Stories Worth Telling: Love Invested

Although my family lived in Memphis, I really knew more about Bellevue than Dr. Rogers. However, my family moved to Corinth, Mississippi, in 1977 and shortly thereafter, the Lord began to work in my heart, and I surrendered to the ministry in 1982.

By that time, I had learned what an incredible preacher Adrian Rogers was. You see, as a college student getting a degree in biblical studies, I was blessed by one of the ladies at my college church. She was an avid listener of Dr. Rogers and subscribed to LWF’s cassette ministry. She would get them, listen to them, and then pass them on to me.

I can even recall my first encounter with Dr. Rogers. I was very young in the ministry, serving at First Baptist Church in Ripley, Mississippi, and was headed to Memphis to make a hospital visit and go to the Businessmen’s Luncheon. The thought went through my mind...I would love to meet Adrian Rogers. I thought he may not have time to meet me, but I called anyway. I told his assistant I was coming to Memphis with two of my pastor friends, and we planned to attend the Luncheon. Then I asked that question—Could I possibly meet Dr. Rogers?

She said it was doubtful but told me to hold on. I held for only a short while, and she asked if the three of us would like to have lunch with Dr. Rogers after the luncheon. I responded with a resounding “Yes!” In the meantime, I told my two traveling buddies we were having lunch with Adrian Rogers, and they thought I was pulling their leg. Even to the end they doubted me. When we first entered Dr. Rogers’ office, one of them grabbed my arm and said he’d kill me if I was not telling the truth!

Once we joined him, his first words were asking me about myself, my family, and my ministry. And then he asked my two friends those

same questions. In looking back, I recall how humble he was, and he was interested in everyone else. We wanted to know about him, but he wanted to know about us!

That was mindboggling to a young pastor like me. Over the years and over many visits, he became a mentor to me. I could tell you story after story, but here are some things I learned from Dr. Rogers’ life: Be humble. He felt like he wasn’t doing anything special beyond what he was supposed to do. Like when Jesus told the disciples in Luke 17:10 to do the things you are commanded to do, say we are unworthy slaves; we are just doing what we’ve been commanded. It is a constant reminder to me that I’m just doing what God has called me to do. I’m nothing special. I’m just a servant.

Be committed to the exposition of the Bible and to preach the Word. To quote Dr. Rogers, “Just preach Jesus.” Be insistent upon integrity. Protect your reputation by not giving any appearance of evil. This has had the biggest impact on my personally especially when I disciple other guys. Now I have the blessing of speaking with young preachers, and I still tell them to watch and listen to Dr. Rogers. Listen to how he handled the text and watch how he communicated, how he connected with people. Those are things I learned from Adrian Rogers. Not only will you be fed spiritually, he will model for you what pastoral preaching really ought to be. Don’t try to be him. No one can be him, but invest time in listening, watching, and reading Dr. Rogers.

This article appeared in the March/April newsletter. Read the article here.