Will Miss Columns
I just finished reading your editorial section from the March Pulpit Helps. I understand your need to keep current with your readers. I understand the idea of giving readers the power to influence content. I also understand that the three columns you are deleting from Pulpit Helps are not as popular as you might like. Therefore, this is not a complaint- but it is an expression of my opinion.
In my opinion, Time Out, written by Jan Silvious has consistently been one of the more deeply spiritual articles each month in the magazine. It seems to me she has gained the kind of deep insight into pursuing and walking with God that enables her to write articles I want our church to read. I admit to not appreciating all of her articles, but she has been at the top of my "use" list when it comes to using meaningful articles from Pulpit Helps each month. I am sad that I will lose this resource.
Mary Somerville's Helps for the Pastor's Wife has not been very useful to our church because the topic is for pastor's wives (I only have one and I am the only pastor at the church) and not wives in general. Re-writing her column to make it fit wives in general is just too much work. And yet, it is my opinion she too produces a column with the kind of spiritual depth and insight I find lacking in so much of current Christian literature-including some of the Pulpit Helps articles. I can agree her topic is limited in use. It is also probable very few pastors read it aloud with their wives and then talk together about what is there. But to lose her depth of spiritual maturity and insight altogether is indeed a costly loss - in my opinion.
We are a small church and even if we weren't, I am not the kind to devote much in the way of resources or time to many of the things Terry Wilhite wrote about in his Communications Toolbox column. However, I wish to commend him for thoughtful articles which seemed well researched to me. I tried to read each one even though there was little chance I would take his advice.
I continue to receive and use articles from Pulpit Helps because you have kept the quality high enough to make it worthwhile to me. I admit, I think some articles are clunkers, but many are rich and provide another voice speaking truth to our church. So thank you.
I read Joe McKeever's article "Titles Often Mask Pride" (March issue) with interest. I greatly admire Bro. Joe. He is one of my heroes, though I'm not sure I agree with all of his article.
I am called Bro. Don by all who know me. I am also Dr. Johnson to many. I really believe the Christian community expects our ministers to be "degreed up." I have had more than one pulpit committee ask me about someone they were considering, "Does he have a doctor's degree?" It is that kind of mindset among congregations that led us to begin a home study degree for the Doctor of Ministry. We do not even make it hard or expensive, as most mail-order schools do. I am not saying I totally disagree with Bro. Joe, because I have heard preachers sit around coffee at conventions and argue about whose school was the most prestigious.
In closing, I, like Bro. Joe, am called and prefer to be called "Bro. Don."
Dr. Don A. Johnson
President, Lake Charles (LA) Bible College