taking the words of Jesus seriously

Years ago I was at one of those preach offs that are held in mainly African American churches. Of course it is labeled as a time for pastors to preach in consecutive order all for the “glory of God.” But we all know that for the pastor it is a time to one up the pastor before him. It’s like a playoff game for pastors!

When I got up there I sent that church into roars of hallelujahs and Amens! Leaving the stage I felt bad for the guy who had to follow. However, when he got up there and began speaking something extraordinary happened. It began slowly. . .”it’s friday but sunday’s coming.” Then escalated, “It’s Friday but Sunday’s Coming.” Until finally, “IT’S FRIDAY BUT SUNDAY’S COMING.” This continued for over an hour! Needless to say, this moment has morphed into my “trademark” sermon (if a pastor can have one).

Watch a video of me telling the story below:

About The Author


Tony Campolo is Professor of Sociology at Eastern University, and was formerly on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. For 40 years, he founded and led the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an organization that created and supported programs serving needy communities in the Third World as well as in “at risk” neighborhoods across North America. More recently, Dr. Campolo has provided leadership for the Red Letter Christians movement. He blogs regularly at his own website. Tony and his wife Peggy live near Philadelphia, and have two children and four grandchildren.

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