "Reflections."
Sometimes Stephen will say, "You said in nine lines what it took me 22 minutes to say." This little book contains "Reflections" from the first five years of Stephen Cook's ministry at Second Baptist Church, Memphis, Tennessee.