It was a warm December day in Poplarville, Miss. Were it not for the Christmas arts and crafts on the courthouse lawn, one would have guessed it was September, not December. As I milled around and looked at items, a church member named Robin rushed over excitedly to tell me something.
I should explain: I was pastor of the First Baptist Church of Poplarville at the time. Our Gothic-style sanctuary was prominently located directly across the street from the courthouse. In fact, the church was situated so that one could stand at the pulpit and, if the church doors were open, a person could look directly at the Civil War monument in the middle of the courthouse.
Robin smiled and said, “Pastor, I need to tell you what a woman just asked me. She saw you across the way and asked me, ‘Is that Dr. Rogers?’ I said yes, and then she said, ‘I listen to him on the radio. He’s a great preacher.’”
I was really warming up to this story, and not just because it was hot outside. The local AM radio station aired a live broadcast of our services each Sunday morning. I often had shut-ins tell me that they listened and appreciated the broadcast, so I was pleased but not surprised by the lady’s comment. But Robin was not finished telling me the story.
She continued: “I told the woman, thank you, that we think so, too. Then the woman told me, ‘I listen to Dr. Rogers every day.’ I thought about what she said, and then I told her, ‘We love Brother Bob, but he’s not Adrian Rogers.’”
That’s when it dawned on me that the woman thought I was the late pastor of the 28,000-member Bellevue Baptist Church of Memphis, Dr. Adrian Rogers. I guess I was a big disappointment when she found out who I really was. She was looking for the preacher who for many years was on the radio and TV all over the nation every day of the week. Instead, she got the guy whose service was broadcast for a few minutes on Sunday morning on a low-watt AM station that could only be picked up 20 miles away.
No wonder Jesus urged His followers to take the least seat at the dinner table, not the best. Jesus pointed out that it would be embarrassing for the host to ask you to move to a lesser seat. (Luke 14:8-11). Then He ended with these wise words: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” That is certainly true of Dr. Rogers.
Copyright 2008 by Bob Rogers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Read this column each Thursday for a mix of religion and humor.