About Me

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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

A DESCRIPTION OF THE EFFORT I HAVE PUT FORTH IN MINISTRY
  • In his Lectures to My Students, Charles Spurgeon left virtually no stone unturned while impressing the need for private integrity which leads to public credibility upon his college students. From prayer to "keeping the tools sharp," to the work of the Holy Spirit, to the ways in which a pastor/teacher might use his voice, Spurgeon understood and emphasized that ministry leads us to a total investment of ourselves into the work of the ministry.

  • I have never not tried to serve to the best of my capability.

When I was Youth Pastor at my dad’s church, (my dad was born on September 21, 1904) (I deeply am sad that he died and I was unable to continue working in the church). If I have any disappointment in ministry it’s that I could not have continued to work with dad.)

I was at the top of my "game" working as a Youth Pastor in 1963-66. It is notable enough that we used the same "game plan" at several churches thereafter. The program that I had developed at RBC in 1965 was discipleship at its best. While I was active in High School, in sports, football and basketball, I was still very active in the youth ministry at the church. We were actually active all week with the kids.

The strategy of work that I developed at RBC was carried with me throughout our ministry. My work ethic was developed when I was at RBC. Now I was not aware of all this, "but for the love of the game" was the reason for the work. When you are in love with the Lord, and you sense the call of ministry to teach and preach, it seems natural to put your best effort into your work. In those days, working with my dad, was the ultimate place to work. He was always supportive and helped me in every way possible to accomplish the goals of ministry with the church and youth. This was my objective when I was pastor, to work with and support those who were working with the youth.

The principle holds true in any ministry, at any time, when the church, the pastor and youth pastor can be on the same page of effort, you will have success in ministry. I have seen some good youth ministries in a few churches over the years and even in the 21st century, no less.

I hear from time to time from former youth students saying "the best youth department we had was when you and Charity were at our church." I appreciate that very much, because I loved the youth as much as the ministry itself.

When I went to Wooster, Charity and I spent hours with the youth of the church. They were our life on Sunday as well as during the week. Our home was always blessed with a number of youth during the week. We spent hours developing programs, schedules, procedures, and principles of ministry This process continued at Calvary Baptist Church, Madison Baptist Church, Victory Baptist Church and then First Baptist Church.

In every church we worked hard to develop a youth ministry that would strengthen and encourage the youth in the Lord Jesus Christ. The objective was always discipleship. The teaching of God’s Word was always priority over activity. The teaching of the Word and teaching them how to know the Word was always the first priority. From Southall Baptist Church in 1967 to FBC in 1990's we desired to help the youth love the Word. We were always giving Bible assignments for the youth to do during the week.

While we had some great activities, my main purpose was to teach them the Word of God.
  • The goal was to see those who professed Christ to become true believers. We wanted each youth to become a Christian who loved the Lord and lived for Christ in their daily lives; and if the Lord called them into ministry, they would be ready to answer the call.

We never had Saturday at the Beach, or downtown Soul Winning. We never tried to see how many we could see saved. We never felt that Camp experience was the best sign to gauge the level of Christian commitment.

We were not only interested in seeing them come to Christ and attend Sunday School, but also the Worship service, and Sunday evening as well. We generally had as many on Sunday evening as we would in Sunday School.

We kept our youth busy in the Word. One assignment I remember was "Outline the book of Matthew." Once I gave a Dickson Bible to the person who did the best job giving the overall view of the Bible.

Several of the young men and their girlfriends (later to be their wives) went to Bible College, and they said to me later, that their working in their church youth department prepared them for Bible College. And those men and their wives are today still in ministry and pastoring churches.

One young man who was our piano player at sixteen, became a song writer in Nashville. One young man who sung specials in our class, became an evangelist, and for over twenty-five years with his family has served the Lord.

One of my objectives in our youth department was to have the youth involved in every part of the program. My objective was to have them conduct the class. We gave them real responsibility in the ministry. We trained the leaders and then they would train others.
I think what we tried to do was to give them a real love for the Lord and the love to work for the Lord.

I have just touched on a brief description of the work with youth and adults in this ministry.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Proof read by Charity Whisnant #52
















"I SHALL NOT BE MOVED" THE EXPERIENCES vs THE EMOTIONS
Part Two

HOW SHOULD YOU RESPOND THEN TO THE NEWS THAT YOU HAVE BEEN RELEASED FROM YOUR JOB ON THE STAFF?

WHAT HAS THE EXPERIENCE TAUGHT ME ABOUT THIS MATTER OF MINISTRY?
experience:
1: the accumulation of knowledge or skill that results from direct participation in events or activities; "a man of experience"; "experience is the best teacher" [ant: inexperience] 2: the content of direct observation or participation in an event; "he had a religious experience"; "he recalled the experience vividly" 3: an event as apprehended; "a surprising experience"; "that painful experience certainly got our attention" v 1: go or live through; "We had many trials to go through"; [syn: undergo, see, go through] 2: have firsthand knowledge of states, situations, emotions, or sensations; "I know the feeling!"; "have you ever known what it means to have lost a dad?"; "I lived through ministry" [syn: know, live] The feeling of emotions and sensations as opposed to thinking; involvement in what is happening rather than abstract reflection on an event.
Another definition
Active participation in events or activities, leading to the accumulation of knowledge or skill: a lesson taught by experience; a minister with experience in youth ministry . The knowledge or skill so derived. An event or a series of events participated in or lived through. The totality of such events in the past of an individual or group
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Experience is a great teacher of wisdom. Someone said, "you can pray for wisdom, but God doesn’t give it under your sheets." Oh, that must have been me. Wisdom is received one way by experience. When you have lived through a series of events as I have you gain wisdom about ministry. I have participated in many events that have provided me with knowledge about ministry.

I have never stayed inactive in the search for knowledge about the Bible, about preaching/teaching, about the how to of ministry, about how to stay fit for the work that you believe the Lord has called you to do. I have never been satisfied that I know enough to stop learning.

Experiencing getting dismissed from your position on the church staff, whatever the position is, be it a Senior Pastor, or a Youth Pastor, or even a Building Supervisor, you are not to panic or become paralyzed by this experience, but to let the experience teach you. What I have learned, you will wake up the next day, and discover that the Lord will strengthen you and you will discover that the Lord is already planning your next place of ministry.

What can get me into trouble is the belief I know how to do "God’s Work in God’s Way." (Reading John MacArthur’s book will give you that information)

In all these years of ministry, how is it that you can still say, "I shall not be moved?" That is, give up! Retire from! So many good men and women, will decide that they need to find another line of work. This year alone there will be 1000 good people who will find another line of work.

When you have had such a great history in ministry as I have, and you sense the Lord has truly given you the ability to do the work He has called you to do, you sense He still has His hand upon you.

I am sure if I were writing a sermon I could easily put scripture to my thinking, but I am not writing a sermon today.

It’s the emotions that will drive you out of ministry. Don’t you think? Out of control feelings will cause you to want to quit, some experiences will cause you to question your calling. You do get physically shaken sometimes when you have these events happen to you. When do you allow your emotions to play the bigger role in your life than it should? Every experience has its toll. Experience or emotion.

But in those early years, the idea of getting out of ministry never occurred to me. I just said, "Well, where is the Lord going to take us now." Why did I have that kind of mindset?

Experience of ministry was not usually from an emotional, temperamental, focus. (There were times though that the experiences of ministry were emotional.) (Victory Baptist) I just accepted the fact and made plans to move to the next place of service. I sometimes felt like Paul, he was not always welcome in town, and was asked to leave town, because he was doing what the Lord had directed him to do. Paul never quit. He didn’t even change his methods. I don’t think he ever changed his message, or his way of ministry. Paul really believed he was doing God’s Work in the way God had directed him to do it.

Paul wasn’t trying to find better methods of doing his work. I really have not talked to Paul about this matter. The principles that Paul used in his day are still effective today. Methods may change today, and they should, but principles should not.

