AN OPEN LETTER TO THE EVANGELIST FROM THE PASTOR
Brother Glass used the following letter in his Session on “Pastor-Evangelist Relationship”
Greetings in the Name that is above every Name!
We are looking forward to your coming to our church for a series of special services. We say “special services,” it is our prayer that God may bless in such a manner that this may truly be called a revival. We do not expect you to bring a revival with you, nor do we expect you to look for our church members to bring it about by themselves. I have confidence in our church family, and I have confidence in you, that as we work together with God, He will give the increase.
Please do not come to straighten out any church troubles you may hear exist among us. It is always so easy for outsiders to judge the faults and failures of any church group. Maybe their judgment is right, and then again maybe it is wrong. Just come and preach the Word! God will use His Word, as you faithfully preach it, to reach the hearts of those in need.
If you have a “conviction” that we are too worldly or too liberal, or perhaps fanatical along some lines, just “preach the Word” without embellishment. People find their places quicker and easier as their scriptural place is shown, rather than when they are scolded for extremes. Remember also there are always new converts who do not look or act as “Pentecostal” as those who have been in the church for years.
You will expect the congregation to get behind you in worship and praise when you take the pulpit; and rightly so. They must if you are to be effective. If you fail to worship and sing yourself, they might not respond as you would like later. If you and your wife would work with those in the altar, it would greatly encourage the people, for they feel then you have a genuine interest in souls, that it is not just “pulpit talk.”
I have taught our people to love and respect the ministry. After certain evangelists have left, I have had to “explain” why he spoke so much on the failures of the ministry (bringing up the faults and failures of ministers they have heard about or preached for). If we practice cannibalism we shall all be extinct. I en courage you to build up the ministry, please do not tear it down.
While you are in my home, remember that it would be very hard for me to change my life style to suit yours. You may want to sleep late in the mornings since your main responsibility is to the evening service. But I will arise fairly early for a day of pastoring. Please be considerate of me when I entertain you after services. Don’t see how late you can keep me up.
We may have one or two who like to “talk to the evangelist.” You will hear perhaps that “it is time for a change around here.” You might also hear that “you are just the man we need as a pastor.” As a man of God, and as one who is wise in the ways of human nature, you will know how to treat such conversation. You will meet one or two people who will pointedly ask you to dinner “without a pastor.” We need not comment other than to pass along this word.
As a pastor who has also been an evangelist, I can appreciate your financial needs. I realize there are weeks when you receive no paycheck. When you take a vacation, there is no church back home to pay you. Still, God has promised to supply “all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” We recognize our responsibility to you in asking you to labor among us, and promise to do our very best for you.
I look forward to personal fellowship with you. As workers together with God, we have much to talk and pray about. However, please don’t let me interfere with your praying and seeking God, and your personal study for each service.
An older pastor said to a young evangelist, “As long as I have an evangelist who is called of God and will give an honest ministry of the Word of God and spend time in prayer and study for the meetings, I feel God will bless. The fact that my people come out night after night and hear the Word of God and spend some time in prayer is in itself a blessing.” This sums up my own attitude toward the evangelists who share my pulpit.
We are anxious for you to come, my brother, and may God bless you and make you a blessing.
Arless R. Glass