Seven guys in a room.
Seven guys sitting, talking, joking — listening. Seven guys sharing their hurts and hopes, their sorrows and joys. Seven guys who care.
Seven guys whose friendship goes back more than 20 years, whose collective hairs are turning gray, whose lives have gone through more changes than a chorus member in a Broadway musical.
Seven guys who get together three or four times a year to console or congratulate each other, to cheer or challenge, to catch up on what’s new and what’s coming.
We call ourselves the Dead Preacher’s Society. We’re not dead yet, and some of us don’t preach as often as we used to, but the society goes on, the support goes on, the deep down sense of being known-and- still-loved goes on.
Toward the end of a crazily hectic week, an evening of laughing and listening and reflecting on life with those guys is a long drink of water for a thirsty soul.
We have to keep meeting like this.
[Though our group long predates the Peer Learning Group initiative of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, we’re also a part of that. For more information and developing a similar group, contact Steve Graham at CBF (email@example.com)].
Professor of Old Testament at Campbell University Divinity School in Buies Creek, North Carolina, and the Contributing Editor and Curriculum Writer at Good Faith Media.