So with the mindset that the principles of ministry do not change, I am inclined to think that how I developed the work of the ministry in any church I worked in were okay. And when the outcome was good, I was indebted.

How the church or pastor thought was generally secondary. What made me resign was generally personality rather than the principle I was using for ministry. Thus I knew I could still preach, teach, and work with youth so I was not discouraged. I believed they were wrong and stupid., sorry I mean misinformed.

I believe it’s because men do not have the priority in my thinking. In every place, no matter how short the time, the Lord, has shown His blessing upon us. I can’t view any place of ministry as a failure. From my own point of view, I have seen the hand of the Lord upon what He was doing in that place of service.

EMOTIONS:
An intense mental state that arises subjectively rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes.
a psychic and physical reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as feeling and physiologically involving changes that prepare the body for action
an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness.
Any of the feelings of joy, sorrow, fear, hate, love, etc .and usually accompanied by certain physiological changes, as increased heartbeat or respiration, and often overt manifestation, as crying or shaking.
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Jack Hyles, preached: "Never make a decision at midnight." Good emotions or even bad emotions can damage you if you don’t think cognitively about the issue before you. Someone else said, "Don’t quit your job on Monday"You can get caught up in the moment, or the experience and make decisions that you shouldn’t.
  • It’s been my experience, {before reading John Piper} the emotions that I feel in all of life’s experiences are present at the moment of the experience. First there is the human emotion that is expressed with hurt and disappointment. Some emotions are automatic responses I have no control over at first. I think these are normal. But the emotions that follow are important. Generally, the Holy Spirit gives in my spirit the comfort and assurance that I need to continue in ministry. I might be crying and shaking and my heartbeat might be increased, but within my spirit there is a joy and peace that passes all understanding.

"It is very difficult to put emotional experiences into words." John Piper says.
How can it be possible that when you have an emotionally shocking experiences, not to be shocked? You can’t for sure.
Every time I walked away from a church ministry, I already had in mind the next place I would be serving the Lord. Why? A reasoning ability to think back at the greatness of the Lord and His capability to fulfill His purposes. The Scriptures are filled with this principle.

There you have this long post. But it’s not as long as one of my sermons.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant September 27, 2006.
Read by Charity Whisnant at 9:20 p.m. after working 10 hours. Thanks Sweet Heart.
SHALL NOT BE MOVED Part One

This is my fifty article in this series of my personal journey in ministry.

Let me express, "I haven’t been moved" Remember the song "I shall not be moved?" We’ve sung that song for years. I never contemplated a thought that I would ever withdraw faraway from what I was doing in ministry. When. reading my life’s experiences one might think, "Charles, why are you still desiring to continue in ministry?" The answer is rather simple. In every place where the Lord has allowed me to serve Him in a ministry, it’s been for Him, and about His glory..

Only since moving to Portsmouth have I even contemplated the thought that I have had enough. Yet while thinking that, I continue to believe that if the Lord will give me a call to serve Him, I would welcome the opportunity.

This idea of "serving Him" is so implanted in our thinking as fundamental Baptists. So much so that we believe it’s the most important deed in our life. And when we are not serving the Lord in our calling, we believe we are out of the will of God.

Therefore, our mindset is to get into a church ministry. And if you are not currently in a ministry you feel like you look like a fireman without his uniform on, going to a fire. When you go to a pastor’s fellowship meeting, or if you attend a church service it’s on your mind. You are inundated with the thought, "I should be peaching or teaching this morning rather than just sitting in this church pew".

You are ever seeking the right place and in the right way to serve the Lord. And you always think that the Lord will put you in the right place to serve Him. When you get an invitation to come and work in a church ministry, be on a church staff,. you are "on cloud nine". The joy that comes over you is better than when the New York Yankees win the World Series. Which they might do in 2006!

It’s so overwhelming when you are hired on the pastoral staff, that you do not even think about the pay, the work load, where you are going to live, what you wife thinks, the condition of the church, all that at the time doesn’t matter.

You are willing to work for nothing, live in a house that is almost unliveable, have your wife upset. The church is in a real spiritual disaster, the town is literally run down, and the people in the church have just seen five preachers quit or fired. And just the last Sunday before you came, the attendance was twelve. The church building is in a mess, it could be there is no running water. It could be the building has five different kinds of pews in the building.

You are certainly willing, if you drive on to the parking lot of the church, and see a tremendous building that covers almost a block. You see a dome building that is going to be the youth ministry’s building. And you are going to get a immense salary. That will get your blood flowing. Or you see a new building being built that will seat 400. You are ready to win the world to Christ in the next year.

Then you are just as determined to drive fifty miles one way to preach on Sunday Morning. You need to preach. It doesn’t matter that you are going to be paid $50.00 just to get to preach on Sunday. Even if it’s a Southern Baptist Church.

You just don’t have good comprehension when it comes to "doing ministry." You lose all perspective-- you go brain dead. "What have I got myself and family into?" Here I am on this 250 Acres of land on this camp ground. What could possibly go wrong.

"Shoot" (as the lady on the TV com says) "Shoot" this is the greatest time of your life, you are even willing to work another job, just to get to preach and pastor a church. You are even willing to be a housekeeper in a nursing home for twelve years to preach and teach. (I would do it again)

You arrive in town after driving 1000 miles, your car has no heat, and the brakes are gone, and you have a few dollars in your pocket. But you are still upbeat. Your wife is so bewildered. You just see serving God as the main thing. You meet the Pastor, and he tells you, "I am sorry but we can’t pay you as we said, and I am planning to leave as soon as I can get another church."

We have driven a 1000 miles several times in this journey to places to serve. You don’t see the past, you don’t see the negative. Are we crazy or what? Don’t ask Charity.

You begin to feel like a football player on Sunday, or Monday. You get concussion when you are hit so hard that it knocks you out. You are hit every time you get the ball and start running down the field. You get carried off the field. But while you are being carried off the field, you are thinking, when will I be able to play again. You go to rehab. Come to think of it, I need rehab..

I do wish I had been like my friend C. L. Fuqua who has pastored one church over 40 years and still is at the church. I wish I was like Jerry Falwell who has pastored TRBC for 50 years. Or Troy Todd or Roy Maple who have pastored their church for nearly forty years. I envy these great men, but for some reason, its was not to be. ( I could have been at FBC now for twenty six years, but I left) Maybe a lack of spiritual brain power, or something

Morten Anderson, who is 46, said, "They were to take blood out of me, and dust came out of me" after being out of football for three years. Football kicker for the Atlanta Falcons 2006.
That illustrates what I think is going to happen when I finally get a call to try out to pastor a church.

But that is still there: "I am still waiting for that call."
But I now have a different perspective on this idea of service.

WHEN IS THERE A LEGITIMATE REASON TO DISMISS A STAFF MEMBER Part two
Continued from Part One
6A "You are a loose cannon ready to go off"
7A "Your personality does not fit the personality of the Senior Pastor."
8A " I really like this one: "Charles, you need to learn to be humble."
9A "Charles, your preaching is too passionate for us."

DO YOU READ ANY BIBLICAL REASONS IN THE ABOVE LIST?
The above list is a truthful opinion, based upon particular actions that I have experienced.. But its been my experience that preachers will not give you the real reasons.

Here are some reasons I have received from preachers, and or church leadership
8A I believe you should have your own church.
9A You are not going the direction of our church
10A Well, if that is what you really want to do
11A That is great. (Wooster) The pastor was happy that I was leaving.
12A "You are not doing a good job here at the church"

Fortunately I have genuinely resigned because of good reasons, and the church or the pastor didn’t want me to.... few I might add. Madison, FBC Haltom City, Mansfield under Folger, FBC Altoona, Gideon. And I might have been wrong in resigning, as well.
  1. A I left several churches because I was offered an income to be on the staff at another church....(Leaving FBC Haltom City, and Mansfield)
  2. I believed I had accomplished all that I could. (Madison, FBC, Lusby Mills)

A WORD TO CHURCHES AND OR PASTORS ABOUT THIS MATTER OF HOW YOU ARE TO HANDLE A STAFF MEMBER.

