Selling Shoes or Preaching

There are days I am not sure if I should sell shoes or if I should preach.  I have always preached—at least for 33 years—and one would think I would have the basic principle of timing for a public speaker learned by now, but I apparently don’t.

Today I preached on heaven.  This lofty subject deals with our future, our hereafter, our promises and eternity.   My words were filled with hope.  The preaching schedule at my church requires me to preach four times on a Saturday night/Sunday morning if I am at the Humble location.  Saturday night I preached and felt the leading of the Spirit and revelation.  I came to church Sunday with anticipation.

When I walked to the pulpit in first service I sensed a deep flow of God’s Spirit, and I worked my way through the text with tears, revelation and a sense of destiny.  It was quite sobering and holy.  Hope filled the room.  My mind was set forward with great anticipation to think of what would come from the second and third services.

The worship was good, the crowds were full at both services, and the scheduled baptism service in third service went perfectly as seventeen people were buried with Christ in baptism.  But somewhere after first service I lost any vestige or suggestion of timing, I obliterated the English language, and I did poorly in my execution of my subject.  From my view, the hope that could have been transmitted was limited.  In short, I bombed.

My purpose in writing this blog is to encourage the pastors who faithfully read these pages because we all have these times of less-than-stellar performance.  They are painful, pride-killing episodes of magnanimous proportions to us—but usually aren’t seen that way by everyone else.  What makes me cringe the most is what was lost, i.e., the opportunities for some folks of entering into a deeper walk with God that may have been maligned by my haggard performance.  Thankfully God cannot be put off His mission and track by poor public speaking on the part of His servants.

What am I going to do?  Well, since they don’t have an opening for Assistant Manager at Kinney’s Shoes, I will get up and go on.  Be encouraged.

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Comments (9)

  1. Pastor Brett, I cannot tell you how valuable your honesty and realness is to me and I imagine many others who feel less than much! I have a great respect for you on the pulpit and even more so as I read the heart of a man in his blog.
    I pray you are encouraged as the “pen” types out to encourage others. I am so thankful that all my God wants whether it be personally or professionally is to be an imperfect willingness!! What a relief! I thought I had to be perfect even while secrety unwilling but my God wants all my willingness!
    Be encouraged in heart, mind and spirit! You are perfectly imperfectly willing! How great is our God!!! Blessing!! And Grace!!!!!!

  2. You are the only one that feels you bombed! You needed no props! You illustrated and illuminated to perfection! Preaching is YOUR calling… NOT selling shoes . . . Naomi and I send our LOVE!

  3. As one in attendance at the 11:45a.m. service on Sunday, I must STRONGLY disagree with your blog Pastor Brett!! During our meal after the service mom and I discussed what a GREAT message you delivered. The impact your message had on me was the reminder of why I want to go to Heaven and a desire to do whatever is required to secure that ultimate reward. I cried through most of your message. I was overwhelmed by the beauty you described, the throne is simply unimaginable! Like you, I have many treasure there for safe-keeping and l look forward to a number of very special reunions. To borrow your words, "from my view the hope that could have been transmitted was limited" by the challenge that you attempted to describe a place that we can only read and dream about. You did an magnificent job! Forget Kinney's Shoes! You are a top-selling heavenly real estate agent!

  4. You are and have been a preeminent, anointed speaker for most of your 33 years of preaching. When you’re at the top, there’s only one place to go. (smile) Nobody should stay there all the time. It’s lonely, it’s lofty and the view is usually distorted. You are actually more effective when you’re a little vulnerable. You are SO loved and respected by the people that God has given to you to oversee. I look to you every week for guidance and direction to help me get to that beautiful place of which you spoke. I’ve heard about it my entire life. I know how to get there, but I don’t want to miss it because of carelessness. I know what it’s like to get off course…just a teeny bit…and wind up in a place I never thought I’d go. (Thank God for redemption!) God in His wisdom chose the foolishness of preaching for a reason…a preacher. That would be you, sir! You’re it! I know you would have probably owned the Kinney Corporation by now, or at least been the CEO. No…that was and is not in the plan. Preaching is what you do best, and I for one am counting on it!

  5. I admire your desire to strive for excellence. I know it's a part of the principles by which you live. I even admire the humanness in the fear that opportunities were lost because of your "haggard performance" as you so candidly expressed. But you are the only one who feels you "bombed." Pastor Scott recently reminded us that God is made perfect in our weakness. You are a preeminent speaker. You truly have a gift. But no one can be on the top all the time. It's lonely up there. The air is thin, and the view is usually distorted! I'm sure you could have been the CEO for Kinney Corporation and done quite well. But God had another plan. I believe it's described as the "foolishness of preaching." I have often wondered why we have to be reminded over and over about the promised of God. It does seem foolish. But God in His wisdom knew we would need guidance and direction from His Word continuously. I'm planning to see that place of which you spoke so elequantly! I'm inspired and refocused on why we're on this journey! I for one am counting on you!…Shoe salesman??…You've got to be kidding!!

  6. I woke up this morning with an old spiritual on my mind, "O dem golden slippers…golden slippers I'm gonna wear to walk dem golden streets!" Maybe had something to do with the thought of selling shoes or preaching??!!! Immediately took me back to your wonderful sermon Sunday about heaven….how you extraordinarily portrayed what heaven will be like. What a response with the altars full….don't know any way in the world you could have improved on getting your message across any better. Just makes me anxious for that beautiful place to see Jesus and be reunited with our loved
    one(s)! Who knows….I may be wearing golden slippers!!

  7. I attended 10:00 service, thought it was one of your best. A granddaughter from Dallas was with me Sunday and had heard you before and said she wanted to move to Houston so she can hear you many times. she said you said things about heaven she had never heard before. You need to keep doing GOD'S work, not in the shoe department of a store on earth.. KEEP UP THE GOOD PREACHING.

  8. Although I missed the sermon, I already know there is something in it I need. And I am planning on getting a copy of that sermon. Brother Brett, if I had to discribe you being a shoe salesman, It would be like trying to convince someone, or anyone that a fish could win the marathon. At times I feel I am unworthy to even recieve a message from God thru you. You have yet to deliver a message that has not lifted my spirit, some people ( like me ) are not good speakers much less top of the line Preachers. So don't even go there, I need to hear the Word of God, and that is what you do so well. So, picture you trying to get a size 4-b on Big Birtha's size 10 foot, and repeat after me " I am not cut out to be a Shoe Salesman, I was born to Preach The Gospel"
    Thank's ( My editor is nowhere around ) so Lord Bless this Mess.


  9. Pastor Brett,
    Do you think you could be as successful in selling shoes as you were in delivering the message of faith and hope on Sunday? Your message about heaven was resoundingly clear, inspiring and reassuring that God is always in control surrounding us with favor, grace, and mercy. Rainbows have always been beautiful and stately to me. Now, I see them in a different light–a confident outlook , in spite of circumstances. Thank you for another of many messages that resonanted.