After His Kind
by Pastor Jack Hyles
(Chapter 17 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Strength And Beauty)
After I had spoken one evening in a distant state, a preacher came to me and asked what accounted for the spirit of love that exists at First Baptist Church. He mentioned that he had been to our church and noticed our people love each other and love the pastor, and that the pastor loves the people. He said that he also had noticed a sweet spirit of compassion on the part of the people and that they are always happy and singing the victory song. He then asked me, "What is the secret?"
Suddenly a thought passed through my mind that had never entered before. I thought of the first verses of Genesis where everything bore fruit "after his kind," (Genesis 1:11,12) and I said to the preacher brother, "My brother, it is 'after his kind.'"
Everything reproduces itself. Animals reproduce animals, plants reproduce plants, human beings reproduce human beings, and attributes reproduce attributes. If a pastor would have people who love, he must love, for it is "after his kind." If a pastor would have people who are not critical, he must not be critical of other preachers, for it is "after his kind." If a pastor wants people who sacrifice and give, he must sacrifice and give, for it is "after his kind." The great need of America, the great need of our churches, the great need of our nation, is leadership. Proper leadership stimulates proper "fellowship."
Dr. Lee Roberson has said for years, "Everything rises and falls on leadership." This is so true. Leaders who criticize followers will have followers who criticize the leader. Many a pastor has suffered heartache in his church simply because he was critical of other pastors. If a pastor would have soul winning people, he must be a soul winner. If a pastor would have warmhearted people, he must be warmhearted. The proper kind of leadership will reflect itself in the followers very shortly. It is "after his kind." Optimism begets optimism and pessimism begets pessimism Enthusiasm begets enthusiasm and lethargy begets lethargy. Generosity begets generosity and stinginess begets stinginess. Love begets love and hate begets hate. Success begets success and failure begets failure. Everything reproduces "after his kind."
One day after a service a mother brought her little boy in to tell me of some things he had been doing that were wrong.
"Tell him what you did," she said.
The little boy said, "I lied to my teacher and kicked her in the shin."
I couldn't believe it and I expressed my sorrow to him. It was in the month of September, as I recall, and I told him if he would be a good boy for three months, I would take him on an outing. A good boy he was! His teacher said he was so improved; and his mother said he was a new boy. So, shortly before Christmas, I went by his house and we had an outing together. I took him to McDonald's and we had hamburgers, French fries and milk shakes. I took him to a five and ten cent store and bought him a toy. I was so proud of him, and we had a wonderful time.
The next Sunday I told the story (without using the boy's name) and told my people about his improvement. After I baptized that day a little fellow about seven years of age met me outside the dressing room door. He looked at me and said, "Pastor, I have done some things that are bad."
I said, "What have you done?"
He said, "I have been lying to my teacher and kicking her in the shin."
Before I got to the bottom of the stairs, another little fellow had been lying to his teacher and kicking her in the shin.
When I got to my office three boys were waiting to tell me they had been lying to their teachers and kicking their teachers in the shin (included in this group was a son of one of my assistant pastors).
I had the suspicion that all those little boys liked McDonald's hamburgers, French fries, and milk shakes and they wanted to go on an outing with their pastor. This is just a simple little illustration to show that everything is "after his kind."
Occasionally I will wear a sport coat and slacks to the mid-week service. This is a very rare thing for me, but four or five times a year I will do so. One Wednesday I had bought a new green sport coat. I thought it was the prettiest thing I had seen. It went real well, I thought, with black slacks, black tie, and the black handkerchief I put in the coat pocket. Now many years ago I ceased thinking I was handsome and now I settle for being just above tolerance level, but this particular night, I must confess, I thought I was really all "dolled up." I just couldn't wait until the people saw me in my new green sport coat. As I got out of my car, I walked a few feet and one of my members met me and said, "Pastor, how do you feel?"
Realizing I was wearing my best, I said, "I never felt better in my life."
She said, "Well, I was just wondering."
I walked inside the door and another member said, "Pastor, do you feel well?"
I said, "Yes, I feel pretty well. Thank you." "You're just not looking up to par," he replied.
I walked on down the hall and just before I entered my office another lady saw me and said, "Pastor, have you had a check-up lately? How do you feel?"
"Not so good," I replied. I walked on into the office, got my Bible, and went down to the Teachers' and Officers' Meeting. As I walked in a lady across the table said, "Pastor, could I ask you a question?"
I answered, "No, you can't! I feel miserable! I'm a nervous wreck and I'm going for a check-up tomorrow."
In less than fifteen minutes I had gone from a handsome Mr. America to a broken-down old man.
What was the problem? They had influenced me. They had affected me. The pessimists were bearing fruit after their kind.
Let not the pastor criticize his deacons, for it is "after his kind." Let not the pastor be critical of his people, for it is "after his kind." Let not the leader slander the followers, for it is "after his kind."
Leader, go home and look in the mirror and you will find a follower. May I, as Pastor of First Baptist Church, so love, so give, so witness, so work, so sacrifice, so pray that when my members become "after my kind" they will be pleasing to the Lord Jesus Christ; and may I in so yielding to Him become "after His kind."
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