Hugh’s News & Views (Great Gospel Preachers . . . Pt. 10)


(Part 10: Five Who Greatly Influenced Me In My Youth)

(Note: In my “News & Views” of May 7, I inadvertently tagged it is Part 10 in the series on “Great Gospel Preachers Of The Past.” Actually, it was Part 9. I apologize for the error. In this final installment of the series (Part 10) I will write about five preachers who had a great impact on me in my youth). Continue reading

#hughfulford, #preachers

Hugh’s News & Views (Some Great Leaders . . . Pt. 3)


(Part 3)

Here are the remaining three vignettes in this series of some of the great leaders of the Restoration Movement. The numbering sequence continues from the two preceding articles. Continue reading

#hughfulford, #preachers, #restoration-history, #restoration-movement

Hugh’s News & Views (Some Great Leaders . . . Pt. 2)


(Part 2)

Below are vignettes of three more great leaders of the Restoration Movement. The numbering sequence continues from last week. Continue reading

#hughfulford, #preachers, #restoration-movement

We got clergy in the Lord’s church

Ron T. has an excellent article that deserves a close reading, “Dismissing the preacher for a change in direction.”

What Ron describes is a symptom of a larger problem, it would seem, of treating preachers (and preachers considering themselves) as employees.

You hear and read it all the time, that a man is a “preacher for” such-and-such congregation. Language betrays. Profound restoration is needed on this point.

In the 2017 FHU Lectureship book, a contributor wrote about “lay” preachers. Editors let that go.

What is the opposite of laymen? Clergy.

#clergy, #ministry, #preachers, #preaching

Hugh’s News & Views (“Who’s Gonna . . .”)


In 1985, country music legend George Jones (1931-2013) released a great country song titled “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes.” In it the writers, Troy Seals and Max D. Barnes, pay tribute to some of the giants of country music. The song begins: “You know this old world is full of singers, but just a few are chosen to tear your heart out when they sing.” Hauntingly, it proceeds to talk about the Outlaw who walks through Jesse’s dreams, the Red-Headed Stranger, the Man in Black, the Okie from Muskogee, “Hello Darling,” the Boys from Memphis, Blue Suede Shoes, Elvis, Jerry Lee, Charlie, Marty, old Hank, and Lefty. All aficionados of true country music know who these names and descriptive terms refer to. Continue reading

#hughfulford, #preachers

Hugh’s News & Views (FEW, Jr)


From time to time, I have written about some of the ordinary, everyday Christians I have known through the years who have made a deep impression on me by their exemplary lives. I will continue to write about such people at intervals. At the same time, I also want to write about some very extra-ordinary people I have known (primarily great preachers of the gospel) and why I consider them to be great. Continue reading

#hughfulford, #preachers

Hugh’s News & Views (Charlie Smith)


In my years of endeavoring to preach the gospel of Christ, I have had the privilege of knowing and associating with the finest people on earth. Among these is a whole host of faithful gospel preachers, some well known in the brotherhood of Christ, others not so well known, but all of them men of tremendous dedication and commitment to the cause of Christ. This week, in keeping with my intention to write from time to time about ordinary, everyday people I have known and loved, I want to tell you about a simple, down-to-earth gospel preacher by the name of Charles P. Smith, Sr., but known simply as Charlie Smith. Continue reading

#hughfulford, #people, #preachers

An illustrative preacher

Jesus was not only a preacher of illustrations, he was an illustrative preacher.

Jesus didn’t fall into the “do as I say and not as I do” category. Besides the personal claims that he made about himself, this “follow what I’m doing and what I’m teaching” mentality was the main distinction between his ministry and the ministry of the majority of his contemporary Jewish leaders. Jesus’ adversaries couldn’t convict this rabbi of sin in word or in deed. He even challenged them to do so, and then made a preaching point out of it! (John 8:46)

This element of Jesus is not only what separated him from the preachers of yesterday, it’s an element that still does so. After all, it’s easier to give illustrations in a sermon than it is to be an illustrative sermon isn’t it? Telling stories are one thing, but giving someone something to talk about in a good way is a different thing all-together. And yet a living illustration is what we’re called to be (Matthew 5:14-16).

Remembering that Jesus was an illustrative preacher is why I follow him; it’s why I try to not get too stuck on me. I try to be a good example but I know who the example is.

Jesus’ illustrations still teach basic principles to his listeners to this day (think the good Samaritan, the blind following the blind, the prodigal son, and many more than what this space allows), but these illustrations have the effect that they do because he didn’t only teach with illustration – he taught by illustration.

The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,” Acts 1:1

#example, #jesus, #preachers

Big survey of present and former full-time church workers

Dale Jenkins just sent this request:

Hey brother – We’re doing a pretty big survey. Could you help us get the word out by sending something out on this

photo Dale

Minister/Writer, Spring Meadows Church of Christ

m:dale | | a:1003 Achiever Circle Spring Hill, TN 37174



#full-time-ministry, #preachers, #surveys

Personal Insights from the Preacher

Here’s my article from yesterday’s bulletin. I thought some of you preachers might appreciate it:

Personal Insights from the Preacher

One of the hardest things about the preacher’s “job” is the personal side of it. It’s a job where we have to personally get personal without getting personal. We are expected to meet the expectations that say we are to get personally involved in the lives of people while still meeting the expectations of avoiding the personal areas where we’re not wanted. We are expected to preach sermons that have practical and personal applications yet we are expected to not personally step on any toes. On top of those personal problems, we have our own personal problems to deal with…and you’d know that if you personally knew any preachers! It’s not my job to know the details about your life, but your life is in the details of my job. And I do my best to avoiding preaching about certain topics when I know that a person knows that I know about them personally, but everyone else doesn’t personally know this. My point in saying all of this is not to rant; not even close! My point is to remind you that sermons that sound personal are not always personally directed toward you. So I’d love to get to know you personally, but remember that means I’ll have to get personal if I do.

