Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Meet Scott M. Weldon

One of my goals for producing this blog is to expose my readers to godly individuals, both living and dead. I take great pleasure in sharing various pastors, missionaries, teachers, authors, and Christian workers with my readers. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. I also intend for you to be edified by exposing you to them.

I would like to expose you to a number of godly individuals in an interview process. Today, I would like to expose you to a man I have come to appreciate a great deal. He has become a good friend through his blog, By Grace Alone and corresponding via email. I am pleased to introduce you Pastor Scott M. Weldon of Faith Southern Baptist Church in Marshfield, Missouri.

What is your current position?

Pastor, Faith Southern Baptist Church

Where did you graduate from Bible College or seminary?

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Please describe your morning devotions. When do you begin them? What do your devotions consist of and or look like? How much time to you spend reading, meditating, praying, and etc?

This changes somewhat from day to day, but typically I begin reading from our “daily readings” (based on a read through the Bible calendar).  Sometimes I read through several chapters, sometimes one section gets my attention and I dwell more on that, maybe even cross reference some issues (I think I may be ADD…wait, what were we talking about?).  I’ve been known to spend the whole time tracking down some little thought that a particular text inspired and not getting back to the rest of the readings.  Not sure if that’s good or not, but…

            Sometimes I also read from a devotional type book; lately I’ve enjoyed a Through the Year book by John Stott, or I read through a prayer or two in The Valley of Vision.  I should probably be more disciplined, but I sort of let myself drift from book to book based on time, mood, etc.  (maybe this is more like an example of how NOT to do devotions!)

            I’m also a huge music person.  More often than not I have music playing, and sometimes a particular song will hit me and become the catalyst for that morning’s devotions.

            I don’t have a set “time” for prayer, as to length.  Sometimes I pray off and on while reading the text, based on thoughts it motivates.  Sometimes I read through the text and then take a longer time at the end for prayer. 

            This all sounds a bit wishy-washy on paper.  I think we ought to be disciplined in the fact that we spend time in the Word or in prayer; but I’ve never been one to think that we have to be overly rigid with “do this for 5 minutes, then do this for 5 minutes” etc.

What book (s) are you currently reading in these three categories?

a)  for your soul –
Reading a series of “devotionals” called PROOF (which will soon be a book by Timothy Paul Jones

b)  for pastoral ministry – Just picked up Creature of the Word, along with the videos.  Haven’t dug in yet, but it’s the next thing on my agenda.

c)  for personal enjoyment- Just finished Placebo by Steven James, and now starting an e-book called Knox’s Irregulars by J. Wesley Bush

Apart from the bible, what book do you most frequently re-read and why? 

            Two come to mind.  1. Pilgrim’s Progress, which I’ve read in a couple versions (original and “modern” update), our family has read together, we’ve listened to a “dramatized” version, and even bought the movie.  It’s just such a wonderful portrait of the Christian life with so much great thought and theology.      
            2. The aforementioned Valley of Vision.  The richness of the Puritans in their heart for God is truly amazing and inspiring.  While I don’t think just reading/praying written prayers is adequate, using these as springboards for my own prayer/devotional life has been very helpful over the years.

What three books (other than the Bible) have had the most impact or influence on your life? Why?
Wow, just three?  Hmmm…This answer might change based on what day you ask me, but as of right now the ones that come to mind, in no particular order…

            -Knowing God, by J. I. Packer.  Opened my eyes to so much of the greatness and glory of God.  Changed by perspective on life, faith, ministry, etc.

            -The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur.  It came at a good time for me.  I was teaching through Romans and coming to grips with some truths about salvation, election, etc. that were different from what many of my professors had taught.  Reading those same truths from MacArthur was a confirmation that I wasn’t just crazy.  (Well, maybe I am, but still…)
            10 Questions To Diagnose Your Spiritual Health by Don Whitney (along with Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines; that’s cheating I know, but…)  Again, a timing thing.  I had a doctoral seminar with Dr. Whitney and picked up a couple of his books.  I think my own life had become a little stagnant, and so the in depth evaluation and the emphasis on spiritual disciplines came at a really good time. 

If you could study under any theologian in church history (excluding those in the bible) who would it be? Why?

            Sounds cliché, but Spurgeon.  Many may consider him a preacher, not a theologian, but really what’s the difference?  I would love to hear his heart, his motivations, catch a glimpse of his passion up close.  Just reading about his life, reading his sermons can be so challenging and encouraging at the same time, to spend time with him in person would only magnify that. 

What single piece of counsel or criticism has had the most effect on your preaching? 

            Counsel:  A friend in college would remind me constantly, “I know what Dr. So-and-so said in class, but what does the Word of God say?”  That challenge changed the course of my academic life and has stuck in my mind ever since.  Every time we proclaim the Word, it’s not a matter of what men say, what does God say?

            Criticism: We all get criticism, and I know that there have been some hurtful, personal things said to me that have lingered.  But honestly, I can’t say that any of them have affected my preaching.

What books on preaching have you found to be the most helpful to you.

            I recently picked up a copy of the classic Preaching and Preachers by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, but haven’t read it yet.  It may move into this category.  I don’t know that any one book on preaching per se sticks out, but John Piper’s Brothers We Are Not Professionals has been extremely helpful to me for ministry in general.  Of course, Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students is a classic, and just reading old sermons is a great thing for anyone.

Where in ministry are you most tempted to discouragement?

            Just that feeling of hitting a brick wall over and over.  You preach and preach and it seems like sometimes folks just don’t get it.  Some mornings you feel like you’re talking to an empty room.  And then, one day someone comes up and says something about how much this or that comment meant to them, and suddenly it all seems worth it.  Still, just that feeling of not moving forward in our spiritual maturity, constantly seeming to have to cover the same ground, that’s very discouraging.

What do you do for relaxation or leisure? What are your favorite hobbies?

            Spending time with my family.  I like to hunt with my oldest son, discuss books with my daughters, and hang out and generally spoil the youngest boy.  If my wife and I get a chance to get away, we love to have some good Italian food and browse some book stores.

            Hobbies:  reading, cheering on Missouri based teams in baseball and football (and hockey when they’re actually playing!), a little NASCAR, hunting, fishing, obsessing over my favorite bands, and collecting antique hymnals.

If you were not in the ministry what occupational job would you have chosen?

            I spent several years in Christian radio, and I wouldn’t mind doing more of that.  When I have the “unprepared” recurring dream, it swaps between Sunday mornings without a sermon ready, and being at the radio station without any songs ready to go…the dreaded dead air!

Addendum:  Gregg, thanks for doing this.  Spending time putting some of these things on paper (so to speak) has been helpful.  Makes me think, evaluate, etc.  Those are good things.  Thanks again.  


Eddie Eddings said...

God bless the Weldon family! Scott is a caring, brother in Christ. Thanks, Gregg, for the interview.

Yvonne's World of Poetry said...

A wonderful family, thanks for the post Gregg.


Scott said...

I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this, Gregg. I'm really looking forward to reading the others you have lined up for us. (And thanks for the kind words, Mr. Eddings, sir!).

BTW, good move putting a family picture up front. I always come off looking better with my family around. What a blessing they are!