Here is the full article from the South Side November 2006 Side Lites:
Sometimes it is hard to be an evangelist. Some would ask, “How can that be, seeing you only work on Sunday?” That would be a nice cushy job, wouldn’t it? Hopefully you realize that is not the case here at South Side. The ol’ saying that the “work is never done” is true when it comes to sharing the Gospel. And while it may be true that there are some lazy preachers out there, this evangelist is not one of them.
That being said, that is not what this column is about. I want to use this space to share about the hard work of a preacher to . . . Are you ready for this? . . . To listen to another preacher preach.
I can already read your thoughts. I have to listen to a preacher every Sunday! What is so tough about that? Maybe you would just have to be an evangelist to understand the point of this column, but probably not. All you really need to be is a good solid student of the Bible.
I have listened to many horrible sermons in my lifetime. Now again, before you begin to run all those bad sermons of mine through your mind, realize that I am not referring to the delivery of the message. I am not referring to whether the preacher is a “smooth” speaker or not. I am referring to content! In other words: Is the preacher being consistent with the Word of God? I, personally, would rather listen to a “dry” preacher who teaches strong biblical truth than to listen to someone who is “smooth” and wouldn’t know the basic principles of the faith if they came up and bit him. Now I know that is strong language, but I am much more interested in content than delivery.
That is one reason (not the only reason) I do not support denominational gatherings, or even interdenominational gatherings. In my mind, the most important thing is not the beautiful sound of hearing 10,000 men sing “How Great Thou Art”. I am sure it is beautiful. But more important in my mind is: How was the preaching and the teaching of the Word? What was taught from behind the pulpit or in the workshops?
Again, that being said, that is really not what this column is about. By now you are thinking that I have been reading this column and he hasn’t made his point yet! Let me illustrate my point by using a personal illustration.
I have preached twice in chapel at my alma mater, Florida Christian College. Can you imagine teaching something to the very people who taught you everything you know? Talk about pressure! But I remember Doc Smith coming up to me after I preached out of Haggai (Doc Smith taught me everything I know about the Old Testament!) and he told me I was faithful to the text and did a nice job. I was preaching to a group of preachers and professors! Wow!
I was honored and humbled this year to have Richard and Betty Marshall in our services one Sunday evening. Mr. Marshall used to be my preacher and also taught me how to preach while I was at Florida Christian College. It would be easy to get a big head, but in reality, it humbles me.
For most of this past year I had the honor and privilege to be a preacher’s preacher. Robert Hodshire, and his wife Ruth, have been attending South Side for some time now. When I first met Robert and Ruth, I was told they were “stanch” Church of Christ. I thought: that is all right, because I am “stanch” Church of Christ also. I believe in the restoration ideals and principles. I live by them! So when they begin attending the Bible School class I was teaching and morning services and Wednesday evening services, I was quite honored and humbled that out of all the preachers in the area, they would come and listen to me every week.
I was honored and humbled with Robert’s comments like:
* Kevin, I don’t know if I could have said it better.
* Kevin, it is scary, you sound just like me.
Now as I reflect on Robert’s life, and consider our continued ministry to Ruth, I am just reminded that we have a big task before us. I am reminded of preachers like Robert Hodshire, Ed Harris, Roger Chambers, Lewis Foster, RC Foster, Wilke Winter, Paul Bennett, Clarence Greenleaf, Don DeWelt, JW McGarvey, Alexander Campbell . . . . And the list goes on of men who have fought the good fight by preaching the Word! These preachers have contended for the faith once delivered and have now gone on to be with the Lord. They have left us big shoes to fill. I don’t think my foot can fill even half of any one of those men’s shoes. I just pray that I can do my part in fighting the good fight and preserving the sound doctrine that they worked so hard to contend for!
I am very honored and humble to be a preacher’s preacher! I am very honored and humbled to be your preacher!