My name doesn't appear on the church stationery, nor does it appear in the newspaper or telephone book advertisements. I'm not in the limelight. No one refers to the church I serve as "Brother Epps' Church," and few in the congregation look to me for spiritual guidance. I'm the "silent partner," the "second in command." I am simply an associate pastor to a more mature minister who pastors a growing and thriving local assembly. And I wouldn't have it any other way!
Six years ago, armed with a college degree, I assumed the pastorate of a church consisting of 110 members, although there were only fourteen who attended regularly. Full of idealism and zeal, I mounted the pulpit with the certain knowledge that I was going to instruct these poor, neglected folk in the deeper mysteries of God. When I ran out of sermon material inside of six weeks, I began to sense that all was not going well.
I demonstrated my profound wisdom time and time again, as I attempted to minister to the needs of the people. ...1