"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
Warren Bird (www.warrenbird.com) credits Lyle Schaller’s speaking and books as a major influence in his development. Warren is one of the nation's leading researchers of church leaders, focusing on high-impact congregations recognized for their health, evangelism and leadership development. He is the director of research for Leadership Network, a non-profit that provides peer groups and resources for innovative church leaders. An award-winning writer, Warren has collaboratively authored 24 books and more than 200 magazine articles or online reports, all on subjects related to church health. An ordained minister, he has been a church planter and staff pastor. He graduated from Wheaton College and Graduate School (B.A., M.A.), Alliance Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Fordham University (Ph.D.) in sociology of religion, and has served as an adjunct professor at Alliance Theological Seminary since 1995. He and his wife Michelle live in metro New York City. They have two grown children.