P.S. This isn’t personally directed at anyone 🙂

Sound like a personal sentiment to anyone else?


#church-bulletin-articles, #personal, #personal-insights, #preachers, #preaching, #sense-of-humor

Hugh’s News & Views (Good Minister)

Hugh’s news & Views


People have all sorts of notions as to what constitutes a good preacher/minister. Some want him to be a good speaker who delivers rich, in-depth sermons, and takes no more than fifteen minutes to do so. Others want someone who can attract and hold the attention of young people (especially the 18-30 crowd). Some want a minister who is trained in and skilled at counseling. Others look for a good administrator and manager. Most church members would like a minister who is good at hospital and nursing home visitation. Still others want a preacher who excels at one-on-one evangelism. Many church members think the preacher ought to be a good “mixer” (warm, friendly, outgoing, never meets a stranger, turns up for every event the church has). Some want the preacher to be a cheerleader and a PR man for the congregation.

A few years ago someone facetiously wrote that after decades of searching the perfect preacher had been found. He is just exactly what every congregation wants. Here is the fascinating description of him.

He preaches exactly 20 minutes and then sits down. He condemns sin, but never hurts anyone’s feelings. He works from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in every type of work from preaching to custodial service. He makes $400 a week, wears good clothes, buys good books regularly, has a nice family, drives a good car, and gives $60 a week to the church. He also stands ready to contribute to every good cause that comes along.

He is 26 years old and has been preaching for 30 years. He is short and tall, slender and heavy set, handsome, but not overly so. He has one brown eye and one blue eye; his hair is parted down the middle, left side dark and straight, right side brown and wavy.

He has a burning desire to work with teenagers and spends all his time with the older folks.

He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his work.

He makes 15 calls a day on church members, spends all his time evangelizing the unchurched, and is never out of his office.

Now, shall we get real about what makes a good minister? The apostle Paul wrote to the young preacher Timothy: “If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed” (I Timothy 4:6). Did we hear what Paul said? “If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ…” What were the things in which Timothy needed to instruct the brethren? Look at the preceding five verses (I Timothy 4:1-5). Among other things, a good preacher warns his hearers about spiritual dangers, about the fact that “some will depart from the faith” and fall prey to “deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” How important is this with reference to your expectations of a preacher? Continue reading

#hughfulford, #preachers, #preaching

Six Things Young Preachers Need to Know


When young men go into the ministry, they are ambitious and hopeful. They dream of saving countless souls and inspiring brethren immediately to become passionate and obedient.

However, reality soon sets in, and they learn that working with humans is more complicated than they realized. These aspiring preachers learn some harsh lessons in the meantime and struggle until they gain some experience.

When we embark into a new career, we need copious amounts of guidance, patience and grace until we know what we are doing. With that in mind, here are six lessons that young preachers may not be told in school or when they are in training.

Continue reading

#churches, #congregation, #lessons, #ministry, #preachers, #preaching

Special prayer request for gospel preacher Jim Murrell

Chris Clevenger just made a special request for prayer: My dear friend and a Gospel preacher, Jim Murrell, is undergoing a heart cath today and is in desperate need of prayer. He is in stage IV heart failure and is awaiting a heart transplant. Would you please consider running a post about his condition and requesting prayer on his behalf?

#prayer-requests, #preachers

Preacher needs kidney, prayers, donations

Anwar Carter shared this on Facebook:

My friend and brother in Christ, John Parker is a preacher of the Word and Marine Corps veteran. John is currently on the donor list awaiting a kidney. In the meanwhile he has been hospitalized for quite some time due to other health complications. He and his family of a wife and two children are in need of prayers and financial assistance. Please consider making a contribution to help this family. You can mail a check or money order made out to John or Sametta Parker to Highland Heights Church of Christ, 3587 Macon Road, Memphis, TN 38122. No amount is too small. We appreciate your prayerful support.

#benevolence, #donations, #needs, #preachers

When Phil Sanders was here in Sullivan IL…

When Phil Sanders was here in Sullivan IL, there were many opportunities for us to have both small talk and discussions of substance. How valuable I thought those were! One of those points of discussion was on preaching; I can’t remember what prompted it, but what he said stayed with me, so now I am engaged in doing so.

As a preacher for a number of years I have grown in the “craft” of preaching. That does not, necessarily, translate into me being a good preacher, but there is education taking place in my mind with regard to preaching. I have always regarded myself as but an average preacher, and I refuse to think of myself as anything more.

Average preachers, no matter the years of experience, can learn much from others (regardless of age) and from reading books on preaching. These were the “talking points” between Phil and me. I have been fortunate to attend CBI (a preacher’s retreat in Columbia TN) for the last number of years. Two men who were continually before us were Tom Holland and William Woodson (brother Woodson recently passed away); as I looked upon the accumulated years of experience of the two men, took knowledge of their different styles of teaching (preaching), I grew to really like brother Woodson’s approach. Though I liked the style and substance of brother Woodson’s, it was brother Holland’s books I purchased. One such book is called “The Work of The Preacher Is Working.” I am currently reading this book, and I am better for it.

Phil was sharing with me a challenge and exhortation he received a number of years ago from (I believe) Raymond Kelcy. Raymond told Phil to make it a habit to read a book on preaching continually. I have heard such advice before, but it was when Phil mentioned to me that it took hold.

I think I will.

#preachers, #preaching