KSLR AM 630 The Word hosts Michael Youssef at luncheon

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March 28, 2019 By Jennie Rosio

Honoring pastors, empowering them with a fresh dose of courage

Recently at the TriPoint building on St. Mary’s, coming from the Grantham Ballroom, you could have heard the claps, whoops and hearty cheers of “Amen!” – at times, almost above the sound of the treadmills at the YMCA down the hall and around the corner. 

Was it an Aggies-Longhorn game? It sounded like it, but it was more than that. It was the sound of hundreds of battle-worn San Antonio pastors being encouraged.

Ron Walters, Senior Vice President of Ministry Relations of the Salem Media Group, welcomed the group with their reason for the event. “It can’t happen in San Antonio without you and your team,” he said. “I hope you feel spoiled to death.”

KSLR’s Director of Marketing and Promotions, Jan Johnson, said this event has been going strong for almost two decades. “It’s not just a sales event to sell them on the radio station; it’s for them to know we’re here to support them. This year, we had 119 churches represented and 89 of those were brand new and had never come to a pastor appreciation event before,” she said. 

It was the sound of hundreds of battle-worn San Antonio pastors being encouraged.

Dr. Michael Youssef, the 70-year-old founder of Leading the Way Ministries, did not disappoint with his dynamic message of hope. For all of his experience and education (with a Ph.D. from Emory University and degrees from Fuller Seminary and Moore Theological College), he was self-effacing from the starting gate. “I’m a one-trick Charlie. I don’t know how to do pop psychology. I don’t know how to do motivation. The only thing I know is to open the scripture,” he said.

Yet, motivate he did. A few battle stories from his own experience set the stage as he empathized with pastors ministering in current culture.

 “Several years ago, I was invited to give the invocation at a big gathering in Washington, D.C.,” he started to explain. The invitation was given by a politically and economically conservative group; still, he asked the president of this organization three times: “Are you sure you want me to pray?” Each time, he got green lights.

Pastor Appreciation Luncheon Table
Tables were decorated beautifully with special
care to honor the pastors.

At the end of his message, Michael prayed in his usual way. “I pray in the strong and mighty name of Jesus, the name above all names. And at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, Jesus Christ is Lord.”

Michael said when he walked back to his seat, he could “feel the ice cracking” under his feet. The president of the organization, who’d been friendly at first, froze over. Michael’s peppering of cordial and conversational questions offered to this organization’s president were answered only in grunts. Finally, the leader burst out. “Why did you have to use that name? This is a very controversial name, and you shouldn’t have mentioned it. You have created a division.” 

It’s against this backdrop that it becomes tempting for pastors and any believer to be ashamed of the gospel and blunt its edges. “That is why Paul is saying in Romans 1:16, ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes.’”

The 30-year forerunner of Leading the Way ministry says he’s also seen many godly influencers who lose their way because they do not have a vision for life, which spirals them down into discouragement. Experience taught him this arduous lesson. “Do I get discouraged and disappointed? You better believe it. It’s what I call the Elijah syndrome,” he said, referring to the story in Elijah in I Kings 19. “When you have God’s vision, you will overcome discouragement.”

Grace Redemption Community Church Pastor Carlos Duran attended with his wife Arielle, after starting a church the first Sunday of 2019. “It was actually one of my greatest moments because I never thought I would get to hear one of my mentors,” Carlos said, adding that he’s long been a fan of Michael Youssef.

Pastors of Living Word Christian Fellowship, David and Pam Crocker, enjoyed it also. After 10 years of ministry, “The word of encouragement from Michael Youssef was paramount,” said Pam. “His wisdom warmed my husband’s heart and mine to know that we are responsible to carry the Word of God without watering it down.” 

A letter Jan shared said it all.  After the event, she read this pastor’s letter to us: “Today was a glorious day for me and my wife. We were tired and weary; we give back to our congregation with our all. Today we were refreshed and inspired by the word of Dr. Youssef. We made new friends. In fact, the pastor of a church down the street from our church – whom we’d never met – was sitting next to us at the table! We’re now going to get together and meet for coffee and see how together we can reach our community. This is an event no pastor should miss.” 

Thank you, KSLR, for deeply caring for our spiritual leaders and our community. Your love was truly appreciated by all who attended. 

Be A Light.

Pray. Your pastor's job can seem overwhelming. Intercede daily and fervently for your pastors. Pray through Romans 1:16 against discouragement; pray that your pastors would have a courageous heart for the gospel. Treat. Consider treating your pastor and their spouse to dinner or a refreshing get-away. Encourage. Speak to your pastor and let them know that they are making a difference. Or send them a card, encouraging them to continue to be bold and stand strong.

AM 630 The Word KSLR

AM 630 The Word – KSLR
9601 McAllister Freeway, Suite 1200
SAT 78216  |  (210) 344-8481

Written by

Jennie Rosio

Jennie Rosio is an independent professional writer in San Antonio, and editor of The Beacon.

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