What is your job title outside of church?
VP and Associate Publisher, Bible Group, HarperCollins Christian Publishers
What is your title in the church?
Associate Pastor, St. Ignatius Christian Orthodox Church
How far in advance to you prepare for services?
I begin preparations one week prior to the service.
What do you do if you feel stuck, creatively?
Take a break from the prep and come back to it later. Taking a break gives time for thoughts to fall into place and give perspective on what I’ve done to that point.
What is the worst thing that’s ever happened to you on the pulpit and how did you recover?
The worst thing was getting a phone call while driving to church one Sunday. The pastor (who normally does the preaching) was calling to say he was taking his wife to the hospital and needed me to take over. What did I do? Kept the homily brief and to the point.
What is one ritual that keeps you sane in busy times?
I’m not sane so there is no ritual that helps. But if I were sane, I think the calming ritual would be either to work a crossword puzzle to focus my attention or to direct my attention to nature, to enter some “breathing” space.
If you could give one piece of advice to those graduating from seminary school, what would it be?
If you don’t have the ability to laugh at yourself, you’re in trouble.
Bob Sanford was born and raised a Texan and later became a Tennessean. After graduating from Vanderbilt Divinity School, he entered the world of Christian publishing in the Bible Department at Thomas Nelson Publishers. Bob has continued in that capacity at HarperCollins Christian Publishing. He currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee with wife, children and grandchildren. He also serves as Associate Pastor at St. Ignatius Christian Orthodox Church in Franklin, Tennessee.