Updated: Jun 15, 2018
When I was a teenager I remember listening to the National Radio Pulpit on Sunday mornings. My parents had the program on the radio and I remember sitting down to listen while I ate breakfast each week. Those mornings every week I heard really good sermons preached by some of the country's finest preachers, most from the big churches in New York City in those days. At first I just listened because the show was on and important to my parents, but the more I listened the more I liked those preachers, absorbed a lot of lessons about preaching and looked forward to their messages. That should have been a clue that I was destined for the ministry.
The National Radio Pulpit went out of business after many years on the air. But it has been started again and its ministry renewed with a program called Day 1. The program is hosted by Rev. Peter Wallace a personable Episcopal priest who had a parish for a while but now works full-time on this radio show.
I met Peter at a conference on preaching two years ago and this year he asked me to preach on the show. Every week the radio show features one Protestant preacher from around the country. The half hour radio show includes your sermon for the morning and an interview in which Peter asks you questions about your ministry. They tape the show in a radio studio in Atlanta and it airs on 200 radio stations all over the South, Mid-West, West Coast and several other countries. (We are hoping to get this show on a New England station but so far, no luck with that.)
I flew to Atlanta last Monday and taped a sermon and did an interview that will air on August 5th. I had been working on my sermon for over a week because I thought it should be a decent one. I was a little nervous about the whole experience. But I never imagined that it could be so much fun. We had to re-do a couple of sections to get the sermon just right, but I even liked the radio tech and appreciated all his suggestions. I found I was totally committed to the process.
Somehow, I believe that the radio services I heard as a youth shaped my life, but I’m sure those preachers never knew the legacy they left and the imprint they made on me.
As I reflect on the experience, I think it was so positive because I realized that sermons can touch people in ways no one sees or sees coming. I hope that the sermons of today’s generation of preachers has an impact on some kids and adults who hear them. I don’t think we need to know who that could be to trust that God might be able to use these words to inspire someone new. I trust that God can do that.
Don’t worry, we will make sure we share the link for my sermon when we get closer to August 5th. In the meantime you can hear preachers from all over the nation when you go to the website for this project Day 1. www.day1.org.