Even though the school year is still early in the Fall semester, things are already heating up in the annual Ebenezer Baptist CollegeÂ sermon contest with preacher boys looking forward to smiting their opponents on the church platform.
This year sees two formidable contenders emerging from the field of expository behemoths: Reginald â€œReggieâ€ McDonald, a pastoral ministries senior from Wichita, Kansas and Zedekiah Hosea Buckwalter, a missions major from Flint, Michigan. With such a strong matchup thereâ€™s likely to be more than a little blood, sweat, and tears shed on the oak wood of theÂ sacred desk.
â€œItâ€™s all about crafting the perfect words,â€ said Buckwalter in a recent interview with Preacher Boy Monthly. â€œIâ€™ve been working on my delivery ever since my freshman speech devotional and itâ€™s almost perfect now.â€
But Reggie disagrees about the method. â€œItâ€™s not about delivery, itâ€™s simply a matter of how much of the Holy Spirit you have,â€ argued McDonald. â€œOther than maybe the pastor himself, nobody on campus has as much of the Holy Spirit as I do. Thatâ€™s just a fact.â€
Neither contender would reveal the content of their sermon, although historically sermons on sin have always been favored in the contest. â€œA little lust goes a long way in a sermon,â€ explained a Bible faculty member who asked to stay anonymous, â€œPreaching on sin takes less preparation overall and as long as you stay on familiar topics like adultery, alcohol, and abortion, itâ€™s easy to get the audience responding to you too. It also gives the preacher a chance to yell. Volume is always good for a few easy points.â€
As always, scouts from major Baptist churches around the country have beenÂ attending the semi-final â€œpreach-offsâ€ to recruit fresh talent. First round draft picks are often immediately placed as head pastor of a mid-sized congregation, while later picks are inevitably forced to start as volunteer assistant youth ministers and part-time Christian school gym teachers.
Thanks to Bill for this reminder of a piece that I wrote some time ago.