that even with a hearing aid he could not hear me on the phone, so the only time I could actually talk to him was when I was actually in Columbia at mom and dad’s house. So I remembered this story of my dad of a few word.
Many years ago, when I had been the PCA’s campus minister at the University of South Carolina for only a couple of years, a small country church in another denomination expressed an interest in having me be considered to be their pastor. If you are not familiar with how this works it usually involves sending them a resume, a recording of a sermon and a list of references they can contact. After all of that if they think you are a “candidate” they ask you to come and preach for them so they can evaluate you in person.
In this particular situation the preaching of the sermon happened to be for an evening sermon. It was during a covered dish dinner or homecoming or something like that and for some reason I asked my dad to go with me. He and I met most of the church family, walked around the facilities, had the meal and then had the worship service. Following the service the elder in charge gave me a bundt cake and some sort of potted plant but no check or cash for preaching. Even in situations where you are “candidating” (as this process is usually called in the church) you are often paid to preach for the service and money to cover mileage and such. I collected my “gifts”, my dad and I said goodbye to our hosts and got back in my car for the trip back to Columbia. About 15 minutes into our trip my dad said: “I didn’t see that ‘fella’ give you an envelope or any money”. I said: “No they gave me this cake and potted plant”. He grunted of said “Humm” and we continued on our trip to Columbia for another 20 minutes or so with nothing being said (remember my dad was a man of few words). Then he said: “I don’t know much about this candidating business or much about how people call pastors but I don’t think you need to talk to this church anymore”. And that was it, he didn’t say much more on the trip home unless he made some comments about whatever sport Clemson was playing that time of year.
I took my dad’s advise. When a man of few words offers advise, it is usually good to at least listen and consider if not take the advise immediately and act on it.