When it comes to creating a high-profile ministry, Pastor Tommy Watson can hold his own with the most famous TV evangelists. He pastored a Florida church with its own TV show, and he was the longtime chaplain for the NFL’s Miami Dophins. But in his aptly named memoir When God Opens a Door … Run Through It, Watson and his wife Mollie run at full speed toward less glamorous adventures, too — like smuggling Bibles into the old Soviet Union, or, after its collapse, going back to build schools and bring supplies there.
Watson’s willingness to take on God’s toughest, most quirky, assignments makes for an absorbing spiritual page turner. And pages turn at a very fast clip. Most of his anecdotes, roughly 50 in all, come in small morsels. Sometimes, that makes for a quick, lively read; sometimes it leaves the reader wanting more.
In one story, Watson, well known as a past NFL chaplain, tries to coax OJ Simpson, after his famous acquittal, into attending a prayer conference to learn more about God. OJ shrugs off the idea, and the brief sketch ends on an “if only” note. But throughout, Watson stays true to his message, which is to keep searching for your own awesome passageways: “Don’t wait around! Run through that open door and experience the miracles God has for you.”
While his style is folksy, Watson’s stories move along in a brisk, no-nonsense style and often end with the unexpected twist. What was the secret of the sweet, elderly lady from his hometown church? How would God “rescue” the missionary injured in a car accident overseas? Watson uses every circumstance to share his faith, and his life’s work, as a globetrotting preacher.
“I love preaching!” he writes. Lucky for readers, he also loves telling about it.
BlueInk Heads Up: This book will appeal to Christians who are either enthusiastic about their faith or feel a need for a deeper connection to it, as well as pastors and church leaders who want ideas on how to make their own ministries more effective.