A Message To Pastors

Here is a post from my cousin Myrna Groff in response to Francis Chan’s decision to leave a mega-church to go overseas to minister. It’s a reminder from a small church pastor in the middle of Kansas what ministry is all about.  She grew up in Salinas, Kansas.  You would never know about Salinas unless you had a reason to be there.  I visited once when I was a child and this small town had a profound affect on me.  I believe I met this man she is speaking of.

When I was a child my mother & grandmother (Holland’s great-grandmother) attended a small Baptist Church here in S W Kansas. The Sunday Sermon was the focus of the week, as was the “hymn of invitation” that was always offered up at the end... of the service. No one dwelled on the songs sang, they were ALWAYS the same, wonderful beloved Baptist hymns, the flowers in the church (there were rarely any) or Mrs. Jones new hairdo or beautiful, colorful suit. The preacher was there for 1 thing on Sunday morning and that was to refill the souls of those who were already Christians and to ignite the fire of our Lord in those who had not accepted Christ our Savior into their lives. 

He worked hard to bring new (and old) to dedicate or rededicate their lives to Christ. He never gloated in his looks, the sound of his voice or the glory his sermon brought him. He ministered to US, his sheep, much as Jesus ministered to those who followed him. Rev. Wilhite was a wonderful man, full of fire and brimstone and fear for the lord. What a priviledge it was to listen to him, just an ordinary preacher, that tended to his flock, because that was his one and only job. 

Many years later I found out that Rev. Wilhite had passed away after a long battle with alzheimers, that horrible disease that took my mother away from our family. What a shame that the dear pastor who molded and formed my religious backbone had to live and die in that manner, but then I realized that after all, he was just a man, just a preacher… He was just like the rest of us, but he was sent to deliver a message to us here in this little town and to those who came after our little congregation. 

Every minister, pastor or Reverend (whichever they chose to be called) has his glory, his ups and downs and his own “deamons” if you must, but only after much soul searching can each man/woman decide where his path will lead him. I have KNOWN some ministers who were “too popular, too well known” and those minister’s usually wandered away from their home church and out into the world of fame and $$$. 

Thank God that Rev. Chan has taken a breather to decide just what the Lord wants of him. More ministers need to do as he did, step back and take a look at themselves for the sake of their church and their “sheep” so they aren’t the revered one, but keep God as the focus of their church and its people.

 A few closing remarks…
I had someone once say to me I’m a “his churches name”-ite.  You could fill in the name of your church or your whatever your “god” of choice is.  You could be a Worship Life-ite or a Vineyard-ite or a Calvary Chapel-ite or a modern-ite or a traditional-ite.  You could be uptight and outasight.  I thought to myself, I just want to be known as a Christian… not as a “my church name”-ite.  We need more pastor’s like this in America.  I hope to be one of them.

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