Thursday, February 15, 2007


I am wrapping up 30 years at Memorial this summer. I have not loved every minute of it. I have love very much of it. To cheer you on in your work, I share with you two things about my ministry at this special place:

  • For awhile I preached the five steps of salvation instead of the saving grace of Jesus.
  • For awhile I preached the five acts of worship instead of the heart connecting true worship.
  • For awhile I preached brotherhood issues instead of Jesus Christ and the hope he offers.
  • For awhile I exchanged eye for eye in combatant discussions over legalism.
  • For awhile I made sure I was in control of how things least I gave it a good try.
  • For awhile I tried to impress the louder and meaner voices so they would like me.
  • For awhile I tried to abide by the false teaching that the Holy Spirit is not active today.
  • For awhile I tried to persuade myself we were the only religious group saved.
  • For awhile I tried to make the Bible say the things our heritage said it said.
  • For awhile I tried to imitate and mimic other preachers for I knew I wasn't enough.
  • For awhile I tried to save all sermon notes; yet, when I'd go back they had died in the files.
  • For awhile I thought the sermon was the main thing about the assembly.
  • For awhile I thought the Word needed my help.
  • For awhile I thought "they" were the sinners.
  • For awhile I thought I would never successfully teach anyone how to be saved.
  • For awhile I believed stories about God working today were only imagined.
  • For awhile I thought God only worked through Church of Christ affiliates.
  • For awhile I thought my "shoe-box" answers gathered in school would fend of questioners.
  • For awhile I paid attention to hateful, unsigned letters.
  • For awhile I thought church was about faithful attendance.


  • I didn't quit.


Gilbert Kerrigan said...

Thank you for not quitting!

thejourneyman said...

I'm grateful for that phrase "for a while." It means we've made progress and if our aim is Jesus then it is progress in the direction of Jesus. Those who don't quit get to experience the real Jesus, not the one that was defined by traditions and man-imposed expectations...but the radical, invasive, life-transforming, ever-loving Jesus.

Thanks for sharing your journey!

keith andrews said...

I never knew what church was really about until I visited Memorial Drive, year and a half ago. I was a, "attend because it's the right thing to do" kind of guy. Thanks for talking Becky into visiting Mem. Drive. It has changed my life and Becky's. We both love You & Memorial Drive so-so-so much!

David U said...

And we are all blessed because you didn't. Quit, that is.


Jill said...

i am so glad you didn't quit and that you were open enough to experience change for the better!! that's one of the things that makes memorial such a special place. miss all of you dearly!!

Dusty said...

Wow, you really made some big mistakes!!! Not only am I glad you didn't quit, I'm thankful you didn't get fired! He-he-he.

Seriously, dad your honesty about the mistakes you've made has really helped me along in my own work. Thanks. (So far, I've made it through 12 years of ministry without making one mistake!)

drjimwhite said...

My father, a former minister and former Harding University English professor, once said, "I only made one mistake in my life. And when I done it, I seen it." Thanks for admitting mistakes. That's something that's hard for us preachers to do for some reason.

Greg said...

And "for a while" now you've shared with your blog community some wonderful things, but mainly your heart. Thanks, Terry. This is powerful. I'm grateful to say I've grown past many of the same things. What is it about our heritage that we have to outgrow it in order to move closer to Christ?

john dobbs said...

Thanks for being a human being, Terry. It would be easy to to think of you as 'the workshop preacher' who preaches at the exciting and dynamic church that doesn't have the struggles we do. But listening to you over the years you have never pretended to be something you're not. You spoke your weaknesses aloud and God used them to build others so that they might have hope. God's blessings to you.

Anonymous said...

Loved the article on preachers.
As long as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus things will work out fine.
Larry Wishard

Liz Moore said...

I am so glad you didn't quit!! God has blessed so many through you and your unselfish spirit over the last 30 years. I can't wait to see what else He has in store for you over the next 30!

Trey Morgan said...

I'm a day late and a dollar short, but I have to comment on this post. I could see myself in so many of these thing you wrote about. Maybe everyone in ministry goes though these growing changes. Wow. I've got to go back a read it again.

Josh said...

This list is incredible. Thank you for gracing us with this wisdom Terry.

Anonymous said...

that is just awsome, thanks for putting that down in words. I pray for your ministry to be blessed.
Richard Reynolds

Ky said...

I'm a ministry student at OC. I grew up at Garnett and at the workshop and I've just got to say I admire you and the way you love God and love people. It shows in how you preach and how you interact with people. Thanks for this post. I am excited to see the lessons I learn and will be able to share in 30 years from now. You'll be pretty old Terry.