  1. You do not have a right to mistreat any member of your staff.
  2. Do not lie to them. Tell them what the church expects of them.
  3. Be honest in your dealing with them.
  4. Treat them with the same respect that you would want to be respected.
  5. If you have a disagreement with them, sit down and have a two way discussion
  6. Keep an open communication. Don’t go a week and never speak to them.
  7. Their success will mirror back on you.
  8. If they are successful, give them credit and be thankful.
  9. Do not keep them guessing as to how you think they are doing, tell them regularly, like weekly or at least monthly.
  10. When you do not like what they are doing , do the same, tell them regularly, don’t wait until you fire them.
  11. If you have to dismiss a staff member, be honest, don’t lie. Don’t give a false reason.
  12. A Don’t ask them to resign if you are going to fire them anyway. Or at least give them the option to choose, if that is what you want.
  13. A If you are trying to save your own hide, and you know the church is not going to like it, then don’t fire them.
  14. Don’t be untruthful to the church. If you can give a correct reason why, then there is no problem.
  15. Churches and Preachers have destroyed more lives. EVEN IF THERE IS SIN, YOU are still under Galatians 6:1.

I have read, heard, and seen young couples be totally destroyed in their spiritual desire to continue in ministry, due to the actions of the pastor and or church..

SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE ASKED TO LEAVE THE STAFF?

  1. Turn it over to the Lord. By knowing this... if God has called you into ministry, you will survive it.
  2. If you maintain the belief that you gave your best effort, believe it and rest in that fact.
    You well get mad, believe me....So walk out of the office, or the church, and do the first two suggestions, quickly.
  3. If you are given an erroneous reason: I would and have presented my case:
  4. I would say, "I don’t accept your reasons as being correct, and when I leave the church, I will mention the reasons you gave to the membership."
  5. Do not resign if you are asked to, rather then be dismissed. You are not going to get unemployment one way or the other.
  6. Do not say, "It is the Lord’s will that I leave this church". Only unless it’s true.
  7. Don’t give up. Don’t beat yourself over the head. Pray for wisdom.
  8. But at the same time, once it’s all over with, in time, healing will occur, and then you will be able to return to the church for a visit. I suggest if you were wrongly dismissed, forgiveness is in order for your sake and your family. And if the opportunity comes, I would attend a service in that church.
WHEN IS THERE A LEGITIMATE REASON TO DISMISS A STAFF MEMBER Part One

I know this sounds unbiblical because we have heard unbiblical wisdom. What we want to believe and what is biblical could be two different opinions. Because we have heard so little biblical preaching that what we believe is not from the Bible.

When many fundamental preachers do not believe that they need to really study the Bible itself, but pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give them understanding apart from a substantial study of the Word, then you are going to get unsound teachings of what God foreordained.

Thus many of the actions of some pastors are based upon their belief that they can dismiss a staff member without Biblical accountability or even church accountability.

The issue today is: Getting fired, dismissed, asked to resigned by a church or pastor from the staff.

When I ask Charity "Why do you think (and I will mention a preacher) fired us?" And every time she has an answer. "He didn’t like what you vocalized, or what you said you believed, or he did not like your opinions. And she is always quick in her mind, just what she is talking about. It is true what she said.
A few examples of my behavior that Charity said I was dismissed:
  • "Remember the jokes you made about the preacher, he did not like it."
  • You wouldn’t let the preacher’s son go on that trip with the young adults."
  • "I am a six- point Calvinist: I believe in soul winning.
  • "Remember the pie in the face activity"
  • "Those comments you made about me when you preached that sermon."
  • "You wouldn’t go to the Sunday School Class"
  • "You cashed that $50 check"
  • "You get excited and get loud and press your ideas."

My question is? Was the reason for discharging me Biblical or personal? What are the Biblical grounds for discharging someone from the ministry?
The list for dismissal from a position on the staff generally are personal in nature rather than spiritual. I will give a small list of good reasons for removing someone and several reasons when dismissing one is wrong.


BUT THERE ARE GOOD REASONS TO FIRE SOMEONE: (I am thankful I have not been guilty of)
1A Today it would be, getting on the Internet and viewing pornographic material.
2A Sowing contention among the membership
3A Failing to be submissive to the programs of the church body.
4A Commit any sexual sins or adultery or "come out of the closet".


There are RIGHT reasons to terminate one’s employment. Legitimate ways:
Synonyms: accepted, accredited, acknowledged, admissible, appropriate, authorized, canonical, certain, cogent, consistent, correct, customary, fair, front door, genuine, innocent, just, justifiable, kosher, lawful, legit, licit, logical, natural, normal, official, orthodox, probable, proper, real, reasonable, received, recognized, regular, reliable, rightful, sanctioned, sensible, sound, statutory, sure, true, typical, usual, valid, verifiable, warranted, well-founded

But there are WRONG ways too

Antonyms: illegal, illegitimate, inadmissible, inapplicable, intolerable, irrelevant, unallowable, unfair, unjust, unsuitable, wrong, bogus, counterfeit, fake, phony, spurious, unauthorized.

I believe you get the point on both the synonyms and antonyms...... don’t you.?
I have no argument if the reason for dismissing someone, in the secular world or church ministry was legitimate.

All the reasons why Charity believes the preacher wanted me to leave are not genuine reasons for dismissal.

Furthermore, the same reasons goes for leadership in the church to deny you leadership. It must be a genuine reason. Here are some wrong reasons. In my personal cases.
SOME OF THE REASONS ARE A LITTLE EMBARRASSING

  1. Jealousy.(the underline true reasons)
  2. In your view you believe he is a threat to your ministry or church.
  3. You do not like his personality (most likely most places)
  4. You FEEL, or presume he has done things wrong
  5. Parents are coming to you and complaining about the direction and way he is doing ministry

End of Part One.... Corrected by Charity Whisnant, Lived by both of us.

BUILD A BELIEVER - Ephesians 4:13

While the Pastor at Madison Baptist Church our weekly church paper this article:
  • If we do God's work in God's way at God's time with God's power, we shall have God's blessings and the devil's curse.
  • The World is not looking or waiting for a new definition of the Gospel, but for a new demonstration of the power of the Gospel.

DEFINED CHRISTIANITY

  • A very simple but very sublime thing: to live in time and for eternity under the eye of God and by His steps.

How much more would a few good and fervent men effect the ministry than a multitude of lukewarm ones!

THE GOAL OF THE CHRISTIAN WALK IN MINISTRY

In our natural life our significance alters as we unfold in the Christian life. The goal is given at the inaugurating of our Christian life, the beginning and the end are the same, viz., Our Lord Himself. We embark with Christ and we end with Him. "Until we all attain to the stature of the manhood of Christ" or "unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:13) It’s not our proposal of what the Christian life should be. The impression of the Christian life is to do God’s will, not to be productive, not to win the whole world, or even those in your town. We will be productive and we will win the lost in our town, but that is not our aim. Our aim is to do the will of our Lord.

Most of my Christian life, I have tried to be productive, useful, and all the synonyms I have listed, here that I got out of Dictionary.com.

Definition: valuable Synonyms: advantageous, all-purpose, applied, appropriate, beneficial, brave, commodious, convenient, effective, favorable, fit, fruitful, functional, good, handy, helpful, instrumental, meet, of assistance, of service, of use, practicable, practical, pragmatic, profitable, proper, propitious, purposive, salutary, serviceable, subsidiary, suitable, suited, toward, utile, utilitarian, workaday, worthwhile

Yet the purpose of life’s achievement should be to show the behavior of Christ to those with whom we have worked. What do I mean? In light of this series that I have been posting , (some forty-five now.) I must remember to show the character of Christ in my performance, attitude and thinking. This reads good, but in reality, the principle is difficult. And I must admit I have often failed.

