"YOU WANT TO MEET after this and pray together?" whispered the old man.
I nodded, unable to look at him, and choked down the lump in my throat. We were sitting in the Monday afternoon staff meeting of a large suburban church. I was pastor of the new church plant sponsored by this congregation. Dr. Hunker, after more than forty years as a missionary in Taiwan, was pastor of the Chinese congregation. Both of us were ancillary to most of the discussion taking place.
The senior pastor had asked for prayer requests. My pride and reputation were on the line, but I felt compelled to ask for prayer for several things, starting with a minor health concern and working my way up to the biggie—my preaching, which was not being well-received by the nucleus of people joining me in the startup effort from this sponsoring church. My core group was used to hearing a pulpit master; I was just a rookie.
That day I was looking for more than advice on how to improve my sermons; I desperately needed some acceptance ...1