In a series of lectures delivered at Campbell University from March 1-2, Dr. Clemens delivered important advices into living a life of missions. Dr. Hardy is no stranger to the ministry field, having preached and served God for forty years. This is the first time that lectures into preaching have been delivered at the university. The school plans to hold such lectures annually for future students as well.
Clemens has ministered in various churches in the states of Texas and Georgia. Clemons has worked closely with various theological seminaries, including teaching at the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia, the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Switzerland, and the M. Christopher White School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC. He has also been the pastor-in-residence at the School of Psychiatry at the University of Louisville, Kentucky.
In the message, Clemens talked at lengths about the importance of preaching according to the person and the situation. Clemens believes that preaching is doomed to failure if applied with the method of “one size fits all.” Instead, Clemens argues, the true “heart of ministry is to tell the truth and trust the people.”
Also Clemens advocated the use of lectionaries during preaching. Clemens said that lectionaries, which are books containing various scriptures, are fundamental in delivering effective and powerful messages. “For years I was afraid that using a lectionary would take away my freedom,” he later said, “but it worked in the opposite way. It is spiritually uncanny to me how well scriptures in the lectionary relate to local and national news as well as personal situations.”
Clemens also emphasized the importance of preparing well before delivering the word of God. He stated that it wasn’t effective to pray for the Lord to just fill ones mouth with words. God, Clemens says, only fills the mouths of those who prepare well to deliver his words.
Other things that Clemens talked about included the issue of locating an area for ministry. Clemens brought up the importance of going beyond the comfort zone in terms of preaching. “Find some areas that relate to other people besides yourself,” Clemons urged. “Drink deep from the well of tradition, but also get outside of the little blue lines.”