Celebrate those in the Trenches

IMG_8271by Robert Earl Houston

Often times, we in the modern church have a tendency to celebrate only the successful.

We celebrate and program those of “mega status” and we celebrate (rightfully) their accomplishments. The crowds. The traffic. The lights. The celebrity of it all.

However, I think we do ourselves a disservice when we celebrate the celebrities of the Kingdom and overlook those who are in the trenches, below ground, who may not have the five star worship experience – but they are solid in the faith.

For years I attended the WHW and E.K. Bailey Conferences which are mostly populated by pastors and ministers who are not household names to the nation, but they are household names in their communities. Some of them pastor and work full-time jobs. Some of them pastor in cities with less than 500,000 in populations. Some (like me) are in a “in-between” community – it’s not the city, but it’s not the rural area.

But all of us have to prepare sermons each week. All of us have to prepare Bible Studies each week. All of us have to visit the sick and shut in. All of us have to burn midnight oil and balance the life of ministry, family, and at the same time maintain a balance focused.

There are pastors and ministers that you’ve never heard of that can “preach the horns off a billy goat.” My former pastor, Bishop Darryl S. Brister used to say that “most preachers are just one exposure away from greatness.” I honor today those who are not in the mega churches but their pulpits are major, in the words of Dr. Melvin Von Wade, Sr.

There are pastors and ministers that are theological geniuses, counseling experts, entrepaneurs extraordinaire, gifted teachers, with congregations of less than 150, who won’t ever make it to TBN or BET. They won’t be on the Preachers of Multnomah County or the Preachers of Fox County or the Preachers of Abilene, but they are solid, solid preachers.

I’ve pastored two congregations in very large cities – Porltand and San Diego; Served a congregation on staff in Nashville. I’ve pastored in a large city – Fresno; and now I pastor in an “in-between city” albeit a state capital city – Frankfort, Kentucky; There is a dynamic in all five cities – there are preachers of every stripe, talent, gift and ability. Some of who pastor congregations that are not large in membership, but the pastoral preaching and teaching they receive is off the charts.

So, while we celebrate those on thrones, I pray we celebrate those in trenches.


4 responses

  1. Boisy N. Waiters | Reply

    These pastors should be appreciated and honored because they are in the trenches.

  2. “We celebrate and program those of “mega status” and we celebrate (rightfully) their accomplishments. The crowds. The traffic. The lights. The celebrity of it all.”

    Respectfully, you can take my name out of the “We” crowd. I’ve seen what this Pavlov reward system does to churches. We are training the new preachers and their listeners to understand and value performance, crowds and personality. We lift up the Empire builders and push down the Kingdom builders.

    Your casual use of “Celebrity” reminds me of two men fighting over status and comparative jockeying over who would sit on His right. The very same Jesus we serve today remains to be sorrowed by our posturing and pontificating with cleverness and one-up-man-ship. We practice such overshadow today and think nothing of it.

    The Spirit of God is grieved but we don’t care because we have wealth and numbers.

    Look for the fruits. That’s right, they are covered up or non-existent. Look at the disciples we are creating. That’s right. The world with Jesus cosmetically painted on.

    I can’t celebrate Celebrity Mr. Houston. I won’t. But I might when signs of Christ-likeness begin showing up. Start with the Ministers parking place being placed at the greatest distance. Give the best and closest to the visitor, the poor, lame. I have seen the “ministers” of whom you speak. I note the cars, jewelry, fabric, style, swagger and so does the lost world. No thanks–Give Me Jesus.

    We now have vicarious worship of celeb motivational speakers, not humble servants in the mold of the Savior. We can just cut Philippians 2 out of the bible to better manage our conscience. Such practice today is Off the Charts!

  3. Pastor Houston, your timely remarks are very encouraging and I have been enriched by you presence at WHW and your ministry; thank you so much for this word. James Perkins

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by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

About life, preaching, church, books, and other stuff.

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