The Preacher Who Could Not Celebrate

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.

8 responses

  1. Dr. Houston thanks so much for a very clear and appropriate article on this issue I agree whole heartily
    Again thanks

  2. Great article Pastor Houston and very relevant as well.

  3. Very well said this is a big problem in the church today. In some churches the members cannot even shake the pastor hand and a lot of these so called big preachers; have bodyguards. One of the biggest preachers I personally knew was humble and personable. I was his driver during the Western Baptist Convention and I was not pastoring at the time. But he introduced me to his wife and his whole family and invited me to preach at his church. Dr. Manuel L Scott Sr the President of the convention also gave me advice and books to help my ministry. Dr Scott could have been puffed up but was not . A good look at God should stop all this pride.

  4. I believe the backbone of any church is not the main congregation but those few prayer warriors who show up faithfully for prayer meeting. Likewise the backbone of this or any nation are small storefront type churches pastored by incredibly faithful men and women of God. All leaders of God’s people, megachurch or not should be equally respected.

  5. Nathaniel Foster, Memphis, Tennessee 38107 | Reply

    Pastor Houston: I ran across your blog ?? (no respect intended) last year and sir I was so glad to find someone that gave out the information that your articles carry. I sent your blog to the desktop of my computer so that everyday I cut my computer on, I would open to see if you had something new to say. You never blast anyone, just good news and what we need to know. We now know about the great churches and great black preachers across the nation and when churches are empty and etc. We know when great preachers has passed on and above all about their accomplishments while ministering. Your article above was so enlightening and this will help all of those preachers that are just as you described. They know that they should not be this way and the message fits them. While they have breath in their body, they can change and God will cast it in the sea of forgiveness from them. They can not make it in and get in the kingdom the way they are. For there are none perfect but GOD and He will be the judge and what we do in the body now will face us and come up again in the end days when we go before the Master. Bless you and your Kentucky church and family and keep on spreading the good news, I love it and greatly benefit from you articles. Nathaniel Foster, Memphis, Tennessee

    1. Thank you so much. I appreciate your words of encouragement. Memphis is one of my favorite towns (especially for catfish). May the Lord bless you . . .

  6. I met that Pastor. His name was R.L. Toney. My Grandfather. He could preach the horns off a Billy goat, and yet he was content to serve the “handful” of sheep God had entrusted to his care.

  7. It’s not the man…it’s the land. Great to see you back on the keys, pastor!

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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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