Mark was one of the most talented pastors our church had ever hired. He had two advanced degrees (two more than anyone else on staff), but he was no out-of-touch academic. Gregarious and personable, he was equally confident preaching or leading worship. But preaching is where he excelled.
One time, our senior pastor was scheduled to speak at a retirement home in our community, but he came down with bronchitis. He called Mark. Could he fill in? The residents of the retirement home were expecting a sermon on heaven, and the service was starting in an hour.
Forty-five minutes later, Mark showed up at the retirement center with a Bible tucked under his arm. Our senior pastor stuck around, hoping Mark could deliver a passable sermon on the spot. He didn’t.
“It was incredible,” the senior pastor recalled. “It was one of the best sermons I’d heard on the topic. By the end, I was ready to go to heaven right then and there!”
Unfortunately Mark’s surplus of ...1