With the recent shark attacks on North Carolina beaches, those of us of a certain age surely can hear the Jaws theme music in the background. However, it turns out that sharks are not the most dangerous animal for humans.

The big danger is actually small: bees, hornets and wasps. According to a June 16, 2015, Washington Post blog post, sharks kill about one person a year—about the same average rate as bears and alligators—but those pesky little flying predators are “responsible for 58 deaths each year—mostly due to anaphylactic shock after a sting.”

In fact, cows are 20 times more lethal than sharks, because that’s about the number of people (mostly farm workers) killed by those stealthy bovine menaces annually. Dogs kill about 28 people a year, but I’m still not going to substitute Bessie for our family canine. Snakes (six deaths a year) and spiders (seven a year) are also on my watch list.

I suppose it’s a reminder that the biggest dangers in life may not be the ones we were expecting.

So pastor, keep your eyes peeled for those bees and cows…and maybe deacons.

Michael Duduit

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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