It’s not often I stay up late enough to watch David Letterman on television, since he comes on at 12:30 a.m. and I’m usually dead-to-the-world long before.
Sometimes, however, I stay up later than usual (normally when I’m editing copy for Preaching), and I have a chance to catch the first few minutes of Letterman. That’s my favorite part — except maybe for stupid pet tricks — since that’s when he does his “Top Ten” list.
David’s “Top Ten” usually runs along the line of topics like “George Bush’s Top Ten Favorite Phrases” and things like that. Amazingly, I’ve never heard Dave do a single “Top Ten” list about preachers. (OK, maybe it was one of those nights when I didn’t watch, but that doesn’t count.)
In order to insure appropriate balance — and to find some way to make this column fit the season of the year, since folks expect that sort of thing — I’d like to suggest the following “Top Ten Gifts Preachers Love to Receive.”
10. Two extra hours in every day. (Christmas is the season for miracles, isn’t it?)
9. A new computer program that corrects grammar, points out logical inconsistencies, and never lets me wipe out my manuscript by accident.
8. A federal law outlawing use of fruitcake as a gift.
7. Three weeks when no one is in the hospital, no one dies, and not a single church member decides to have a big wedding.
6. A new secretary who writes great sermons — and knows how to keep a secret.
5. A two-year subscription to Preaching. (Oh, all right, I know that isn’t very funny — but what a wonderful thought!)
4. New watches for all the deacons — that always run ten minutes slow.
3. A letter from my former seminary offering to send me money.
2. A new Budget Committee chairman who suggests, “Isn’t our pastor about due for a really big salary increase?”
1. A new sound system that makes any preacher sound like James Earl Jones. (I’d be willing to pay big bucks for that one myself!)

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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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