By Michael Evans
Most everyone has heard the story about the turtle found atop the fence post and how that we can be sure that the turtle did not get that high by himself and must have had help.
Pastors and these turtles are somewhat alike in that they find themselves at heights they may never have expected to be and they are there because of the support of the Holy Spirit and their family and hopefully, their congregation. Most good pastors know that their position is a precarious and a fragile existence and they have heard the horror stories of pastors being let go faster than the forming of a Texas tornado. They have also heard the dreaded phone call after midnight when a member frantically begs for help after losing a loved one unexpectedly.
Never mind that the same voice on the line may have once half jestingly told that pastor that he should be ashamed for taking a salary for only working 2 hours a week. The pastor will dutifully get going to help as fast as possible and though he may think as he drives about how that comment hurt him and his wife then, he will not protest openly that for that one salary the church is getting at minimum two for one and sometimes more from him and his family.
I feel almost guilty when I tell other pastors that I have a better church than I deserve and that my main mission there is to not mess things up. Sadly, this is not the case in some churches. But every church could be the blessing that my church is to me by doing only a few simple things.
One is to just let go of a few compliments as easily as teasing the pastor or his wife comes for some. And although a smile at them might seem likely to break the faces of some in the congregation, it would likely be reflected back and could even start a chain reaction that might break out into laughter and good fellowship.
I know that we all are concerned about baptisms and giving and rightly so, but the gift of a hug or a smile or a kind word to the pastor and his family might be the best thing you will do for the Lord and His kingdom cause this Sunday. A hug or a smile not given is tantamount to a plane leaving the airport for a destination with an empty seat when someone may have desperately needed to be on that plane.
So would you please help to “Save the Louisiana Baptist Pastor Turtles on a fence post” this week by supporting your pastor and giving an “attaboy” or “attagirl”! You have my permission to start an organization or form a committee and make yourself the chairman. It could catch fire.
But more importantly, you could catch yourself on fire for the Lord and begin a revival in your church. The great 1904 Welsh Revival began with just one little girl standing up and proclaiming her love for Jesus Christ to the whole congregation.
The Evil One knows that the message of Christ cannot be diminished and so he attacks the messenger of the Lord. Please do not ever aid him in that quest. Pastors are human and when they are wrong, then correction should be instituted.
But if that pastor or his family is not doing anything illegal or immoral or perhaps fattening….then cut them some slack and pray for them and encourage them. Trust me. They really do need it and will appreciate it and so will I and so will the Lord.
Michael Evans is pastor of Elwood Baptist Church in Forest Hill.