It is a real pleasure to welcome to my blog today, Dr. Albert Mohler. Dr. Mohler should need no introduction to most of my readers, but I include a link to his biography for any who need to know more, as well as a link to my Together for the Gospel Conference Round Up Post.
This interview began yesterday in part one and will be serialized over several days here on my blog.
Al, I get exhausted just thinking about all the strands that you hold together – it seems to me that you combine leadership of a Bible college with the academic and educational work of being a professor, but at the same time have some form of leadership within a local church, influence over the leaders of many other churches, preaching, conference speaking, serving on various boards, and a radio program, not to mention prolific blogging. Have I missed anything?
Well, I’m sure you have left something out—my more pressing fear is that I have left something out. I end each day with a sense that much remains undone. I serve as a teaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church here in Louisville and, beyond that, much of my time is taken up in denominational leadership and affairs. The Southern Baptist Convention is a vast denomination, and it requires a great deal of time and investment as well. Adrian, I must admit that I truly enjoy and find fulfillment in all of these responsibilities. I have no one to blame but myself, because no one has forced all these responsibilities upon me.
Do you see all these roles as separate roles or entwined? When you are doing your radio program or blogging, do you think of it as another form of preaching or as something else? Your bio says “Dr. Mohler’s mission is to address contemporary issues from a consistent and explicit Christian worldview.” Is that the vision that holds everything you do together?
I am absolutely certain that these roles are entwined. The interrelatedness of these responsibilities is clear to those who work alongside me and know how I think. I do not think of blogging or the radio program as another form of preaching, but I do see these new opportunities as a way of addressing an audience with Christian truth. My first responsibility is to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, visible in local congregations. I do believe my calling is to address contemporary issues from an explicitly Christian worldview, but my greater responsibility is to serve the church in all that I do. My sense of mission is fundamentally theological, and all of my involvements emerge out of that sense of theological responsibility for the church.
Are there any of your many jobs that you feel fit less comfortably within your life’s work? Are there some roles that you do because your know somebody must rather than because you take delight in them?
My answer to this question is easy. Travel is the least comfortable part of my work. I truly enjoy being in other places and with people and churches all over the world. Nevertheless, the reality is that travel is becoming more and more of a complication. Even so, I do it because it is absolutely necessary and central to the accomplishment of my ministry. In my most honest moments, I would have to admit that, even as there is no part of my involvements that I wish to relinquish, I look forward to a reduction in travel. I do not delight in sitting on airplanes, and I take even less delight in waiting in airports.
All of the written and spoken material is my personal work. I am thankful to have a team of interns who help to collect and organize material for me, but I simply could not work with someone who would assemble the projects for me. For me, this is a matter of both integrity and pride. I write all the material attributed to my name. At the same time, I do want to recognize a wonderful team of interns and co-workers who make all this possible. They know my weaknesses. For example, one of the first things they learn is never to put a piece of paper in my hand that they ever want to see again. If they do not retain a copy of a document, it is likely to disappear within the thousands of items that flow through my office on a regular basis. Furthermore, they are a wonderful first audience for my writing and speaking. I value tremendously their response and critique.
I guess the operational secret of working with so many different people in different contexts is finding enjoyment in them all. I can state honestly that I enjoy each of these contexts and, as varied as some of these constituencies are, I serve them all gladly and with a sense of genuine honor in being granted the opportunity.
Continued in Part Three . . .