Teaching God’s word to SelmiansPublished 11:10pm Friday, June 8, 2012
One of Elkdale Baptist Church Pastor Cory Horton’s favorite things about his job is that he gets to watch people’s faith stories unfold.
“I stand up to preach, and I can look across the congregation and see this person who has lost her husband but is faithfully walking through that, and I can see this couple who has had tough times in their marriage but look what’s God’s done, or this child who is getting ready to go be a preacher himself, so I get to watch these faith stories unfold, which is pretty awesome,” Horton said.
Horton, who has been the pastor at Elkdale Baptist for more than two years, said he grew up in a home where church was a priority, as his father was a full-time schoolteacher and pastor at small churches.
As he grew older, Horton said he knew he wanted to teach God’s word, and knew that God had gifted him with teaching as a spiritual gift, but to what age and what setting he wasn’t sure.
“I worked with teenagers as I went through school, I worked with kids, but probably about five years ago, the Lord really starting pressing on my heart the role of pastor,” he said. “God lets me be a part of people’s lives.”
He said his favorite time of the year in the church is Easter.
“What I usually do is, around Christmas, I preach an Easter sermon because I want them to know that that baby, born in a manger, came for one single purpose: to die,” Horton said. “The picture is, ‘Those baby’s hands were born for nails.’ Easter is so significant.”
More than anything else, Horton said the members of Elkdale Baptist have taught him that, as long he’s there to love of them, they’ll forgive him for a bad sermon.
“I preach 52 sermons a year,” he said. “When you come out of seminary, you think, ‘Man, I’ve got to spend so much time preaching and being a good preacher because they want to hear good preaching.’ And that is true, but I’ve learned they’ll forgive a bad sermon if they know their pastor loves them, cares about them and genuinely wants to be involved in their life.”
Moving forward, Horton said he’d continue to preach about three main points: elevating Christ, elevating the word and missions. In recent months, members of the church have helped with tornado recovery, and plan to go to Kentucky and Guatemala for mission trips.
“When you know Christ, when you know his word, then you understand the story of God’s word is missions,” Horton said. “God is a missional god. He sent his son to save the world. That’s what God desires, and he saves us to let us be a part of that.”
Horton said he enjoys time with his family, hunting and golfing when he’s not working.
“Who cares if you’re a plumber or a preacher?” he said. “You can do great things for God right where you are.”