This is one of those “elephant in the room” questions that never gets asked. So, for those wondering why I spend time speaking in churches, here is the answer:
I answered a call to preach when I was 15 years old and have been preaching ever since. That is a long time. This is my primary calling. I love to preach, but I did not start out that way. I would much rather be in the background supporting other people more comfortably in front of crowds. Yet, I answered a call to serve the Lord, my master, and savior. So, I have learned to overcome barriers to share the message in my heart. I have been given other giftings as well, including administration and leadership, which I also use in ministry.
But that is not the only reason I speak in churches. I love the church. I believe in the local church. The local church is the sign and the agent of the Kingdom of God, as taught by Dr. Boyd Hunt at Southwestern Seminary. He also taught us that the local church is the cutting edge of redemptive reality. I served local churches for almost 14 years at the grassroots level and loved it.
But that is not the only reason I speak in churches. Dr. R.C. Buckner, a Texas Baptist pastor also served the local church in Texas. He loved the local church and lifted a vision for Buckner Orphans Home that has been in continuous operations for 145 years, now known as Buckner International. In fact, he gathered a deacon’s convention at the First Baptist Church of Paris, Texas, to challenge Baptist deacons to respond to the needs of orphans following the Civil War. This is where Buckner International began, in a local church. I continue this long tradition of engaging local churches and members.
But that is not the only reason I speak in churches. I enjoy the opportunity to represent Buckner International and its ministries, Texas Baptists as an affiliated ministry, and the Baptist World Alliance in my role as vice president representing Baptists in the USA.
But that is not the only reason I speak in churches. Other than special events and anniversaries, I make myself available to pastors who need a week off or time away. This is one way of serving pastors when they need a break. I am a pinch-hitter, a substitute preacher.
On the last day of the year in 2023, I had the privilege of speaking at two services at the Cowboy Fellowship of Atascosa County at the invitation of Dr. Pete Pawelek. I had an outstanding time with this wonderful church and am so blessed to enjoy fellowship with Pastor Pete, who is a pastor, author, church planter, and missions leader. Then on the third Sunday in January of 2024, I had the privilege of preaching at the First Baptist Church of Waxahachie at the invitation of Dr. David Ritsema. Both churches are vibrant vestiges of the Kingdom of God with wonderful staff pastors, members, and guests.
So now you know why I am passionate about speaking in churches. I feel called to do it. I am passionate about it. And it aligns with our faith-based organization's goals to serve vulnerable children, families, and seniors. If you’re the leader of a faith-based nonprofit, churches are a great way to collaborate with similar ministries and serve Kingdom goals.