By David Kowalski
1989 through 1991 were challenging years for me. It was during this time, for example, that I foolishly attended seminary while working as a first-year English teacher (an all consuming task). I think of that time with special fondness, though, for it was then that I attended Eagle Heights Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri (now defunct).
The building was quite plain and in some disrepair due to the small congregation’s tiny budget. Though the church resided in the same town as its denomination’s headquarters, seminary, correspondence school, Bible college, and liberal arts college; no dignitaries or renowned scholars attended our services.
I thought it was heaven on earth for one reason — the pastor, Jack Goggin, loved me. I don’t recall that he ever said words to that effect but he didn’t have to. I knew it. Once I realized this love was genuine — that it was more than just preacher-talk — Jack’s preaching soared in my estimation. He could do no wrong. I think Jack Goggin hung the moon and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise.
In the years that have followed, I have learned just how scarce and precious this kind of genuine love is, but I am convinced there is nothing more powerful in a minister’s arsenal. If you want to influence people, love them.
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