Feature Article

Brian Sanders ‘What If”

What if…

I once had a seminary professor who said, “Ladies and Gents, to help you feel a passage – consider you were filming a movie and you’re the director. How does the “script” make you think they’re feeling? How should they portray that feeling? What are they thinking as these events are happening?”

The shepherds in the field watching their flocks by night.


Here’s what Luke says about them:

“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:8-10)

So, you’re out there in your field.  Just you and your sheep.  In the distance, you can see candles lit in the windowsills of various homes.  It’s quiet. It’s a pretty normal existence for a person of that time period.  

This night was to be no different than any other night.

Suddenly, the pasture lights up in an instant.

You see these beings.

And these beings are telling you not to be afraid.

Sounds like something you’d see at 2am on the Discovery Channel.  “Ancient Israeli UFO’s: The Evidence.”  


Here’s what gets me…the angel said, “Fear not..” and the very next few verses the Shepherds are off to see the baby Jesus.

That seems unreal to me that they would calm down that fast.

Let’s say I’m in this pasture guarding sheep.  (Lord, I like lamb on a  plate with mint jelly but I don’t care for them in a pasture so please don’t let this be some prophecy.)

Here I am in this pasture guarding my flock.


A bright light turns the night to day.  It’s the glory of God shining.

An angel shows up to talk to me.

At this point in the story, this fat man could probably win the Boston marathon due the speed at which I’m moving.  


There’s the flaw in my thinking.  

I’ve made it all about me in the story.

I’ve made it all about the shepherds and how unbelievable it is.


Here are the real questions…

What if God had prepared the hearts of the shepherds?

What if He had softened them?

What if God had put the right shepherds in the right place at the right time?


Let’s face it.  God has a track record of doing that.


Dear Christian Radio, how does this help us?

Someone you really trust and count on quits on a Tuesday.

Be assured.  God is preparing the right person to fill that job.

You have an on-air fundraiser fast approaching and you worry if donors will actually call.  Do people care?  

Trust that God is preparing the hearts of the people to call and support.

Your underwriting reps hear many rejections in the course of a week.

Using this passage, help them realize God is softening the hearts of some business owners to support the ministry.


If God can prepare the hearts of some shepherds for the shock and experience of a lifetime, surely He’s able to prepare the hearts of future employees, donors and business sponsors.   


As a leader, I have a hard time trusting God to handle situations.

I think it’s up to me.  

The right decision…the right person…hitting the goal…this is all up to me.

What if I stepped back and asked Him to prepare the hearts of those that I will interact with?  

It might help me grow as a leader.


Take heart.

You’re not alone in the struggle and doubt of leadership.

But He hasn’t abandoned us.

He’s preparing the hearts.

Trusting Him is hard…but then again…easy never changed the world.




Brian is the Executive Vice President of Positive Alternative Radio in Blacksburg.  PAR has five brands which include Spirit FM in Lynchburg, VA; WCQR in Kingsport, TN; Positive Hits, WPER in Richmond/Fredericksburg, VA; Joy FM in Winston Salem, NC; Walk FM in Ashland, KY, Huntington,WV. Contact Brian at brian@parfm.com