Signs In This Summer’s Sermons

At the end of our academic year I decided I really wanted to listen- listen to God about what I should be doing. Should I continue to stay at Dillard, going into my 10th year and the place where I have worked longer than any other, or was it time for a new mission and a new field.

I think lots of people during this pandemic have been reevaluating their lives, and I am no different. During the pandemic, every Sunday I would watch a number of sermons while working out in the morning and throughout the day. I would generally watch New Birth and Alfred Street while working out, and then catch Mt. Zion, Impact, and Friendship West during the day. 4 of the 5 preachers have been to Dillard during my tenure, and the other I have known for years.

It didn’t take long before I got the message- this would be my last year at Dillard. I announced to our faculty and staff on August 9th, and as part of the announcement I walked them through the sermons playing clips that highlighted particular points. Here are the links to the sermons and a comment about each.

Sunday, May 16: Howard-John Wesley, “May The Lord Watch: Productive Partnerships”

Right off the bat, Rev. Wesley begins a 3 part series which deals with ending relationships. I mean, the day after commencement, I started getting the signs. Here is the clip I showed:

And here is the entire sermon.

Sunday, May 16: Olu Brown, “Normalizing Next”

After watching Pastor Wesley my wife told me that Olu Brown announced his retirement from Impact Church in Atlanta. Olu was on my dad’s staff at Cascade, and then had the opportunity for a new church start which is now one of the fastest growing churches in the nation. He was RETIRING as a local pastor, at 43. So this sermon was interesting as he talked about normalizing next.

Here is the clip I used:

And here is the full sermon.

Sunday, May 30: Howard-John Wesley, “May The Lord Watch: A Mizpah Moment”

The series picked back up and Wesley deals with that moment you realize that a relationship is coming to an end, and it is time to move on. A great discussion.

Here is a clip:

And here is the full sermon.

Sunday, June 6: Howard-John Wesley, “May The Lord Watch: Lessons in Leaving”

This one didn’t really hit me until July when wondering what people would say when I announced. The main takeaway was I had to be comfortable with people saying whatever they wanted to say, believing whatever they wanted to believe. As long as they said “Goodbye” (or I say it for them) everything was good.

Here is my favorite clip:

And here is the full sermon.

Sunday, July 25: Jamal Harrison Bryant, “I’m Putting In A Two Weeks Notice”

So two weeks before the faculty-staff institute, Dr. Bryant gives this sermon. I was in Dallas with Benjamin for a basketball tournament and was working out in the hotel gym that morning. So when I said the title I was shocked! It definitely had my attention as he spoke to the reflection many have been doing during the pandemic.

Sunday, August 1: Joseph Walker, “Know Your Exit”

And if I had ANY doubt about the signs I was receiving all summer long, Bishop Walker put the exclamation point on them all! Basically a week before announcing, if I had any hesitation at all this ended it.

When you have three months of messages, it is pretty hard to miss it! I would definitely encourage watching all of the sermons because all had great takeaways.

The Prez

7th president of Dillard University