WATCH: E. Dewey Smith Brings Down the House at International Pastors and Leadership Conference

E. Dewey Smith preaching at the International Pastors and Leadership Conference.
E. Dewey Smith preaching at the International Pastors and Leadership Conference.

E. Dewey Smith, pastor of the Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, delivered his keynote address at the 2014 International Pastors and Leadership Conference on Friday night. In his message, titled “What’s Wrong With a Carpenter?”, he called out young Christian leaders who run after ‘royalty but don’t want to imitate carpentry.’ He explained that Jesus Christ was willing to take on the form of a servant even though He is the Son of God and the King of Kings.

E. Dewey Smith challenged Christian leaders to “accept Jesus in totality,” saying, “He is not just a King; He is also a Carpenter.” Smith pointed out that much of Jesus’ life — His birth, His adopted father, His status in society, His death, and His burial — were not indicative of a king. Jesus Christ came to serve.

Smith apologized for young leaders who tried to “duplicate the royalty” of those who have been in ministry for a long time, and who have not been willing to do the hard work of “carpentry.”

Pastor Smith’s main points were that the following three things would happen to a ministry led by a person who had the trappings of success, but no real anointing from the Holy Spirit:

  1. A lack of progress in ministry.
  2. Limited power in the ministry.
  3. A loss of the presence of God in the ministry.

One of the most striking things Pastor Smith said was, ‘If the Holy Spirit left our churches, 80% of us would operate as usual… The truth is, the Holy Spirit left many of our churches a long time ago.’

The audience was responsive and enthusiastic throughout the message, and the night ended with many of the attendees out of their seats and surrounding the stage.

Other powerful statements from E. Dewey Smith’s message are below:

  • Your dream (your wish) is not the same as the will of God.
  • We preach about a Christ that we really have never met.
  • If we don’t know who Jesus is, then we don’t know who we are.
  • We (the young generation) have sought to duplicate royalty instead of imitate carpentry… We don’t mind being kings, but we don’t want to be carpenters.
  • Why is it that many who are just starting out in ministry have 20 members but need security… Preachers, are you “too anointed” to shake hands with people?
  • Maybe your church can’t get any further because you are trying to be a king.
  • Leaders, let your church see that you are the biggest sacrificer and the biggest worker.
  • There will be limited progress and limited power if a leader is caught up in being a king.
  • Ministry is not pretty; it’s rough and tough. You have to get dirty.
  • God has not called us to show our humanity but His divinity!
  • God’s Kingdom cannot come because our kingdom has not gone.
  • The two saddest words in the Bible are not “Jesus wept”, but “He left.”
  • You can’t branch out if Jesus has already walked out.
  • How many of us have killed our ministry chasing after the bling?
  • Have you been called or are you just a Christian capitalist?
  • It’s not about where you sit, it’s about where you serve. It’s not about your title, it’s about your testimony.
  • Too many preachers want the benefit of royalty without the commitment of a carpenter.
  • If you remain a carpenter, one day He can make you a king!

E. Dewey Smith also talked about his new book, A God Dream. The description of the book is below:

Have you ever asked the question, “What happens when I force my wishes to override God’s will?” In this intriguing and thought provoking guide for properly aligning your life, E. Dewey Smith illuminates realities of destiny, dreams, and faith that will aid readers in managing their personal desires and maximizing God’s design for their life “right now.” Employing wisdom gained from over twenty-five years of pastoral experience meshed with a keen and astute academic prowess, Smith illustrates how the will of God is manifested throughout our earthly journey.

Inspired by the biblical story of Joseph, A God Dream embraces the true essence of the concept for dreaming as a glimpse into how we must practice discipline, develop discernment, and employ discretion daily. With the appropriate mix of both secular and sacred, Dr. Smith introduces a creative and unique blend of practical and powerful steps that must be implemented to embrace total success in your future.

If you have ever dreamed and aspire to reach your place of greatness, this book is a must-read!

You can purchase A God Dream online at