If Your Pastor Is The Talk Of The Town

If your pastor is the talk of the town, it’s probably not good. In fact, it may be downright ugly.

But, there are many examples of people who practiced their faith and lived in godliness. About a year ago, I read about Rees Howells, a leader in the Welsh Revival of the early 1900’s. He lived in such close proximity with God that a stranger came to town and asked for directions to the house of the man who was controlled by the Holy Spirit. The local man who heard the request was not taken aback by such an unusual request but simply guided him to the home of Rees Howells. He was the “talk of the town.”

Recently, I have spent a lot of time studying Philippians and specifically 1:12-14 where Paul says that what happened to him (capture, trials, shipwreck, and imprisonment) had actually served to advance the gospel.

This is how I think that happened. In prison, Paul was constantly guarded by a Roman soldier. Paul noted that the entire praetorian guard and many others had come to the conclusion that Paul was in prison because of his love and devotion for Christ.

Under this constant guard, one guard relieved another. Therefore, many guards came in contact with Paul. As a Roman citizen he was allowed to receive guests and write letters. The guards would have heard all the interactions of Paul and others–even with the guards themselves!

These hardened soldiers would be the very last to be impressed by a prisoner, but impressed they were. They saw his patience, courage, gentleness, and his unwavering commitment to the Christ who saved him.

Though they may have at first questioned who Paul was and what angle he was working, they soon came to see his genuineness and devotion. They then began to spread the news that this was a remarkable man who had been visited by Jesus of Nazareth, the one who had been crucified and then raised from the dead.

The news spread from guard to guard, to the families of the guards, to Caesar’s household (Philippians 4:22) and to the inhabitants of Rome in general. “Paul’s case and even better, Christ’s cause, became ‘the talk of the town’ “(William Hendriksen, Philippians, 69).

God wants all his pastors and followers to be the “talk of the town” because of our faithfulness to Him and devotion to gentleness and good works. We should be known for our love for the brethren and for our integrity. Our lives should be a reflection of Christ and not a reflection on Christ.

May we be a people devoted to love and good works.

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  1. Lonnie Wascom
    May 28, 2013

    Wow! Have you had a spy in my office? Sadly, quite often the reason for your opening is found in the lives of the pastors themselves. How often it could be said of those who shepherd God’s flock that which Walt Kelly said many years ago of the Viet Nam quagmire via his swamp characters in the strip “Pogo”: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” I never cease to pray for you and all our Northshore Baptist Association pastors.

    • Waylon
      May 28, 2013

      Yes, we have seen far too many of these kinds of situations. May God work so in our lives that we show Christ in all we do.

  2. Ed Matthew
    May 28, 2013



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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. — Psalm 119:165 (NIV)