As I note the work of Jesus Christ on earth, as he traveled in and out of villages and towns and cities, he seemed never to be in a rush whether he was persecuted or blessed. He did not get in a hurry to leave town when he was persecuted nor did he seem to continue to stay when he was appreciated. Which is to say, neither appreciation nor lack of appreciation turned Him one "hair’s breadth" away from His purpose to go up to Jerusalem. He seemed never to get discouraged. His purpose was to reach His Father’s will, that is upon the Cross.

I must still remember that in those places we have been appreciated, admired, and accepted we must give thanks. In those places we have been fired, failed, faltered, asked to leave and not asked to teach or preach or minister we must not stay disheartened. We must not get discouraged. You think that is easy? Was Jesus’ life easy?

A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PURPOSE OF THE ARTICLES ON THE BLOG

A Brief Note of Remembrance: My dad Everette T. Whisnant, was born on September 21, 1904.

The reason for the blog "Growing By Learning" is to journal or chronicle some of the events in our ministry. I believe I am today what I have experienced over the lifetime of ministry. I have tried to chronicle them chronologically which means, you would have to start from the beginning of these blogs. But each article is complete in the time frame.

I have also with in the series inserted some concerns about the ministry. I have incorporated some articles about preaching itself, and about preachers and their behavior.

These journals, posts I have written, have been from experiences I have lived through. They have expressed some of the events which have occurred. Generally they are from my point of view, and not necessarily from Charity’s, even though she has read them, corrected the spelling and grammar, and made sure they are truthful, and sometimes has inserted her thoughts * about the events. And my three sons and one daughter have their views about them too.

What I have tried to express in these experiences are the concerns I have with the ministry as a whole. These are commentaries. They will recount the ministry itself, some to express the experience itself, and some musing as to why I left the ministry at the church.

I have addressed each event with honesty, I have attempted not to embarrass or even humiliate myself, my family or any of my co workers, as much as can be reasonable. By God’s grace I have tried not to express with anger what I have expressed about the experience, but the truth as I perceived it.

I have also written these commentaries in the hope that others might be blessed, and possibly helped. But overall they are merely my story as I recalled them. A real reminder how the Lord is gracious to us sinners, to even allow us to be His "dear children."

If I have repeated myself, it’s because, it’s what I do when I preach/teach. While I do take the ministry seriously, I don’t take myself so seriously.

None of these events have moved me from my love for my wife, and children, and the Lord Jesus Christ. In most cases, they have strengthened me in my love for the Lord, and family.
I often think, okay, so if I were able to skip the experience let’s say in Wooster what would I have lost out on. What if I had not gone to Madison Baptist Church to pastor? What if I had not pastored First Baptist Church in Altoona?

AN EXAMPLE:
Today I enjoy Reformed Theology. I have not embraced perhaps most of their teaching, but I would have never learned it, had it not been for the fact I had departed Portsmouth Baptist Church. Two reasons, after leaving PBC, (which I didn’t want to do) Richard Lemaster gave me his Gateway Computer. I did not have one capable of supporting the Internet. And I would have never gone to Bigelow Church (which they don’t know what to do with me), and I want to leave, but I like it so well) I would have never known Frank Tallerico, who has introduced me to the Reformed Theology Especially the Doctrines of Grace, from which I have learned so very much. In the last three years, I have had a wonderful time daily studying the Word of God, and from those who know the Word of God. I have spent hours studying, reading, writing, learning that I would have never had the time to do but for the previous experiences.

Each path that we have taken, has given us some great experiences of life and ministry. Whether they were bad choices or right choices, the Lord has turned them unto His glory, I pray. We certainly have gotten blessed beyond any deserving.

What I have tried to express in these experiences are some concerns I have with the ministry as a whole. Some to detail the ministry itself, some to express the experience itself, and some thoughts as to why I left the ministry at the church.

I have tried to chronicle events in order of their events, but that hasn’t always been the case. I have tried to address the problems of being in ministry. I have tried to be honest from my point of view. I would like to know the viewpoints from the pastors and people that I have worked with. That might be scary for sure.

I am not embarrassed or even humiliated. There have been some wonderful experiences in every place I have had the opportunity to serve. Have I been embarrassed yes, have I been humiliated, yes. But I have a short term memory in the humiliation department. While I might remember a lot of the events, I focus mostly on the good things that happened.

Posted by Charles E. Whisnant September 22, 2006 Check by Charity Whisnant, September 21, 2006
Series Personal Ministry: #45




WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR JOB?

WHY SHOULD YOU LEAVE TOWN WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR JOB Part 2 Hyles-Anderson College and First Baptist Church, Hammond, Ind
A continued series #44

When I came down those stairs at Calvary, and came out to the car, "Charity, we are moving, I just received word from the Pastor, he asked me to leave the church." We had no conceivable idea where we would go? Moving was not in our future plans. Looking back I would not have moved? At lease until I knew where I was going and had a job.

So what do we do? We took the summer as I remember, and went to Portsmouth Ohio, and stayed somewhere, and we had a couple of Vacation Bible School programs to made ends meet.

How I view going to Hyles-Anderson College and FBC, when Jack Hyles was the pastor
I am not quite sure how it happen, but my brother Don said we could stay with him until we found a place. He was living in Indiana. We decided to move . Good grief. For a month our family and Don’s family lived together. I was looking for a secular job to work. And then I say, "I think I need to stay spiritual." and so I enrolled in Hyles-Anderson College, for a Pastors Refresher Course and in the program for a Masters of Education.

I was able to find a job at a public school, as a security guard, worked all night. we found a house in Ceder Lake Indiana, near the college. I was working all night, going to college during the day.

HOW WAS IT GOING TO COLLEGE AT HYLE-ANDERSON?
There was no greater thrill at the time, then being in college again. This time I was married and had two children. I was thirty-one and a bit more mature and had a better view of the college.

One of the best classes I took was the Christian Education class. Every day we had a staff member of the First Baptist Church come and present their ministry. Every ministry at FBC was presented to us. For example: Church Secretary. "Before you hire a asso. Pastor hire a church secretary. " A church secretary will help you more than any other person to help build the church.

I took this advice when I went to FBC of Altoona. The best person I had was Cecil Nunnenkamp. She was the best. We were taught at Hyles to write a letter to all visitors and there was a form letter. But Cecil would personalize a letter to every visitors we had and it was as if I wrote it. People would thank me for the personal letter, and I say you are welcome. In fact Cecil wrote it. For the next fourteen years plus, she wrote a bet nearly a thousand letters. That is just one example of how good she was. Thanks Cecil.

This course at the College was a practical things that you would do in the church.
How to start a Nursery. How to write by-laws. How to start a Music Choir. How to build a church building. And few more dozens practical idea. And you were able to implement them in the work of the church. Jack Hyles did have a written book that had a lot of these idea in. I used many of them at FBC in Altoona.

While there were no theological classes at Hyles-Anderson, but practical courses. I loved every minute that I was there. I was caught up in the excitement of the moment.
The college was more practical in nature than theological.

WHAT ABOUT GOING TO FBC IN HAMMOND?
What a great experience to go to FBC on Sunday Morning. We lived about forty miles from the church. The church was downtown Hammond, and we had to part sometimes blocks way. But it was worth every step back to the church.

Seven thousand people in one setting was just excellent. Sunday School, Worship and Sunday Evening were the highlight of our week. Bar none Hyles teaching and preaching, there were none better than he was. I was definitely caught up in the ministry there.
September 25, 1926—February 6, 2001 Jack Hyles.....
FBC had drive-in Sunday School and church, then the bus churches, A B C D and E Sunday School and Church. By the end of the day FBC had over 22,000 in Sunday School. It was diffentely exhilarating.

