Living In Pastor Land

I love and appreciate pastors–always have, always will.

My family loved our pastors. One of my father’s favorite pastors was John Bob Riddle, a man who was my pastor about the time of my birth. He only stayed in Brantley for a few years but my dad never forgot him. Anytime John Bob Riddle was in our vicinity, we traveled to hear him preach and to visit with him for a few minutes.

All of our other pastors were the same way. Some were better pastors and preachers  than others but my folks loved and appreciated them all.

Maybe that is part of the reason God called me to preach.

I certainly love and appreciate my fellow pastors–both those who serve with me at my church and those in other churches.

Being a pastor is a difficult job. Years ago Leith Anderson said the three most difficult jobs in America were being a university president (probably with a losing football team), a hospital administrator, and the pastor of a large church. All three of those positions have diverse constituencies. Could you please doctors, nurses, patients, a board, a taxing authority, and the general public? How about students, alumni, and faculty? All of those have different ideas of how a hospital and a university should be run. It’s no different in a church.

But pastors have two assets hospital administrators and university presidents don’t have.

First, presidents and administrators don’t generally have so many of their constituents praying for them. I thank God for those who pray for me regularly. I particularly appreciate those who say, “you’ve been on my mind and I’ve felt a burden to pray for you.”

Second, those other professions don’t have a large group of encouraging people.

Let me tell you about two of my great encouragers. One will write me from time to time simply to encourage me about something or the other. He will close it by wishing for me a “great day in pastor land.” I don’t know why but I smile every time I read about “pastor land.” People like him make “pastor land” a good place.

Another friend will simply write about something going on in her life or in response to one of my blogs. Recently, she ended it by saying, “Have a wonderful, stress filled week.” She probably meant a “stress free week,” but I liked it the way she wrote. To me it was her way of acknowledging that every week will be filled with the stress of decisions and preparation and the burdens of hurting people.

I have other friends who never forget a birthday or a difficult anniversary.

They all make it nice in Pastor Land.

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5 Responses

  1. Waylon, you are so loved, along with precious Martha. And many people are lifting both of you in prayer daily. However most of us don’t tell you and we should know the importance. FBC Covington is so blessed to have you as our shepherd . Thank you for all you do to make our church run smoothly and God-led.

  2. Waylon, I am praying for you today and wanted you to know. I know this is a difficult time in our church with what is going on with the expansion. God is in control so we will keep on praying. Love you and Martha and thank you for your ministry.

  3. Thank both you and Martha, for all your blogs. I look forward to feeling I hear from you each day as I read your
    blogs and can’t wait for Wed. to read Marthas. You both have meant a lot to me and I continue to pray for both of you.

  4. If your bloggs are intended to provoke thought, then you score 100% with me. I reflected on the Hebrew word Lo-Debar. It, as you, know is also a town. A land without a pastor. It is also: nothing, no word, empty headed. Those are the uses I can think of just off hand.

    You caused me to reflect on a conversation had with my Brother-in-Law by marriage who was here last Sunday. Over lunch, as I was quizzed, I stated that it is my “Educated NOBTS opinion” that a Pastor/Preacher is most effective after his 20th year in the same place and only becomes more effective with each successive year. He asked me how I could say that and I gave him some “Church growth and ministry cycle statistics” from my M-Div days at NOBTS and I reminded him that John T. Curtis performed the ceremony for us and his legacy; the ministry of R.G. Lee who gave First Baptist Church of New Orleans a kick start and then J. D. Gray who put it on the map; the blessings of having met and studied Herschel H. Hobbs (another Alabama boy, but a bit harder start); the privilege of serving with and personal service my family provided to Roger Freeman before he went to Clarksville, TN; the awesome story and ministry of J. Paul Driscoll and his wife Helen, NOBTS’s first female M-Div grad and valedictorian of the class (1944). There are preachers and there are Pastors and a few can walk the walk with the talk in both arenas. Carrying the Vision beyond is the challenge.
    As a trained analyst who has a mind for trends and enough life behind me, with a most unusual path the last 18 years, I am concerned. As Roger told me: it is easy to fall in love with an idea; to preach in the pulpit of R.G. Lee. The following is copied from Roger’s contribution to the R. G. Lee Society of Fellows: “Putting the Miracle Back Into Ministry.” It is only the introduction. I’m sure you can get the rest as can your readers if you have a mind to do so.

    “Even great preachers become discouraged. Dr. Robert G. Lee, pastor from 1927 to 1960 of Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, Tennessee was eminently successful in ministry by any possible measurement. He even preached one sermon, “Pay Day Some Day,” over twelve hundred times. Yet Dr. Lee was known to say publicly, “If I had taken one step West each time I thought of quitting the ministry, I’d be in the middle of the Pacific Ocean by now!” Every pastor, even Dr. Lee, eventually needs a radically fresh touch from God.

    All pastors begin their ministry with the miracle of a sense of divine call, enthusiasm, and passion for future usefulness. Dr. George W. Truett, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas from 1898 to 1944, often said that all people are “bound up together in the bundle of life.” This ” bundle of life” and the trials of real life warfare in ministry can cause us to loose this sense of heavenly, miraculous calling. We loose our sharp edge. Discouragement, doubt, and defeat rob our ministry of its miracle.

    Our God who “works all things together for good” (Romans 8:28) has made ample provision for the man of God to put the miracle back into ministry. This is what our moving Bible story is about as recorded in II Kings 6:1-7.”


  5. Copied… Apropos?

    At the king’s table there is peace
    At the king’s table there is joy
    At the king’s table there is contentment
    At the king’s table there is protection
    At the king’s table there is forgiveness
    At the king’s table there is healing
    At the king’s table there is a future for me
    At the king’s table there is hope
    At the king’s table there is life

    He is calling you out of Lodebar today!

    Out of destruction
    Out of fear
    Out of bondage
    Out of poverty
    Out of sin

    Come out of Lodebar!

    Lodebar is a place of disappointment

    God is calling you out of Lodebar! Heed to His call today!

    Hear my prayer O Lord!
    Let this cry come unto Thee.

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