Pastor Shawn Brandon is a “people person.” I could tell right away as he and his wife Janee’ greeted my son and me in the church parking lot.
Shawn has pastored Herman Baptist Church for seven years now. He has a vibrant ministry as displayed by the enthusiasm of his people. Before the service, Shawn and I sat in the church office to catch up on the church’s recent history. It was a blessing to hear about the growth Herman Baptist is experiencing, but there was something else that grabbed my attention even more. Shawn is a part of a local association of pastors in Northeast Arkansas who meet quarterly –not to discuss business- but to encourage and equip one another. These pastors view themselves as being on a team doing kingdom work together rather than in competition.
The result? Young pastors in their association are receiving training and mentoring from experienced pastors. Experienced pastors are receiving encouragement and fellowship to help them endure difficulties in life and in ministry.
The best part? Everybody wins! As Shawn and I sat and talked I noticed that there was no sense of competition between bigger/small rural/city traditional/progressive churches. Rather, there is a sweet spirit among their associated work.
As we continued to talk before the service, about a dozen people came in the office just to say “hi” to their pastor. I’ve never seen that listed on a “church health indicators” list, but for me, it says a lot.
Shawn is a “people person,” and in turn, Herman Baptist is a “people church.” Everyone in the congregation was warm and welcoming. The warmth flowed into the worship service where people sang with conviction and received the preaching of God’s word with great anticipation.
Even my son Bryce enjoyed the hospitality. Bryce sat with Shawn’s wife Janee’ while I preached. And, before it was all said and done, he invited her to come visit in our home so that they can play Power Rangers together!
Did I mention my son is a people-person too?