Skip to main content

Fred Winters

I received a message from a friend of mine a little while ago about a mutual friend of ours. This morning Fred Winters was shot during their first worship service in Maryville, Illinois. Details are still sketchy, but it appears that Fred died because of his faith. My heart goes out to his wife and daughters.

In 2000 I took a class with Fred at SBTS. Fred was not a person who was easily forgotten. I remember Fred as a passionate pastor with a fervent love for lost people. I also remember a prolonged debate I had with Fred about preaching styles. Fred was right, and I have since changed my preaching style. Fred leaves a wonderful legacy of faithfulness and tenacity. He was not afraid to do church differently, and thousands of people came to Christ through his witness.

Fred’s death reminds me of the need to make the days count. His death reminds me of the new world we have entered. Times are certainly changing.

Comments

James said…
When I heard the story, the success of the church's growth, and the connection to the seminary. It all had a familiar ring.

Didn't know whether at some point you or Todd had made mention of him, perhaps neither, but it seemed to sound very familiar.

Tragic and unnecessary. One of those things I struggle to get my hands around, followed by another episode in Alabama (Anywhere close to home?).

You remain in our prayers.
21k said…
Yeah, weird week. My first pastorate was in Samson. I also served as interim pastor of another church in Samson. Tough times.

Popular posts from this blog

Why people don't go to church

As a pastor, one of the consuming questions with which I wrestle is “Why don’t people go to church?” In particular, the question is “Why don’t people come to my church?” If you doubt that people are opinionated, ask this question to a group of church people on a Wednesday night. I’ve studied church growth for several years, and I have a number of opinions about the matter myself. But, I wonder if we are asking the right question to the wrong people.

Several researchers in the last few years have begun asking people who don’t attend church why they don’t attend church, and the answers are interesting. George Barna asked this question and provided the answers in his book, Grow Your Church from the Outside In. The top five reasons that people gave for not attending church comprise 83% of the reasons why people don’t come to church.

1. No time; schedule conflicts; working 26%
2. Not interested; nothing to offer; no reason 16%
3. Don’t know 15%
4. My beliefs are different than the church’s 14%
5…

Casper the friendly atheist

Allow me to put on my educational hat for a review. I freely admit that it is much easier to critique a book than it is to write one.

Book review: Jim and Casper Go to Church

I recently read a new book, Jim and Casper Go to Church, and it has sparked my thinking related to church growth. Jim (a former Pentecostal preacher) hired Casper (a self-proclaimed atheist) to attend church services with him and give his impressions of the services. The premise of the book was irresistible to me as I wish to see the church from the blind side of Johari’s window. I enjoyed the case studies in this book, but I think the authors went too far with their applications.

Jim and Matt’s book was worth the read for me because it made me think, but not for the reasons the authors intended. All truth claims must be evaluated before acceptance into the core of church life. I think that this book fails to provide compelling evidence of truth for most churches.

From a research standpoint the book says more than it…

The Hypocrisy Card

Several years ago I served as pastor of a church in Alabama. I was energetic and frequently visited people door-to-door style like a candy bar salesman. During one such encounter a husband and wife (Let’s call them Bob and Susan.) invited me into their home. The couple’s house was adjacent to our church property, and from their living room window you could see right into my church office. I was exuberant as I presented my pitch to the party. After a few minutes of my exquisite presentation, I extended the invitation for the couple to join us for worship.

As I paused and pondered the precision of my performance, Bob quickly enlightened me concerning the dysfunctional nature of our church. Bob said that they no longer attended church (our church in particular) because people in the church are hypocrites. He cited numerous examples of hypocrisy including Sunday school teachers who frequented bars. He saw people from our church at these polluted places that he also patronized for…uhm… rese…