Tag Archives: Dale Meyer

A lesson in corporate life Dennis Kozlowski

Thank you to Dr Meyer for this, I had not heard about Dennis Kozlowski recently. I think Dr Meyer is being kind, I had a very tiny bit to do with Tyco at the time, they were a customer, so a very little interaction and at a low level, but it made me aware of what Tyco was and who Kozlowski was. Let’s just say I never heard anyone speak highly. This quote from the Boston Globe: “Kozlowski was among the most caricatured of imperial chief executives in an epoch of white-collar crime that included Bernard J. Ebbers of WorldCom and Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling of Enron. But unlike businesses plundered by other felons, Kozlowski’s Tyco has thrived, employing 57,000. Enron and WorldCom became corporate corpses. Yea, you really have to work at it to stick out in that crowd.” He was a “ruthless cost-cutter”, (Boston Globe https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/03/02/dennis-kozlowski-from-infamy-obscurity/fdemfnhgN7eaN2Q88liLmO/story.html ) in this day and age of bureaucratic entitlements, corporate living is, quite often, living day to day with little if any frills. And believe me I’m not the least bit naive about those who are corporate fat-cats, but they are very few and far between.
There’s no indication of whether Mr Kozlowski has been led to Christ, but this is an interesting perspective in how things to catch up with you when you are living for self.

Meyer Minute for March 3

I hadn’t thought about him at all, but why should I? He was all over the news years ago, but news is usually a spectator sport that we watch only to move on to our daily duties. So when Dennis Kozlowski was all over the news because of his crimes, held up for the scorn of us common people, I paid attention, smiled when he was sent off to prison, and then forgot him. Assuming you also forgot, Mr. Kozlowski was the prodigal head of Tyco who, for just one example, spent $2 million on a birthday extravaganza for his second wife. He was convicted for taking $100 million of company money. Now he’s out of jail, totally free, and says he’s changed. “I’m not that person anymore.”

Getting to the moral of today’s Minute: “Mr. Kozlowski tells the story of a man who recently stopped him in Grand Central Terminal. ‘Hey,’ the man asked, ‘Aren’t you Steve Ballmer, the Microsoft guy who just bought the Los Angeles Clippers?” Dennis Kozlowski smiled, turned, and continued on his way.” (David A. Kaplan, New York Times, March 2; A1, B4)

Sooner or later we get it, that the world doesn’t revolve around us. “As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more” (Psalm 103:15-16). “The grass withers and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.’ And this word is the good news that was preached to you” (1 Peter 1:25).

Thank You, Lord, for whatever teaches me, a creature of a day, to be humble and thankful for Your mercies. Amen.

Dr Meyer, gracious as ever. I sincerely pray that Mr Kozlowski comes to know Christ as his Savior. But his life is also a lesson in how the things of the world can draw us away from what/Who is really important and then leaves us dumped in a heap. If we continue to trust the world it only leads to destruction. If we come to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior then we will know true life and eternal life in Him. The world can only destroy us and it will.

God’s minister or the people’s minister?

Yes, for the second day in a row I am ripping off Dr Dale Meyer, but for good reason, because it brought up an issue that is important regarding worship. Dr Meyer’s commentary is first and then my slant  on the reasons why I preach from the pulpit.

Meyer Minute for November 21

Here’s a question I’m often asked. “Does the Seminary teach students to preach in or out of the pulpit?” This ranks right up there with the other great questions of the universe. Why does God hide Himself from us? Why does God permit suffering? How can Christianity claim to be the only true religion and only way to heaven? Catch my sarcasm?

We have chapel services on campus every weekday. Most chapel sermons are delivered from the pulpit but it’s not unusual for the preacher to stand in the center of the chancel or even down in the aisle. I teach preaching and always get the question, “What about preaching out of the pulpit?” There are, I answer, logistical considerations. For example, if you’re standing in the aisle, can the people on the flanks or in the balcony see you? There are deeper considerations. What is the congregation used to? If they’re used to one way or the other, is this an issue worthy of controversy? Ask the elders, I tell them. But going farther, my sarcasm getting the better of me, why do you ask? I’ve learned that they imagine that standing out of the pulpit somehow means being relevant. I also hear lay people say, “We love our pastor. He preaches out of the pulpit.” Huh? The real issue is what he’s preaching! A compelling sermon from God’s Word will be compelling wherever it’s delivered from. A sermon of theological jargon that doesn’t speak to life will be irrelevant wherever it comes from.

In my mind it comes down to this. To congregation members: Are we so at home with one worship style that we get upset by something different? Aren’t we driven to come to church by this question, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68) To students: Don’t make the pulpit the hill you’ll die on, or off. Instead, make God’s Word so applicable to people’s lives that they’ll listen intently wherever you are. In or out? Sounds like a belly-button question, naval gazing. I’m desperate to know more God, wherever the preacher stands.

My thoughts on why I preach a certain way – Pastor Jim Driskell

I certainly get Dr Meyer’s point, well I kind of have to, he’s the one that taught my Homiletics II course, I passed. Fits with my philosophy of life “Semper Gumby”, always flexible. You do have to factor in the situation, the hearers, survey all the considerations. All things being equal, I do prefer the pulpit. It’s not due to some ego need, but I also have to remember what I’m doing there. Richard Foster asked the rather germaine question; “Am I a minister of the people or of Christ.” I’m called “minister” because I represent Jesus to His church, His people. Yea, sometimes you do have to come down and get right in the middle of people. But as I’ve been discussing for awhile, it’s not our “comfort” that it’s about, it’s how we glorify the Lord and pick a part of His earthly ministry and you can see that He was terribly concerned about our “comfort” He was concerned that we are growing, that we are becoming mature in Jesus. How does that apply here? I feel it’s my duty in as many ways as possible to remind people of the Lordship of Jesus. Not that He’s aloof, or separated from us, He’s not, as baptized children who eat Jesus’ Body and drink His blood, we could not be closer or more apart of anyone. But we also let ourselves get way to buddy-buddy with Jesus and we forget what He’s done, continues to do and what He will do. He told us that when He returns He will return in His glory, we know that He rules in glory from heaven. If He chooses to treat us as His friends, and He told us He did, that’s His call and I would certainly welcome it. But as His minister, as one who has been chosen to represent Him and bring Him due honor in front of His people, that’s what my aim is. That when we are in worship together we all know that it’s Jesus who is with us, who is using me to preach. I may not be that great as I conduct worship and I may not be worthy of that tremendous privilege and duty, but I strive to do it to the best of my ability and I want people coming in and thinking about our Great King and I intend to honor Him that way and leave it to Him if He chooses some other way. So Dr Meyer’s point is well taken, if you are in worship, be there for the right reasons. It does none of us any good to get hung up on whether I’m in a pulpit, wandering around, yada, yada. Be focused on what God’s doing, that, hopefully, He is using me to preach His word and I’m doing it well enough and you are getting a message that will lift you and encourage you, know that our great and powerful God is in control and watching over you and to bring Jesus to all you know. In the meantime I will faithfully do what I can to honor Him.