Sr. Pastor

Roger Shillow

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Pastor Shillow was licensed as a minister of the Gospel in September 2006.  In early 2006, while under the leadership of Dr. John R. Adolph of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Beaumont, TX, he was asked to take an evening and write out specifically what he believed God was calling him to do in the ministry.  Here is what he penned in April 2006.....

The Burden of Ministry

My burden in the ministry of Jesus Christ is to preach a message of racial reconciliation and to shepherd his sheep.  I believe that God has called me to minister to those who struggle with ethnic and societal differences.  Racial reconciliation remains one of the most elusive ideals known to man.  Jesus’ examples of ignoring racial barriers did not come from some internal desire to be a token or even through reluctant disobedience.  Instead, his actions were born out of a spirit of humility, true knowledge of his Father and the grief he felt in his heart due to the racial and ethnic separation that existed during his time.  He understood deeply that because of their existing segregationist attitudes Christians were not only missing out on the full understanding of God’s character but denying the reconciling work and power of the cross.

God has called me to be “intentional” and “purposeful” in dealing with this very sensitive message.  He will not allow me to practice the color blind theory of “ignore it and hope it will go away” nor can I live in a world of fragile political correctness.  Instead I am called to be as intentional as Jesus was with the Samaritan woman at the well.  I am compelled to be as purposeful as Jesus was with the Roman Centurion.  The example is clear.  Following Jesus’ example doesn’t mean I forfeit my right to stand up against racial injustice or institutional racism.  As minorities we are often hesitant to forgive completely because we believe by doing so we also give up the leverage necessary to achieve the social justice we so desperately seek.  It does mean however that I cannot exploit the guilt of the majority or use it to cover my own sin.  There has to be a sense of mutual accountability.

If you search the scriptures you find in the book of Joel chapter 2 and verse 28 that God says clearly “I will pour out my spirit upon ALL flesh.”  While we often use this verse and rightly so, to demonstrate God’s intent to use women as well as men in the work of the ministry -- all means ALL. 

            ALL men

            ALL women

            ALL races

            ALL socioeconomic classes

            ALL educational levels

            ALL denominations

On the day of Pentecost as recorded in the book of Acts, the people were amazed to see all the different believers having everything in common.  They were so amazed that the word says non-believers were added to their number daily.  This means that lives were touched and ultimately changed.  Souls were saved because of the Power of the Holy Spirit on display in the lives of the believers.

Lastly, I believe that God has called me to pastor.  It’s very easy to see how pastoring can be as much a burden as it is a blessing.  There are so many hurting people who want to be comforted by their pastor.  They want to have the ear of “God’s representative”.  But being a pastor is so much deeper than just exhibiting a listening ear.  It requires some serious “burden bearing”.  Unfortunately there is no class you can matriculate through to prepare.  There is simply no “Burden Bearing 101” to sign up for.  In many cases, Christians have made a mess of their lives and need a pastor to be there to help them pick up the pieces, reassemble and move on through the restoration power of Jesus Christ.  That’s what sanctification looks like. 

Accidents, tragedies, hospital visits, and frequent funerals are all costs that pastors and their families must be prepared to willingly pay.  These along with discipling, teaching and preaching are all considered known costs.  However, there are also hidden costs.  Hidden costs are those secrets of sexual immorality, adulterous relationships, suicidal and satanic influences that exist throughout every pastor’s congregations.  Pastors have to prepare daily for spiritual warfare and the burden of watching believers stumble repeatedly, often with the same sins. 

I feel this burden even now in my life as I look around and see some of my closest friends that I grew up with struggle with the issue of spiritual leadership in their homes.  The impact of the decisions they make or often do not make can be devastating.  I feel the burden of those on my job who have not accepted Jesus Christ and in fact are looking everywhere but to the Savior.  I can only imagine how much more intense that burden will become as a pastor of God’s church.