I was defiantly caught up in the moment in other places I have been, but never at FBC or Hyle-Anderson. I never said, I wish I wasn’t here, because I really love it.

Eric went to the Hammond Christian School, and I believe he like it, for a third grade. Becky was three and stayed home with mom. I ask Eric about his days in Hammond, He said, "It was just a way of life, and I didn’t know anything of way." He didn’t know there was another way to life as we did I don’t think we did either.

Hyles was in control, he had a love for people for sure. If anything Hyles taught me was to love people. He preached hard against sin, yes, but he also loved them.

I had one class at Hyles-Anderson on how to get a job and fill out an application for a job. I was able to get a job at Pulman Standard, and worked on the Amtrack Train, sleeper car. I must say that was some experience.

But as any other place we have lived, I was always wanting to move and be a pastor/teacher of a church. I was making for the first time some good money, enjoying living there, loved the church and love the school. So why move?

My brother Don, was searching for a church to pastor, and had at this time five churches in which he was invited to come. "Charles, would you like to go to Altoona, Kansas to try out for a church?"

Jack Hyles counsel people every Thursday and Friday, he said about 144 people per week. So I made an appointment to visit with him. I arrived at the church one Thursday evening, and was given a number and a 3x5 card to write my concern. Jack came to the room, he said " #102" I really walked into the room, he was in his short sleeves rolled up, and for the next fifteen minutes, I believe he and I were faced to faced in conversation. He read my card and question and then said. "Charles I believe you should pastor a church, you really do not need to be here."

Written by Charles E. Whisnant, Experienced by Charles, Charity, Eric and Becky (3 months)


WHY SHOULD YOU LEAVE TOWN WHEN YOUR ARE FIRED

When Charity and I, and Eric and Becky left Connersville, Indiana in 1979 when we had just bought a new home, bought a new car.. We were asked by the pastor to get out of town (we were fired). What is interesting, as I look back upon this event, why would we sell our home and leave town. Why didn’t we just continue to live in the city and secure another job and wait for the Lord to open another door of ministry? . Why did we think we had to leave town?

One reason was: the philosophy at the time. You left a church when you resigned or were fired and. you departed town. It is still the philosophy today. That is why I used the term "get out of town" because that is what you did. "Here is two weeks pay check if you get out of town" in other words. The pastor desires you to not only quit your position, but leave the church, and then depart town.

And I will say, they want you to quit your position rather than saying you were fired. Same story in the secular world. It looks better on your next résumé if you quit. Then they want you to write a letter to the fact that you resigned. The reason many pastors want you to leave the church and town is so you will not tell others what really happened.

We certainly believed there were no real reasons we should leave the church in the first place. . Just because the pastor said he didn’t want us to work in the church, why did we think we needed to leave the church and leave town. Certainly most people in the church did not want us to, and they didn’t understand why we were leaving. I wonder what reasons the pastor gave? "Oh, he resigned."

This was the way of thinking for a long time with us. I remember being on staff at Southall Baptist Church in Danville, Va. The pastor said, "Charles, I will give you two weeks pay, and you leave town." Why, I wondered, my mother lived in Danville. He had his son, to have me a nineteen year old to sign a paper saying his dad treated me well. What is wrong with preachers like that? It’s an experience that could have possibly put you out of the ministry.

When I was at Wooster, Ohio, and I felt forced to resign, I left the church and moved out of town. It seems we were always leaving town. Today I wouldn’t do that. As soon as I left town, the pastor of the church resigned. The Pastor wanted to leave the church and he wanted me to leave, too. And the people in the church had no clue. I am certainly glad that those in the church have remained our dear friends over the years. Richard and Elizabeth Clark, and their daughter Linda Shelton, who now is married to a great guy, Mike, and two great young adult children.. I could mention many more.

We departed Wooster, Ohio having no idea where we would go, or what we would be doing at the time, we just moved to Portsmouth, Ohio. We loved the church at Wooster and we loved the town, but because of the pastor we felt that we needed to leave. I guess being 24 years old you are not very smart in these matters..

Secondly, why you leave town. You want to find another ministry. I guess if the church across town would offer you a position on the staff you might stay. You so desire to serve the Lord in ministry that you seek another place of service.

There should be course in seminary: "WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET FIRED BY THE PASTOR" Unfortunately I didn’t have that knowledge, and my father had died thus I did not have someone to help me figure this out.

Of course some times you just want to get out of town. The experience was so bad, you just want to remove yourself from the church and town altogether. But generally Charity and I loved the churches we worked in to this point of ministry. Secondly, Charity was so hurt over this matter, that she did not want to be in the church or go back to the church and even go into the town.

As I have said, this is my experience, and not necessarily anyone elses. The Pastor always seems to say nice things about you when you leave. "Bro Charles and Charity are leaving us, they are going to another ministry," is frequently the comment they will make. Generally, to the surprise to the members. "Charles, why are you leaving us." And you would say, "Well it’s the Lord’s will." When you know it’s really not.

Pastors I have worked with, have been okay to Charity and me after we have left. Of course we don’t see them either, very often. Today I might not be so polite but be candid enough to say something about this matter.

In the secular world you don’t quit until you have secured another job. Also you have unemployment if you get fired. Did you know that does not happen when you work for a church? We never have received an unemployment pay after leaving a church So you are on your own. Churches are free not to pay into unemployment, even when they could. But they don’t. I am speaking of the churches I have worked in. .

And it’s been my experience that the Lord has always taken very good care of us in these experiences. Our pride and feelings are hurt, bruised, and crushed. But as our experiences have proved, "The Lord worked out all the details."

I had a way of saying "Their loss." And in most cases they did lose. The pastor would leave, the youth would leave, members would leave. Who loses here. The church. You would think if the pastor thought I was the trouble, the church would increase after I left, but that has never been the case.

But the Lord has always taken care of us. Amen. And has always taken care of the pastor as well.
THE CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH STORY PART TWO

Youth Ministry, Bus Ministry, and the Children Church Ministry

I decided to cut down on the activities and have more Bible studies. That didn’t go over very well at all. I started a Sunday Evening Bible University. That went well. I think three showed up.

I remember I was rather uncompromising. We had an roller skating event, and I requested that the girls not wear jeans (which I had been told was church policy.) Near disaster for sure. Then the music was not to be rock and roll. That was really bad. Parents really got on my case.

Our Sunday Morning Sr Hi class was really neat. Mr Charlie Cox was just wonderful in leading the singing, and was a good teacher and Thelma Martin was just wonderful singing. Really the program was first class. I enjoyed teaching from the Bible each week.

We had the "Cross and the Switchblade" motion picture one Sunday, we had 95 youth that Sunday. One of my last Sunday’s there, we put on "Star Wars....." The Great Galactic Adventure" That week we had over one hundred and forty kids.

We had a great baseball team. I think. This was the college and career class young people. Andy did a great job. We had a Word of Life Basketball Tournament, and we won first place, local, and then went to State. First class event.

I am told that many of the kids just didn’t get it. They were not ready to hear spiritual teaching. I wonder why, they had had Life Action Group come. They didn’t like the kind of activities that included the spiritual. Games and play they loved. They were not into the spiritual at all.

One of the contractors in the church, built for Charity and I a new house That had never happened before.. . And before the grass grew in the yard we had the youth over for an activity. It had rained and when they left, the new carpet was full of muddy footprints. But our hearts were with the youth, and we enjoyed them coming to our home. One of the members helped us get a car. What was really great was Andy would say "Charles, all staff can have free food at my Dairy Bar." Bill said "Charles, staff can have their dry cleaning done free." And a carpenter and his son built me a beautiful book shelves in my office at the church. What a place for sure. What a group of magnificent members.

What a wonderful staff of people...Gene and Linda Bandy -- what a couple-- we love them and their kids. I understand Gene and Linda are pastoring in Arlington Texas, now. .

