A preacher's biggest problem is how to toughen his hide without hardening his heart.
As Gary Milam (not his real name) looked out over the Sunday morning congregation during the offertory hymn, his heart began to lift. Even some of the front pews were filled; it looked like the best attendance since he'd arrived six months ago. Welcoming the two new families earlier in the service had also been a boost. They were both excited about the church, and that rubbed off on him. He looked at his watch: Twenty after eleven. It was going to be a good message this morning; he could feel it.
His associate, Karl, leaned over toward him to say something, and Gary tilted his head that way while still looking out at the congregation.
"Gary," Karl said, "I'm going to take some time at the end of the service. I'm turning in my resignation."
Gary turned and looked at him. Two or three times Karl had made veiled comments about resigning, but still, coming in the middle of the service like this, it ...1