What Do You Think? How Do You See It?

I haven’t been writing for this blog since December 17 last year. I’m planning to start again. One post a month for this blog and one a month for Between Preachers. I plan to continue the fifth Tuesday “Mustard Seeds” from Books.

January 6, 2015, was the first post for the New Shepherds Orientation blog. A year later, I did an anonymous survey and learned about people who were reading.

There were questions about demographics and preferences. There were open-ended questions.

I’ve waited four years to respond to two observations:

  1. “Don’t write from a preacher’s perspective.”
  2. “You can’t write helpful information for elders because you have never been where we are.”

I’ve jogged several miles considering those comments.

I didn’t get discouraged and quit writing.

Here are some of my thoughts.

1. “Don’t write from a preacher’s perspective.”

Why would you not want to know about leadership from a preacher’s perspective? Are you interested in how you come across to preachers, women, children, old people, young people?

The only way I can write is from a preacher’s perspective. I’ve been preaching fifty-eight+ years. That colors everything I say and do.

Jesus wanted to know what others were saying (Matthew 16:13). He wanted to know what the apostles thought (Matthew 16:15). They’d never been and would never be the one-of-a-kind-sent from heaven Son of God. Yet Jesus wanted to know how others regarded Him.

Effective leaders want to know what others think. Since we can’t read other people’s minds, the only way we can know how we’re doing is to ask and encourage them to tell us.

When a preacher stays a long time, usually the church doesn’t like the next preacher. I volunteer to be the next preacher they don’t like. During the six to eighteen months Gail and I work with them, they have time to grieve their losses and wisely select their next preacher. This book describes how we do it. https://amzn.to/3aAHHei

2. “You can’t write helpful information for elders because you have never been where we are.”


You are correct. I’ve never served as an elder. However, I’ve learned a thing or two in fifty-eight years preaching and observing the best and worst of elders and preachers that might be worth considering.

The two doctors who delivered our children never had a baby but they delivered ours well and gave Gail and me some good tips on caring for our children.

Jesus said unless we learn from children we will not enter the kingdom of heaven. It’s my understanding we all need to be learning from each other.

I’ve had several elders give me good advice and criticism who never preached a sermon in their life. I appreciate that. A person doesn’t have to be a preacher to tell a preacher how he comes across, how he missed a Biblical principle, or how a certain sermon was helpful and why.

I’ll continue to write on these topics. Several have told me they’re helpful.

Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 13:9).

Thank you to everyone who bought my book, Between Preachers. After you’ve read it, I would appreciate a review on Amazon.com — criticisms and all!

More copies are available:

When a preacher stays a long time, usually the church doesn’t like the next preacher. I volunteer to be the next preacher they don’t like. During the six to eighteen months Gail and I work with them, they have time to grieve their losses and wisely select their next preacher. This book describes how we do it. https://amzn.to/3aAHHei

(Visited 276 times, 280 visits today)
Jerrie Barber
Servant of Jesus, husband to Gail, grandfather, great-grandfather, Interim Preacher, Shepherd coach, Ventriloquist, barefoot runner, ride a cruiser bicycle

8 Responses to “What Do You Think? How Do You See It?

  • What do I think? I like it, that you are resuming your blog.
    How do I see it?
    Helpful

  • Paul Brown
    3 months ago

    Great blog from a preachers perspective. I appreciate it just as I appreciate your preaching. Keep on blogging and jogging my friend

  • As both a preacher and an elder, I can tell you, Jerrie, that your advice and encouragement to both roles is as valuable as I have found anywhere.

    To follow the criticism you received would prohibit many preachers from giving godly advice to women, married Christians, Christians with children, the elderly, people who have lost a spouse or a child, people with a critical illness, etc. If we can only give advice to those roles we have actually been in, our preaching would be very limited indeed.

    It’s great to have your blog back. Keep up the good work!

      • J. Larry Graham
        3 months ago

        Jerrie, So glad to hear that you will continue the blogs. Your vast experience of years of preaching and working with many different congregations and elderships gives you tremendous insight and wisdom that can certainly benefit preachers today as well as church leaders. Your tenure at the many congregations you have serve has enlightened you on the many ways problems and preacher searches can be addressed most effectively. As a prior elder, I can only say how valuable a resource and your sermons were when you served us and our members during our preacher search.

        J, Larry Graham 4-7-2020

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