I enjoyed preaching on occasion at Calvary. One of my best original messages I preached at Calvary. I appreciated preaching on the pastor’s radio program when he went on vacation.

Apparently Willie was under pressure from some few parents about the style of ministry that we were having. I will introduce here, parents have always been the number one cause of trouble in our ministry.

I could write a whole article on this subject. PARENTS DISRUPT THE EFFORT OF WORKING WITH THEIR YOUTH. From our first ministry with youth, in 1964, a parent went to dad, and complained about something I said to her daughter. My dad, said, "I am sure Charles had a good reason to say what he did to her." That slowed down the complaints.

On more than several cases, teens would later say to me, "Charles, I know my parents were upset about your methods of working with us, but, you were right and it was needed, thank you." That statement has been in about every church where I was pastor or youth pastor. My son Eric was thinking about youth ministry, but when he had to deal with parents, he thought maybe he shouldn’t be a youth pastor.

Sensitive preachers and sensitive parents have been my demise. So whether in church life, the public school or at work, or playing sports, parents really get annoyed at those who are working with their kids. I remember coaching T-Ball..... parents. I was a Juvenile Probation Officer, and parents were the number one problem with their kids. Coaches, teachers, youth pastors, juvenile probation officers. etc, really have a job when it comes to working with children. And I have been all those people. I have four children, and believe me I was not always a good parent when I thought my kids were getting a bad deal.

It’s very dangerous to be a Youth Pastor, believe me. Parents and Pastors. If one doesn’t get you the other will. If you offend a Pastor’s wife or one of his children, you need to pack your clothes and leave.

I recall being invited into the Pastor’s office one day. I thought, " I have been here a year, I might be getting a raise." When I got in the office, the Pastor said "Charles, don’t you think it’s time for you to be a pastor of your own church?" What a surprise.

I walked down the steps and out the door, to our car, and said "Charity, would you believe, Willie wants us to leave." We left in the next few weeks without a word to anyone. I am not sure if anyone had a clue why we left. You did that in those days. But since that time, I have never permitted myself to allow a pastor or a church to do that to me again. If I have done wrong I will admit it and take the responsibility, but when I have done my best to fulfill my responsibilities as a pastor or youth pastor, I will not and have not left without saying why.

Just this last year one grown lady who had been in our youth class said to me, "Charles, why did you leave our church?" "I have wondered for all these years." I told her.

I have on purpose and at the request of Charity in these posts tried to leave out the parts that have been hurtful. I have tried to protect the guilty. I have tried to emphasize the good parts of the ministry, because I believe we have had a reasonably remarkable ministry.

I certainly have not desired that the Lord would have changed the events and churches where we have ministered by his sovereignty or providence. Too many of our dear friends have come as a result of the ministries that the Lord has allowed us to have. I would not be willing to give up anyone of them.

Well, maybe Alan and Angie and the three boys.....Just kidding! Let me tell you about them.... Alan was the one who came to the Bible Studies in Connersville and he went with me to the Youth Rallies. After graduating from college, Alan came to our church where I pastored at FBC in Altoona, before he was married. After he was married to Angie, and before any of their children were born, they were coming to minister to our church. More folks were saved and believers were strengthened as a result of Alan and Angie’s ministry than any other evangelist, in the sixteen years I was there. They have been faithful to the Lord and ministry for all these years, and are steadfast in their resolve to serve the Lord.

So what if you have a little hardship, lose your new home, have to leave your friends, have no place to move, no money coming in, no job, have no clue where you are going and what you are going to do. ... and have to leave without anyone really knowing why you left.

*Charity’s note: The Connersville newspaper carried a daily question & answer column by Billy Graham. At the end of our year in Connersville, Dr. Graham answered one lady’s question with wisdom that has encouraged me many times over the years. He told her that her security was not in where she lived, or in her husband’s income or where he worked. Her security rested in God Himself, who has promised to supply all her need, according to his riches in glory, by Christ Jesus, her Lord......and to that I say,"Amen. God is faithful."

Would you like to know what we did after leaving Connersville, Indiana.... you won’t believe it...
These thoughts are mine. Not necessary those whom I worked for or with.
Written Posted by Charles E. Whisnant September 15, 2006 ( an all day project, finished at 10:00 p.m.) Checked by Charity at 8:00 p.m. Will be posted as part two on Tuesday September 18th .
Charity will check this on Saturday. She worked 12 hours at the Bakery today. She is tired, resting, and will be up at 4:30 a.m. in the morning to go to work.)


THE CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH STORY
PART ONE

We are enjoying our ministry teaching at Mansfield Baptist Temple, while working with Adam Giess Siding Company I received a call from Willie Weaver, Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Connersville, Indiana. I do not remember where he got my name. Charity and I traveled to Connersville, and visited with Willie at a restaurant. While we were there, he hired us to come to be the Youth Pastor, Bus Director, and Children’s Church Director.

As we drove up from Mansfield and drove on to the Church’s parking lot, we were just amazed at how big the church building was. Calvary Baptist was started by Herbert Fitzpatrick in 1947. When Bro Fitzpatrick was a teenager, he was in my dad’s church. When he left Connersville, he went to Maryland, and pastored the largest church in Maryland.

Also Bro. A.V. Henderson was Pastor of Calvary for a few years, then he pastored the Temple Baptist Church in Detroit, Dr. J. Frank Norris’s former church.

So this church had a great history up until just before we came. The church buildings were large. At one time this church had over 1500 in attendance. Just before we came, there was a split and another group started the Connersville Baptist Temple.

But as we pondered moving to Connersville, and working full time, with full time pay, we were in awe. It was a great church, good pay, and an excellent ministry with the youth.

As Youth Pastor, we were responsible over the Jr Hi, and Sr, Hi, and the College and Career.
We had a great staff from the church: M/M Bill Newkirk, M/M Andy Pitcher, M/M Charlie Cox and M/M Bob Milligan, and M/M Mel Martin.in our Youth Department.

In our Bus Ministry we had a great staff: M/M Charlie Cox, Jim Zornes, Mike Baker, Hubert Wilson, Diana Crist, Randy Resnick, and M/M Mark Melhorn. There were four buses and three vans.

In our Children’s Church Ministry we had a great staff: M/M Ray Lester, Mrs. Verna Brunner, Linda Bandy, and assistant was my lovely wife Charity.

How could you not think that this would be a wonderful ministry? Our Senior High Class was in the Dome Building. This was a beautiful dome like room where you really could have a nice size church. I cannot tell you how awed I felt merely to be working in this ministry.

It’s only as I review this ministry today, that I am still confused as to what went wrong. I would rather review some of the good events that happened while there. At least from my point of view.

The church had just been through a bad church split. The youth were angry because of the split. And thus to gain their respect was rather hard. Some of the kids were rather disrespectful in class and on church outings.

As a church staff, we met daily at the church, and talked over the ministry. I really was glad we were working at the church.

We were in charge of the Bus Ministry, and I must say we didn’t seem to do very well. Certainly nothing like at Gideon Baptist Church, where we were very successful. I am rather in the dark about why we were not very successful. But we still had over seventy coming on the buses and our goal was set for one hundred and twenty-five.

The church did not have a Children’s Ministry when we arrived at Calvary. We were seeing a lot of families leave after Sunday School and not staying for church. We believed the way to increase the worship service attendance was to have a good children’s program.

This was the most successful and fulfilling ministry that we had. We invited Garry Wade who was in Seminary with us to come, Garry was Children/Bus Director at Thomas Road Bapist in Lynchburg. Va. Garry stayed with us, and we learned about the Children’s Ministry. He was just outstanding.

