Academy of Young Preachers, and the FTE staff did a great job of creating a space where learning and development could take place both as preachers and as the people who have been called to preach.

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We are Not Walking Alone

By: David Telfort
August 12, 2011

As we made our way from the small chapel where we gathered that morning for worship we all were still in shock. We laughed, snapped photographs, and walked slowly towards Brooks Lodge but in the air was both excitement and uncertainty. The morning had been replete with powerful, convicting preaching; something we had all experienced all week but this time was different. This time we were leaving Simpsonwood’s grounds, boarding planes, driving back home and leaving the FTE preaching camp. We hugged each other with clasps that meant more than see you later. These embraces signaled to each of us how much it meant to have met each other. They demonstrated that with each story told, each sermon preached, and every laugh that emanated from our souls; we were encouraging each other in our calls to ministry.

One of the very first lessons I learned working with churches is how lonely a road ministry can be. Being set apart by God to serve His people is an inspiring but scary responsibility. To meet young people who understand that, share those sentiments and agree to join you in the growing process has been invaluable. Dr. Dwight Moody and Wyndee Holbrook of the Academy of Young Preachers,, and the FTE staff did a great job of creating a space where learning and development could take place both as preachers and as the people who have been called to preach. Coaches Mark Jefferson, Martha Simmons, and Mandy Sloan Flemming guided us through preparation for four sermons and helped us dissect and learn from watching ourselves preach on film; something many of us had never done before. Hearing each other’s path to the ministry, our preaching passions, and opening up about our fears and hopes allowed us to see the men and women behind the pulpit.

Now, the shock is gone. The late nights and early mornings have passed as we now head back to our colleges, seminaries, grad programs, jobs, and churches. As one of the preachers D. Darnell Fennell preached, our job is now to move “Beyond an 8 Minute Sermon”. To take such an amazing experience and build on it. Stay friends, preaching partners, and young people committed to serving Christ and His Church. What we have been given is a gift from God. A gift that will help us through the storms of uncertainty and doubt that will surely come. This gift will serve as a reminder that we are not alone in our walks, a reminder that as hard as this path may be it’s the only way.

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Photo (cc) via Flickr user Nick / KC7CBF

Tags...: Inspired Leaders, Shaping the Future


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