The late Blackie Sherrod was the sports editor for the Dallas Morning News for many years. Every Saturday, he would publish a column of his observations and reflections on the sports world during the past week. I don’t plan to publish my Scatter Shooting as often, but it provides me with the opportunity to share thoughts, opinions, and observations that do not merit 600 words in a post on Voices.
Scatter shooting while wondering where Bart Barber gets his hair cut.
It’s all about grace. I earned a PhD at Southwestern Seminary, served in the ministry for 50-plus years, and taught in seminaries for 40 years. This is what I know for sure. God has an infinite supply of grace. All human beings are sinners and desperately need grace. God gives us grace when we believe in Jesus Christ.
Listen to your wife. Women have emotional antennae that men don’t possess. Many times we’ve left a meeting and my wife said, “Joe was upset.” I respond, “He didn’t say anything. What makes you think he’s upset?” My wife replied, “I just know he was upset.” Well, sure enough, he was. Just listen to your wife.
If a pastor search committee makes promises to you, get the promises in writing with signatures from the deacon chairman and chairman of the search committee. It’s amazing how folks forget things, especially if spending money is involved.
Always remember the Baptist commandment—Where two or more are gathered in my name, take an offering.
O.S. Hawkins is right. (No surprise there.) When you preach, give an invitation. Now, the invitation may take different forms, but give your listeners an opportunity to respond. At our church, folks are invited to go to an inquirers’ room.
According to the internet, an Artificial Intelligence Chatbot can write a sermon. My concern is how can you know if the Chatbot is doctrinally sound. Last Sunday our pastor used a story in his introduction, and he told us it was written by an AI Chatbot. I’m still pondering that. What we really need is a pastoral robot that can pacify irate church members. Now, that would sell!
Know what you don’t know. If you know what you don’t know, you are no danger to others. If you don’t know that you don’t know, then you may try to do what you shouldn’t. Then, you are a danger to others. This is especially true in pastoral counseling. Know your limits.
Lots of young preachers believe they can grow a church through their preaching alone. In my observation, maybe one in a thousand preachers can grow a church through preaching. Of course, preaching is important, but most churches must be grown through outreach and evangelism.
You accumulate pastoral capital by providing pastoral care to your congregations. I mean by counseling folks, visiting the hospital, performing weddings and funerals, etc. Then, you can spend that capital in committee meetings, deacons’ meetings, and business meetings.
Speaking as a retired missionary, it is an amazing thing to preach the gospel where it has never been heard. For those people, it truly is “Good News.”
One of my pet peeves as a lifelong Southern Baptist is how our SBC entities abandon successful programs after a few years. For example, about 20 years ago the IMB and NAMB introduced the Acts 1:8 Challenge. This was a missions program for our SBC churches, based on Acts 1:8. It was and is a great program, and about 8,000 churches adopted the program. Then, after five years or so, we no longer heard about it. Why not? Acts 1:8 is still in the Bible.
I believe Bart Barber has done a great job as our SBC president this year. He should be reelected
I’m grateful for the leadership David Dockery and O. S. Hawkins are providing to Southwestern Seminary. They stepped into the breach, and they are providing excellent leadership.
My grandchildren are cuter and cleverer than yours.