Tomorrow is the first day of July, 2011 and I wanted to take a minute to share with you what I’ll be doing for the next few weeks. Last summer our Elders put into place the opportunity for me to take a brief break in the summer. My break will officially begin on Tuesday, July 5th, and I’ll be out of the pulpit for the next few weeks that follow. First, I want you to know that I have some excellent speakers lined up while I’m gone. On July 9th & 10th, Robin Sigars will be filling our pulpit. Robin is the Senior Minister at Carterville Christian Church in Carterville, MO and has been a close friend of mine since college. For several years Robin worked for Christ in Youth and was one of the country’s most sought after youth speakers. It’s not an exaggeration to say that God has used Robin to impact the lives of tens of thousands of young people. Robin brings a lot of energy to the pulpit and he will challenge you with a dynamic message from God’s Word. On July 16th & 17th, Jerry Harris will be filling the pulpit. Jerry is also an Ozark Christian College graduate that I have gotten to know through our participation in the mega-church roundtable as well as our service on the board of The Solomon Foundation. Jerry is the Senior Pastor of The Crossing in Quincy, IL. Jerry has led The Crossing from a church of 200 in a single campus to over 4,000 in six different campuses in Illinois and Missouri. This is one of the great church growth stories in America and you will be blessed by the passion and vision that Jerry brings to the pulpit. On July 23rd and 24th, Bob Russell will be filling the pulpit. Bob Russell has been one of my favorite preachers for the past 30 years. Shortly after graduating from Cincinnati Bible Seminary in 1965, at the age of 22, Bob became the Senior Pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. At the time the church had a weekly attendance of 120. When Bob retired in June of 2006, Southeast had a weekly attendance of over 18,000. Along with being a great preacher, Bob is an accomplished writer and continues to be one of our movements most powerful and sought after speakers. Believe me when I say it is a tremendous honor to have Bob filling the pulpit at Mount Pleasant. There is no one in ministry that I respect more than Bob Russell. Finally, on July 30th and 31st, I will be back at church but filling the pulpit that weekend will be my son, Andrew. I can’t tell you how proud I am to have my son on staff here at Mount Pleasant and how much joy it gives me to listen to him preach. I know he will be a blessing to each of you.
I hope you will plan to be here each of these weeks and I hope that you will invite family and friends to be here as well. I’m counting on your continued support while I take this time away. When I return to the pulpit we will conclude our special series “Next” (Understanding Tomorrow, Today) series by talking about The Great White Throne Judgment, The Reality of Hell and The Glory of Heaven and I have a very special new series planned for September that is based on The 23rd Psalm.
Keep me in your prayers while I’m away. I’ll be at the North American Christian Convention in Cincinnati, around Greenwood, In Florida for a vacation with family and visiting my mother in Texas. I’ll be busy but I’ll be thinking about and praying for you.