WHAT MY FATHER TAUGHT ME ABOUT THE CHURCH

A lasting example of how to be firm, faithful, and forgiving in ministry.

From time to time someone will ask me where I got the central ideas on which I've based my ministry. Usually I suspect the questioner wants to uncover some secret elixir of wisdom, some hidden seed of supposed genius. Somehow they don't expect me to say that my father was my greatest teacher.

My father was a physician who redirected his life into doctoring souls by becoming a minister. By the time I was a young man, he was an area superintendent, with responsibility for sixty or seventy churches in central Ohio. He would often take me along to church meetings where parish business would be discussed, meetings that taught me important lessons about ministry.

Knowing Ruts and Wrinkles

I remember driving to one church on the outskirts of a small city. The church property was beyond the boundaries of the municipal paving district, and the driveway was steep and deeply rutted. In fact, recent rains had turned the ruts into miniature gullies. Fearing for the health of his old car, my father stopped ...

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