Education: Oxford Hills High School class of 1972. Started Bible college against my parents wishes. Dropped out to work. Finally earned my Bachelor of Bible Theology from International Bible College in 1985. Did post-grad work through the New England Campus of California Graduate School of Theology, until the campus closed. Concentration in Church Growth.
Comment to those looking at my sermons: I pray that they will help you bless many people and steer people closer to the Lord. Please use freely.
Sermon or series that made a difference: What it Means to be Part of a Genuine New Testament Church by Owen Carey- 1982 (in eight parts)
The Biblical Preaching Seminar with Dr. Stephen Olford. (1982)
Ephesians 4 series on Church Body Life (Dallas Henry) 1978
Tons of others, too many to sort out. I still keep lots of old sermon tapes and series on hand.
One of my favorite illustrations: The Frog in the Kettle, which got cooked because the kettle heated slowly around it.
Family: I, (Pastor Eric J. Hanson) have been married to Nancy for 35 years. We have raised three wonderful kids who are all married now. We have four grandchildren at this time. Nancy’s Mother is still living, I honor her here by mentioning that she and Nancy's Dad were missionaries to England for seven years after retirement. Then her dad drove many miles every other week to preach in a very rural little church here in Maine, till a stroke ended that. Their reward is in Heaven.
What my parents think of my sermons: Dad never heard one. He died in 1973, but did warn me against being a preacher. He predicted that it leads to poverty. Mom liked them, but asked many doubtful questions. She finally made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ in 1986, after 14 years of careful, measured witnessing. She lived her last 4 years as a member of this church.
What my spouse (really) thinks of my sermons: Nancy loves them, but will let me know if there is any problem such as anger (not often) or dwelling on any topic overmuch. She is my surest sounding board; a woman of wisdom. Her input has helped my preaching immeasurably much. She likes it better if I just preach right out of the Bible, rather than writing a full manuscript.
Best advice given to me about preaching: Don’t expect everyone to love you. Don’t expect them to be able to articulate logically why they disagree with some well reasoned point. Just present the word with integrity, and then leave it up to God to deal with people’s hearts.
Also: Preaching is important. Prepare well and don’t bore them. Become excellent at it!
Books that have had an impact: Church Aflame by Jerry Falwell & Elmer Towns (The story of the Thomas Road Baptist Church)
The Purpose Driven Church (Rick Warren)
Prayer Shield (C. Peter Wagner)
The Spiritual Man (Watchman Nee)
Why I Believe (D. James Kennedy)
How Now Shall We Live (Colson/Pearcy)
Many others: Too many to name
Hobbies: For fun, I write an automotive column in the local paper. (Automusings in the Advertiser Democrat) Nancy and I love to take road trips, eat a picnic by the sea shore, and visit family. I love to sing and play instruments, besides giving music lessons as a small town bi-vocational pastor. (bi-vocational since the big split here in 1996). The other pastor tunes pianos as a business, and does it perfectly too.
If I could Preach one more time, I would say...: Time is short. Repent of all known sin and follow Jesus without making excuses. Nevertheless, don’t imagine that you can earn merit in God’s eyes. Jesus Christ is our righteousness. Cling to Him, remembering his suffering and death on the Cross. Ask him to be Lord and savior.
Something funny that happened while preaching: One man got snoring so loudly that everyone was cracking up laughing. Someone woke him up...He was snoring loudly again in less than five minutes!
What I want on my tombstone: He stood firm in faith to the end. His trust is in Jesus Christ