By Robert Earl Houston
Hello everyone. It’s been a while. I’ve just been super-busy in life lately and I don’t want to fall down the “gotta put something out” rabbit hole every week. I pray you’re doing well.
Many years ago I served in a community on the west coast and there was a pastor of a rather good sized church who had a strange paradigm – he was ridiculously complimentary of any church and pastor that was “at his level” or larger . . . But when it came to “smaller” pastors and churches, he was dismissive even to a point of being nasty about it.
I think one of the problems in the pastoral ranks is that we’ve starting ranking pastors. I appreciate the T.D. Jakeses, the Joel Osteens, the Paul Mortons, the Joseph Walkers, the Kenneth Ulmers . . . But there are pastors right in my community, my state who have preached just as fervently, love their churches just as passionately and they may not have grand stages, they are making a difference in their communities.
In my home community of Portland, OR, there was a pastor named Jerry G. Myers. Pastor Myers came up through the ranks at my mom’s home church, Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, and he pastored a congregation, 50 miles away in Longview, Washington. Pastor Myers was faithful. Man, I don’t know if I could have done it, but he made the distance to that church, even sometimes when it was just him and a handful of people who trod out in the snow. He was well respected and lived to be over 100. He was celebrated by his peers. No, he didn’t see 500 a Sunday. No, he didn’t have a choir and excellent organist. No, he didn’t appear on CBN or TBN or The Word Network. But Jerry Myers was faithful.
You can learn (and appreciate) the work and ministry of any pastor – no matter the site of his church. I’ve lived long enough to hear people equate crowd with blessings . . . But it was a crowd that rebelled against Moses in the desert. It was a crowd that put David on the run when Absalom was after him. And we all know, it was a crowd that cried out “crucify HIm” against Jesus, our Christ.
So this is my appeal – celebrate EVERYONE. Even if you have to do so on credit until you get an understanding of their circumstance. Birthday? Celebrate them. Anniversary? Celebrate them. Accomplishment, large or small? Celebrate them. To not celebrate a colleague is to create an impression that “you’re too big” or “two shallow.”
Maybe the reason why people don’t rejoice with you is because you don’t rejoice with them.
Consider this. Paul never pastored but he heaped praise upon those who did. Selah.