Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Revival with Dave Black

This week our church has been blessed to have Dr. David Black with us for revival services. Dave was my professor of New Testament Greek while in seminary and I am still deeply indebted to him for the impact he had on me my first two semesters (even though some of those quizzes were horrible). One of the things I appreciated about Brother Dave was his ability to close that professor-student gap. There is a presupposed distance between professor and student but Dave works really hard to bridge that gap so students feel more at ease with a difficult subject, which he teaches with ease. He has even preached this week from his Greek New Testament (yes, Dr. Black, if you're reading, I noticed!).

It has been very difficult, however, not to think that at the end of services this week I am going to be receiving a grade...

Nevertheless, we have had a blessed week of teaching and worship among the body of Christ at our little church on the backside of nowhere. Sunday night, Dave taught on Jesus' missionary method from Matthew 9:35. Though it was not his primary point and was not intended to be, I could not help but think of how we have made the missionary endeavor too difficult for those called of God to go.

The simplicity of Jesus' missionary method overwhelmed me. I do not discount the necessity of our missionary sending organizations, funding programs, or the hoops we make a lot of would-be missionaries jump through, but I wonder if they are counter-productive to kingdom growth.

Monday evening was an intensely evangelistic message based on the genealogy of Christ from Matthew 1:3-6; the Gospel According to Four Women. That pricked some ears! Jewish genealogies are by their nature patriarchal, so the inclusion of four women in the genealogy of Christ must be significant.

Tuesday evening we heard primarily from Becky Lynn Black, Brother Dave's, lovely wife. She shared about their missionary experiences in Ethiopia, which regular readers of Dave's website will know that that is where their hearts are. We have received a love offering each night and 100% of it goes to the Blacks' work there. If you are interested in supporting the Blacks' work halfway across the world, I would encourage you to visit their website.

Tonight will prove to be a heart-stopper, I'm sure. Dave will be sharing from his book, The Myth of Adolescence. The church as well as parents have abdicated their roles and responsibilities of raising up godly kids and Dave is going to help the church understand this terrible problem tonight. I plan on blogging more about that later.

Meanwhile, may God bless us as we seek to do his will.

P.S. If you follow the link to Dave's site and go to his blog, there is a picture of my family. The girls are beautiful, but I cannot vouch for the short, ugly fellow on the right.


Steve Sensenig said...

Dr. Black is a wonderful brother. I have enjoyed getting to know him, too. Very humble and encouraging man, and a great asset to the body of Christ on that basis alone.

I do not discount the necessity of our missionary sending organizations, funding programs, or the hoops we make a lot of would-be missionaries jump through, but I wonder if they are counter-productive to kingdom growth.

I would really be interested in seeing you flesh out these ideas in their own post. I think you and I may find some points of strong agreement on this.

I've been asking these kinds of questions for a while, but have found very few (especially pastors) who are willing to talk about them.

Do you think you'd be willing to share your thoughts on that? I would enjoy reading that very much.

Tony said...

Hey Steve,

I'd be glad to talk about that in a future post. I have a bunch of my own thoughts ad I know they will be tested if I air them. I'll get my thoughts together and post about it soon.

I agree wholeheartedly about Dr. Black. The folks I serve have loved him. He has taught from the floor which has been a big change for them (albeit a good one). One lady said she thought he was "gonna come git her." I had to laugh at that, I mean, he is about seven feet tall and he didn't have the pulpit to shunt some of that intimidating stature of his. ;)

Steve Sensenig said...

When I was pastoring, I often liked to speak from the floor as well. Not to "git" anyone, but because it helped remind me (and the people to whom I was speaking, but especially me) that I was merely "one of them".

Somehow, it doesn't surprise me that Dr. Black did that. That fits with what I have seen in him already.

Tony said...


When I said "git" I was being facetious. It made me laugh because the lady was obviously not used to that kind of presentation.

I think I am going to start using that style of teaching.

Steve Sensenig said...

Oh, I knew it was facetious. I just was playing off of what she said. Do you think she was serious? I have seen situations where speakers have used the floor approach to make people feel uncomfortable. Put them on the spot to answer a question, or get in their face to preach at them. Obviously, I don't think you nor I would condone that! ;)

Tony said...


From her facial expressions, I think she was partially serious. It made her uncomfortable because it was not the norm.

No, I certainly would not condone that! I have always spoken from the platform because we do not have lapel mics to allow me freedom of movement (and I have tried to get them; the deacons classify it as unnecessary expense; ahh, the joy and wonder of pastoral ministry!) but mostly for the simple practical reason that our services are recorded for the homebound and if I do not stay reasonably close to the pulpit mic then the recording is poor.

I like the idea of speaking from the floor like you said, to help them see that I am one of them. I have yet to try it regularly but since Brother David introduced it I might start using that method more frequently.

Brandon said...

I like to walk around when I'm preaching. It helps me to speak more fluidly...I like to walk among the people I'm speaking to. I think it makes the message more personal and less like a sermon.

Thank you for introducing me to Dr. Black through the link on your blog. I look forward to reading more of his thoughts.

Be blessed...

Tony said...


Me too...I have found it helps me to think more fluidly, too. Bridging that distance between "sermon" and "people" is hard; and sometimes I think we preachers make it that way.

Your welcome in regards to Brother Dave. I highly recommend "thumbing through" his archived articles. There is a lot of good stuff in there, stuff I am sure will resonate with you.