I just got off of the phone with a pastor who is going through a storm with his congregation. I talked with him, prayed with him, tried to encourage him and he asked me about leaving his church. I wrote this piece several years ago and I am posting it on his behalf, and on behalf of Pastors who are going through overwhelming struggles and the affect is destroying themselves and their families.
It needs to be said that I am a blessed pastor. God has given me a great congregation, First Baptist Church, and He has done great things in this ministry marriage the past three years. However, I know many a pastor who are not experiencing a fulfilling and healthy ministry.
I pray this will help someone:
1. When you drive up to the church, and your blood pressure starts to go through the roof – it’s time to go.
2. When you put your keys in the door and dread walking through the door – it’s time to go.
3. When you feel more appreciated by people from other churches than the people you serve – it’s time to go.
4. When the church constantly remains in turmoil – it’s time to go.
5. When the church is affecting your quality of life with your family – it’s time to go.
6. When you Pastor only in the pulpit and nowhere else – it’s time to go.
7. When they gladly pay a guest preacher but have issues paying you – it’s time to go.
8. When the “powers that be” are in open rebellion and God seemingly is opening doors to other pastoral opportunities – it’s time to go.
9. When it looks like you’ve finished the work or assignments that God sent you there to do in the first place – it’s time to go.
10. Finally, when you come to the pulpit consistently with “day old bread” instead of a fresh word – it’s time to go.
We are saddened to announce the homegoing of a dear brother in the Lord, Dr. James Rodgers, pastor of the Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Garland, TX and former pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Sacramento, California, and other congregations where he served faithfully. He passed away on Monday, September 10, 2012.
I met Dr. Rodgers while serving as Pastor of Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church in Fresno, California and we served together in the St. John Missionary District Baptist Association, the largest District Association west of St. Louis. We were co-lecturers together in the St. John District H.F. Dean Ministers Institute and in the California Missionary Baptist State Convention’s S.M. Lockridge Ministers Institute – both institutes were managed by Rev. Bryant C. Wyatt, Sr. and myself, by the gracious supporter of Moderator Ray W. Williams and State President C.E. Gaines.
Dr. Rodgers was gracious enough to extend the pulpit of Shiloh to me on several occasions. My wife was and her parents still are members of Shiloh and matter of fact, I actually candidated there once when they were seeking a pastor, two pastors prior to Dr. Rodgers’ arrival. The last time I preached there was in 2008 for their Family and Friends Day and I have a plaque on my wall in my home office that reads: “An Award of Grateful Appreciation Presented to Dr. Robert Houston, for being Guest Speaker for our 2005 Annual Family Day and the Second FRANTASTIC (Family, Relatives and Neighbors) Day Service. This 25th Day of September 2005, Shiloh Baptist Church, Dr. James B. Rodgers, Pastor, Sacramento, CA.”
Dr. Rodgers was somebody’s preacher! He was heavy theologically and was down-to-earth, no-nonsense preacher who extracted excellence from everyone around him. He was a man of few words in meetings, but when he spoke, he commanded the attention of the entire room. He will be sorely missed. Please remember Sis. Rodgers and their family in your prayers.
Friday, September 14, 2012 – (Time TBA)
Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, Garland, TX
Saturday, September 15, 2012 – 11:00 a.m. (CST)
Mt. Hebron Baptist Church, Garland, TX
Dr. Leonard O. Leach, Pastor
Those unforgettable images still ring in what Dr. Levi Baldwin, Jr. used to call “the museum of my memory.” The world literally stood still as we watched the breaking news of a “fire” at the World Trade Center, only to discover that it was the aftermath of a plane collision and then to hear of the hijacking of airplanes from Boston airport, we soon began to understand that this was going to be one of the monumental events of US history. It has changed our lives.
It has forever changed our lives. The phrase “TSA” was foreign to us on September 10. The many regulations that we gladly accept in lieu of our safety has been immense. There are those who still are not whole or made whole by the loss of loved ones, commerce, relationships, etc.
One thing the enemies of this nation may have miscounted is this – we are at our best under pressure. Even though we have political leanings we are very much American. Even though we have divisions that range from age to sex to religion – we are very much American. We don’t have a perfect country – but we all claim it as ours.
May God heals those hearts, and may He continue to bless the USA.