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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

CAN YOU WORSHIP WITHOUT BEING IN MINISTRY: Part Two

The symbiosis of theology and worship.{The state of cooperative relationship between two} in this case: theology and worship. Learning to live the connection between doing theology and worshiping God. “The purpose of theology and worship alike is to cultivate the vision of who God is and what God has done, and to cultivate it so well that, when we perceive it, it stops us in our tracks and evokes our praise.” “Worship also requires the right subjective attitude “spirit.” The truth of who God is and what God has done for us engages not merely our minds, but our whole being, or “spirit”: not only our mind, but hearts, hands, and imaginations too.”

The Lord is as “fresh” to me now as ever.

This is correct for sure. I am disheartened about the pastorate ministry. While this description is correct, it’s not to the extent of being discouraged with God, or even in worshiping the Lord. While ministry is meaningful to me, it’s also the fountain from which flows discouragement. While ministry has been the source of outward joy, and sometimes the source of discouragement, it has never swayed me away from my love for the Lord.

I am told that 50% of pastors who have been dismissed from their pastorate quit the ministry altogether. I get discouraged because I am not in pastoral ministry. I still think there is another year left in me. If I could come to the decision that I am washed up, preached the last sermon, worked on my last church staff, then finally retired from official ministry, then maybe I could get down to just worship. Or just doing church on Sundays.

Having spent the last two years in extended study of the Word, reading Spurgeon, MacArthur, Edwards, Calvin, Owen, Piper, Mohler, Alexandra, Philpot and Keller, Samson, P. Johnson, Ryle, Hendryx Pritchard, and others, my well is running over. Each day as I am in the Word reading the letters of Paul and Peter and Matthew is a real joy, it’s never left my desire to continue to read and study. I continue to love to hear the Word preached, be it preaching in a local church or on TV or Radio. I continue to love to talk to the Lord as I walk on US Route 23, and see His beautiful sky and clouds. I can hardly wait to get on the Internet and log on to monergism.com to see what is new. I just get overjoyed with downloading last week’s Piper’s sermon, or one of Spurgeon’s Sermon. Or to see what Piper has preached last Sunday, and of course what MacArthur is preaching. I love to download the latest sermon, or the debate that is going on at TMS site. “Why Would John MacArthur be so hard-hitting on the Emergent Movement.” Or the debate over “Free Grace” over at the Faith and Practice Blog. Or the debate over “Continuationist or Cessationsim!”
Then lately it’s reading Sinclair Ferguson on “A Preacher’s Decalogue” and CJ Mahaney on “A Passion for Reading and Learning.” and Derek Thomas on “Preaching from the O.T.. And of course the debate over Dispensational Approaches and Preterism. Or even the debate over the Lord’s Supper? Or Baptism Membership? Then two books by Charles Spurgeon-- “Spurgeon on Leadership” and “Spurgeon and Son”. Those two books are very good.

So what is the Biblical Theological answer for this situation? What should be the right response to this seeming dilemma or situation. Knowing the answer, then how can we get into the right spirit or attitude or action to comply with the right response.

Well, it could be in the total providence of God, and He is in full control of this situation.

So why this time, after 40 years do I even think negatively about the situation? Because of the pressure of what family and people think about this situation. Otherwise I am willing to ride it out and give it all to the Lord.

God Bless, God is never the problem. If you are not presently in ministry as a pastor or on staff, try get into a presonall fellowship with Him.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Proof Read by Charity Whisnant