We began to establish a Children’s Ministry, first by building a puppet set. We actually built a small set of buildings. We bought some double-wall cardboard 6'x4' and build a theater screen. This set covered the length of the dome. We called this ministry: "The Backyard Church." I am not sure why. We had puppets, which we made. My personal favorite and the star of the puppet ministry was O.D. Dragan. I was the voice behind O.D. Charity was the front person who talked to O.D. We had a bakery, candy story, toy story, a jail, and a couple other buildings.
Mel Martin was an electrican and he set us up with all kinds of lighting and sound. We had the state of the art sound and lighting for the time. This was a first class Children’s Ministry.
Over 80 kids came each week and we had such a wonderful time in this ministry. Attendance topped over one hundred several times.

In the mean time I was the Youth Pastor as well. The name we took was "The Youth Action Ministry." Our spring goal was 100 and we reached 100 young people in our Youth Action Division. We also had a good Word of Life Program. We would meet at the Milligan home for the Word of Life Club. We had several all nighters. Once the youth went to Indianapolis for an all nigher. I believe we took two buses and over 50 kids. We went to the Red’s baseball games, we took nearly 100 kids. Activities were great and many would come, but on the other hand when we had any kind of Bible fellowship we would have Alan Harris show up and maybe Teresa Mills would too.

End of Part One:

Proof read, spell check, by Charity Whisnant
SUNDAY’S NUGGET: HOW TO DISCOVER GOD’S PRINCIPLES

"More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb." Psalms 19:10

While I was pastor/teacher at First Baptist Church in Altoona, Kansas 1980-1996 I wrote this article as part of a booklet that we gave out to our members. I have always taught, every lesson I teach, every message I preach, has a truth and a principle that you should be able to write down in a sentence or two. There is a truth and a principle we need to discover and live by.

Imagine that you are a prospector searching for gold in the Nevada mountains. You’re kneeling in the pure water of a shallow stream. With your wide, saucer-shaped pan you scoop up sand and pebbles from the stream bottom. Slowly, shake the pan in a side-to-side rhythm. The wet contents gently slip back into the clear water. The pan is nearly empty when you see it. Trying to contain your emotion you move the pan ever more carefully until you know it is the real thing; a huge gold nugget! You pick it up and examine it closely. It is real! You’ve discovered gold!

Well, back to reality! You’re not a prosecutor and you probably will never discover gold in Nevada or anywhere else. You feel disappointed, but here’s some good news: You can discover something more valuable than gold. What is it? Principles. That’s right. Principles.

A principle is a central truth of God’s Word. It is fundamental to the way God wants us to live. It is an underlying, essential truth upon which we can make proper decisions, build our lives and enjoy the blessings of God through obedience to its teaching. Out of each principle, other truths are derived. It is like a rich vein containing countless nuggets. To discover a principle is to discover an unlimited source of spiritual wealth. Mining from it will make you rich in the things of God.

Here is how you can discover God’s principles:

LEARN TO IDENTIFY PRINCIPLES:

The Bible is full of truths. But not every truth is a principle. The best way to understand this is to take a good look at a Scripture passage which reveals one of God’s principle. An excellent example is in Galatians 6:7,8. These verses say: Ga 6:7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Ga 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

In these two sentences, God tells us a lot. But there is a central theme to what He has to say. That central theme is the principle of sowing and reaping.

The principle says simply: What you sow (spiritually), you will reap (spiritually). Everything in these verses underscores this one basic truth. You can probably see this principle very clearly. This principle works in nature. You sow beans you do not reap corn. You get beans. You will reap exactly what you have sown. It is impossible for the opposite to occur, for God has so ordered the physical world. He has established definite physical laws governing the physical realm and definite spiritual laws governing the spiritual realms. These spiritual laws are His principles.

"Things change." Principles are eternal and unchanging. Things may change from the examples given in the Bible events, but the principles are unchanging. The customs may change but the principles behind the customs do not change.

What we need to ask to identify God’s principles is : What is the main thing God is saying?
(What is the underlying basic truth He is communicating?) Every time you read God’s Word, search for an answer to this basic question?

Sometimes the truth is right on the surface, sometime the verse only gives a "nugget" and sometimes you really have to search for the truth, but it’s there if you study and dig it out.
Therefore every message that is presented by the Pastor and Teacher, there is a truth established and a principle to be applied in our Christian life. You should in a sentence or two establish the truth and the principle. On your notes you should write down that truth and principle and begin to work it out in your life.

A TRUTH is God’s Word about something, and the PRINCIPLE is the way in which we can see it work out in reality.

When you discover one of God’s principles, you have found something really valuable. Don’t lose it. Perhaps you have heard of the old prospector who found a fabulously rich vein of gold in the western United States, back in the day of the great old gold rush. He became so excited that he ran off hurriedly to stake his claim. In his excitement he forgot to mark the spot of his discovery. When he returned from the assay office, he couldn’t relocate the place of his big find. Every crack in the mountain looked the same to him. Often, this same thing happens to Christians who discover God’s principles. They fail to mark the spot, and when they return to a portion of God’s Word to dig out more spiritual truth, they can’t find the "vein" God revealed to them.

There are several essential steps to take after discovering a Biblical principles. FIRST: mark your Bible in the exact place of your discovery. Your discovery marker can be a star, an asterisk, or any other simple mark you prefer, a highlighter would be good. Below the "discovery marker," write a key word or phrase which identifies the principle. SECOND: write a brief description of the principle. Carefully select the wording and record what the principle means to you and how it applies specifically to your life. THIRD: prayerfully agree with God to live according to the principle He has revealed to you. FOURTH: check up periodically to make sure you are living the principles you have discovered and have committed yourself to live by. Knowing God’s principles without living them is like living in poverty when you have unlimited reserves of cash in the bank.

  • THUS KEEP IN MIND THESE THINGS:
    1B LEARN TO IDENTIFY PRINCIPLES: Know what you’re looking for.
    2B EXPECT DISCOVERY Be positive when you search the Scripture, or listen to a message.
    3B STAKE A CLAIM; Make God’s principles your own. Record them, claim them through obedience, invest them in your life. You’ll become spiritually wealthy.

Start today

Charles & Charity Whisnant

WHY WE SHOULD BE MOTIVATED TO STUDY AND LEARN AND SHARE?

Why should we be motivated to study and learn? We need first to have the right motivation as to why should you study and read? Many a good man has fallen prey to false compulsions and thus has lost the real or full benefit of ongoing study. For one thing, your continuing study should not be motivated by the desire to gain a certain prestige. . . . Don't fall prey to that. The goal of learning is knowledge, not a status. . . .But at the same time, sharing what you know is immense helpful to others.
One motivation that ought to persuade your study is simply the desire to comprehend. To learn the truth. To capture true and useful knowledge. There are very few times when it is okay to be greedy in life; but in learning we ought to be "greedy" to learn, because truth is God's and we ought to want to know it. Don’t let others say, "I am dumb, I am humble for Christ." Don’t let others make you feel bad for your knowledge of truth and study. Charles "Tremendous" Jones said "The most tremendous experience of life is the leaning process. The saddest time is when a person thinks that he had learned enought."
Additionally, we ought to be encouraged to learn in order to be a help to the body of believers. Not occasion have I seen Christian ministers who, by much study, considered themselves very sophisticatedand "above" the average churchgoer. But not very often.. But the faithful shepherd studies precisely to be a help to the people of God, however humble they may be. We want to learn in order to be serviceable to the body of Christ’s believers.
Toward the same thoughts , you ought to be motivated to learn in order to be helpful to other ministers and churches. Study and read and learn so that you can be a blessing to other Gospel ministers and Bible teachers. Your knowledge is potentially a help and encouragement to fellow ministers wrestling with a precise area of knowledge that they don't know so well as you. I ask Rick Warner to fill me in with his latest project he has been working on. He has a precise area of knowledge in his field that is stimulating. Thanks for sharing Rick. I spend some time with my brother-in-law Herschel and my sister Ellen Simpson on our vacation, and they shared the technique knowledge about health that was very beneficial.
Not only so that you can teach your people if you pastor a church and teach a class and bear witness yourself, but also to help other ministers who don't know as much about what you now know.

