Dr. Jim Denison
John Bisagno was for many years pastor of the historic First Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. When he was 20 years old and about to finish college, he was having dinner at his fiancée’s home one night. His future father-in-law, Dr. Paul Beck, had been in ministry for many years. After supper, as the two were talking, Dr. Beck gave John his observation: only one in ten who begin in vocational ministry at the age of 21 are still active in ministry at age 65.
John couldn’t believe it. He went home and wrote on a blank page of his Bible the names of 24 young men who were his peers and contemporaries. He considered them to be the future great preachers of his generation. 23 years later, only three remained in the Lord’s service.
In the Christian faith, and in life in general, it’s not how you start that matters. It’s how you finish.
Think of famous preachers and evangelists in this generation who are now fallen from effectiveness. Think of pastors in our city who have suffered similar fates.