Pastoral Ministry
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Why do you think you've been blessed with the talents, disposition and abilities that make you uniquely you? Why do you think you have the advantages you have? What about the tragedies in your life-why did you have to go through them?

One evening in the Fall of 1981, I opened Concentric Circles of Concern, by Oscar Thompson to read a chapter or two. I finished the last page around four o'clock the next morning. I literally couldn't put it down.

That book radically changed my ministry, for me, it put the personal back into personal evangelism. I didn't know what it was about that book that was so compelling. I didn't know, that is, until I heard Jerry Sutton tell a group of students about Dr. Thompson's last days.

Dr. Thompson was a professor of Evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Sutton was his grader/assistant. As Dr. Thompson's cancer progressed, he turned his teaching responsibilities over to Sutton, but Dr. Thompson didn't give his witnessing responsibilities to anyone-he kept right on sharing his faith through his tragedy. He ministered to the hospital staff, to the doctors and to other patients.

I can't recall the number now, but I distinctly remember Mr. Sutton telling us how many people Dr. Thompson lead to the Lord during the final days of his life. It was a significant number.

I never got to sit in one of Dr. Thompson's classes, but I did learn a lot from him. Some of it early one morning in 1981, and some of it by hearing about the way he conducted himself during his final days.

"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14 

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365 Days includes Volumes 1-4
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Impact Preaching: A Case for the
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