Education: See above. Additionally, Bill’s experience in crisis intervention and bereavement support have led to work with a number of public agencies and educational institutions. Assuming success in the examination in November, 2007, he will add a Certificate of Thanatology (the study of death--thanatos in Greek) to his credentials in providing services to those who have experienced significant loss, grief and mourning.
Comment to those looking at my sermons: "Don’t try these at home." Seriously, as a rural pastor intimately involved in the lives of our congregation and community, I get away with a few things here and there with regard to candor (sometimes a bit too plain-spokenly blunt to deny being intentionally brusque) and humor (sometimes abusing the sense of the ironic and absurd, crossing into sarcasm). I do not advise those answering to denominational masters to refer to their efforts to increase statistical success as a desire to put "bucks in the plate and butts in the pews," for example.
Sermon or series that made a difference: #1 sermon to have an impact: "The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing" from The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer. Also influential have been: Haddon Robinson and Stuart Briscoe especially, sermons presented at C&MA General Councils. David Johnson, John Ng, Dick Taylor, Rich Taylor, Richard Wurmbrand, Elizabeth Eliot and Duane Adamson at C&MA District and Pastors’ Conferences. And Don McRreavy and Don Brust as highly respected and valued friends under whom I had the privilege to serve as a staff member.
One of my favorite illustrations: Dwight L. Moody’s Scottish Highland Sheep. E-mail me and I’ll tell it to you (along with how it precipitated the funniest moment in my twenty-plus years of preaching).
Family: The Myers family may not be the largest financial contributor to Simpson University, but per capita, it’s hard to imagine anyone surpassing our involvement. The Rev. Wm. Darius Myers (that’s "Bill" you, mister) is currently adding a master’s in counseling, and wife Shelly is re-enrolled to add another certification to her teaching credential. Since both of their bachelor’s degrees were from Simpson, and both children are enrolled there, it appears that by the end of the spring semester of 2010, the four of us will have seven degrees and/or credentials among us.
What my parents think of my sermons: As professing atheist and agnostic, they appreciate certain elements of the artistic/literary components and structure. If the Holy Spirit is using any of the occasional messages they hear to affect them, it would seem they are convinced that I should be the very last to know. (He DOES seem to be making some headway, though.)
What my spouse (really) thinks of my sermons: In a recent unscientific poll, she responded: "Well-prepared, encouraging, thought-provoking, let’s see...what else have I said about them?" When he’s home from college, she races my son to see if they can fill in the blanks of my bulletin-insert sermon outlines before I actually say the words. There are usually at least two or three that end up crossed out and rewritten, so at least I’m not too predictable, even for them.
Best advice given to me about preaching: Richard C. (Dick) Taylor, Sr. on the nature of the calling and work of ministry (to a then-22 year old called into redevelopment ministry): "Love God. Love your people. The rest will work out." He was right. Regarding ministry in general and preaching specifically, Duane Adamson: "If you can convince God to let you do anything else, go for it. If this is what He’s called you to, though, it’s the greatest job in the world." (He also mentioned that it’s nearly criminal sometimes to be paid for the privilege of studying God’s word, praying through the work to be done, and lovingly discipling the people with whom He’s called you to serve. He, too, was right.)
Books that have had an impact: C.G. Finney, Leonard Ravenhill and Tozer are favorite authors. Finney’s Lectures on the Revival of Religion has had a lasting impact. Perhaps the most inspirational book recently has been Mark Boda’s commentary on Haggai and Zechariah (NIVAC) in bringing back a sense of hope for regaining the vision and promise once held throughout The Christian and Missionary Alliance, but largely relegated to overseas ministries while North America focuses on the prescriptions of Wagner, McGavran, and Schaller (once far too influential in my ministry), or attempts to template model church structures into dissimilar demographies.
Hobbies: Photography, music, writing (fiction), film.
If I could Preach one more time, I would say...: My final message? Never forget this: It is our trust in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that is necessary and sufficient to restore our broken relationship with our Creator, God, and to receive eternal life. Beyond that, it’s all simply a matter of asking Him daily, "What would Jesus have me do today?" See you when you get home.
Something funny that happened while preaching: Sunday evening service, Dragerton Community Church, East Carbon City, Utah where the 85+ car coal trains rumble up the mountain at about five miles per hour, shaking the sanctuary and causing chunks of the blown-on spackle-coat to drop from the original ceiling down onto the suspended tile ceiling beneath (kind of like being inside a kettle drum when it happens). The noise came from my right and the sight was convincingly that of an oncoming train’s headlight. Apparently, the years had not been kind to the mount on which one of the spotlights hung. It dropped straight down, until it reached the end of the electrical cable attached directly above me, swinging it right past me as I dove for cover. This is actually the second funniest. The surpassing moment deals with the illustration below.
What I want on my tombstone: "But I digress..."