You might be a preacher if…

Published 10:31 am Friday, October 22, 2010

October is National Clergy Appreciation Month so I would like to dedicate this article to the men and women who have faithfully answered God’s call to preach the gospel.

Currently, there are more than 500,000 pastors serving in Christian churches in the United States, including some 300,000 senior pastors.

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy became famous several years ago with his “you might be a redneck” catch phrase. That comedy routine catapulted him to A-list status.

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Authors/preachers Stan Toler & Mark Hollingsworth recently wrote a book with a title similar to Foxworthy’s coined phrase. The book is entitled, “You Might Be a Preacher If….” It’s a light-hearted look at the life of preachers. Here are a few excerpts from their book:

You might be a preacher if you’ve ever fantasized about “re-baptizing” a deacon.

You might be a preacher if you’re leading the church into the 21st century, but don’t know what you’re preaching on Sunday.

You might be a preacher if you have a key ring that’s bigger than the high school custodian’s.

You might be a preacher if you’ve ever wanted to wish people a “Merry Christmas” at Easter ‘cause that’s the next time you’ll see them.

You might be a country preacher if you’ve ever been asked to do the invocation at a hog-callin’ contest.

You might be a preacher if you’d rather talk to people with every head bowed and every eye closed.

Someone once said, “Pastoring a church combines all the features of crossing the Grand Canyon on a tightrope, lunching with Gargantua, and chasing a rainbow. A pastor needs the sprint of the “Boy who stood on the burning deck”, the intestinal fortitude of Hercules, and the courage of David meeting Goliath.

Doing the most important job in the country, the pastor must tackle the tasks of Superman, and while doing it, he/she is considered a legitimate target for indiscriminate rock heaving.”

To state the situation a little more elegantly and scripturally: the pastor needs the power of the Spirit, the love of God, and the grace, wisdom, and patience of Christ, to carry on with his or her great work.

Stan Toler summed it up this way: “You’re for sure a preacher when…you would live your life over again and do the same things: face the same struggles, study your brains out, and work 1,000 hours a week—all for half the pay and recognition you now get — that’s when you know for sure you’re a preacher.” God bless our clergy!

Doug Johnson is the senior pastor of Bethel Temple Assembly of God in Huntington, W.Va., and a Chesapeake resident