Maybe you'll become an expert in the Puritans, like J.I. Packer, not only so that you can be edified through that excellent material, but also so that you can disillusion others of the considerable and negative mythology which encompasses this whole field of study, and introduce ministers and other Christians to the goldmine to be found in those writings. You get my point. Be motivated to learn in order that your learning may bless the bigger body of Christ.
[All of us] can learn and bless others too. How? Ray Pritchard sends out a weekly e mail, even after he resigned as pastor, he continues to send a weekly sermon, and what he is doing. Love that. What I love most about blogging is learning what other men are learning and studying. There is not a day that I do not log on to monergism.com. John H does a great job directing that web. Their blog Reformation has outstanding men who write daily, what a job but what a blessing. I love teampryro.blogspot Phil Johnson’s site. Thanks for sharing. All these people bless others with their learning. Now it's time for you to do the same. Read up. Learn. Become a blessing and encouragement. Thanks to Randy Webb for sharing with me. Thanks for Marty Stevicks for sharing with me, and others. Thanks to my brother Don Whisnant who shares a daily thought. (Now I might add here that sharing what you have been learning, rather than nonsense stuff. )

So my e mail is if you have learned some new ideas, doctrine, theology, health, church ministry, etc. please share. And thanks

Thus, why should we investigate and learn, and comprehend? For God's glory, for our growth inthe knowledge of His truth, for the blessing of the church, and to be an encouragement to other ministers and teachers . There are definitely more incentives to study than these. But take these as meaningful .idea for you to share what the Lord has laid on your heart to learn.
Charles
CHURCH NEWS PUBLICATION , BASEBALL CARDS, BASKETBALL CARDS, NASCAR CARS, AND WHEATIES BOXES


I really enjoy collecting and keeping stuff, I guess. I have enjoyed accumulating baseball cards from my earlier days. Collecting baseball cards started before I was a ten years because I was always a baseball fan -- the New York Yankees, always. Mickey Mantle, Bobby Richardson, Tony Kubek, Yogi Berra, Don Larson, Bill Skowron Tom Tresh, Elston Howard, Roger Maris, Hank Baur, Bob Turley, Whitey Ford, Ken Boyer, Casey Stengall. I had all their cards. Yes I had the #311 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle. The #254 1951 Bowman Mantle..... And those from 1957 to 1966. That was the year I went to college. When I went away to college, I left Danville, Virginia and went to Arlington, Texas. I left my cards with mom. Actually at this point, I was more interested in Bible College than baseball cards. Mom had moved from Danville to Portsmouth, Ohio. I really never gave much thought about those cards. Sometime later, mom said she had kept all those cards for years, but then one day she just threw them away. This is a true story. Remember, Charity does the truth research on these articles.

When I was pastoring Madison Baptist Church, I read in a magazine a list of the top 100 Sunday Schools in America. I had this idea of writing these churches to ask for some of their material. I wrote over 100 churches, and you know, over 85 churches sent me their church weekly or monthly papers. They kept on doing this for years. I carefully alphabetized and categorized all these papers. Over the next five years, there were over 16,000 papers. When we moved to Cedar Lake, Indiana, Charity had just had enough of this, and she set all these papers outside for the garbage collector. And in a day they were all gone. That was the end of all those church papers.

If I was not collecting papers, I was collecting books. Yes, I carefully alphabetized and categorized all of them, at FBC in Altoona, I had over 3000 books. When we were newlyweds, our earthly possessions consisted of our clothes, dishes and pots and pans and thirty-two boxes of books! I also kept just about every piece of paper that I printed in Altoona, and kept them in file folders. Did I think there was going to be a Whisnant Library someday? I had over 200 folders each containing material of Sunday School and Church programs. I left almost all of those books in Altoona. I did keep my technical and references books.

When I left Altoona, I had 100 plus three ring 1" & 1 ½ " binders with Bible and study lessons. All carefully arranged and identified.

In 1995, I rediscovered collecting Baseball and Basketball cards. In one of my earlier posts I tell the story of my trip with Chad to the auction where I bought a mint of baseball cards. And I believe the story mentions why I re-entered the collecting of cards. I was hooked on collecting. Kansas City at this time had a lot of great Sport Card Shops. Eric, Chad, and Kyle liked going to these places to seek out the latest cards. For the first time I discovered what was inside a Wal- Mart or K Mart. Prior to this I would usually sit in the car while Charity would go into the stores. Now I checked out the Baseball Cards.. We couldn’t take a trip without looking for a place that sold sports cards. We looked for Flea Markets. Every time we would come to Portsmouth to visit Charity’s mom and dad, on the way out of town, we would stop and buy a box of baseball cards.

My friend Allen Barnhart, who was a member of our church in Altoona, Kansas, had a hobby of racing cars on a dirt track. Allen also was a big Dale Earnhardt, Sr. fan. Thus began my enjoyment of NASCAR and Dale Earnhardt, Sr., and my collection of NASCAR.

If I remember correctly, I was in a grocery store in Fredonia Kansas, and I saw a Wheaties Box that had Dale Earnhardt, Sr. picture on the box.or it might have been Michael Jordan..... the beginning of collecting Wheaties Boxes. I collected a few while in Altoona, but it was when I arrived in Lexington, Kentucky that the collecting of NASCAR and WHEATIES BOXES really began.

What started out as a very small collection of memorabilia, a few Wheaties Boxes, several 1000 baseball cards, which could be stored in our apartment’s closet grew when we moved to our house on Ashland Avenue, I was able to have my own Sport’s Memorabilia Room. (I wish I had the ability to put some of the pictures I have on these posts, but I don’t.)

During this period of time, ( which I will at a later time write about) , I started collecting memorabillia. Mostly NASCAR 1/64 or 1/24 die cast cars. Wheaties Boxes, and Starting Lineup Sports Figures, and Sports Cards, and Hot Wheels, and Sports Magazines. (I did have two part- time jobs to fund my little habit.... along with my full time job.)

By late 1999 I had over 300 Wheaties Boxes. Truth. All carefully cataloged. I had collected 100's of 1/64, 1/24 NASCAR’S cars. Many Starting Lineup and Headliners Action Figures. My room was filled from ceiling to floor. Products that have NASCAR drivers on them I collected. Also, Kellogg Cerael Boxes with Sports people on them I collect.

I guess I should tell the WHEATIES BOX story. In Dec 1999 Charity had gone to Kroger’s and while she was checking out, she saw a lady who was Lexington Herald-Leader staff writer. She was buying a box Wheaties. Charity mentioned to her that I collected Wheaties boxes. Beverly Fortune said, "I am doing a story about hobbyists collecting, could I make an appointment to visit with your husband about his collecting?" Would you ever believe Beverly came and spent the next two hours visiting with me about my collection.

On Saturday, January 15, 2000, in the Lexington Herald-Leader’s Home & Garden Section of the newspaper was a full page picture and article about my WHEATIES boxes and NASCAR model cars and memorabillia. Lexington Herald-Leader has a circluation of over 500,000.

Would you believe that in the next six months, this story had gone out over the AP wire all over the United States. Yep. I received phone calls from all over the United States. Letters and pictures from people who collected Wheaties.

In our move to Portsmouth, I had to rent a rental truck just for the memorabilia., and a library of books, papers and three ring binders.

What really caught my attention about this collecting was these posts I am writing. I was telling Charity, "I have the church paper from FBC in Haltom City, Texas (Ft. Worth) where I was mentioned as the Minister of Education in 1975. And I have the papers from Mansfield Baptist Temple where I was Camp Director at Pleasant Valley Ranch.

A few years back, I mentioned to my sister Ellen Samples, that I would like to get my Master’s, she said that Dallas College would give credit for service rendered in ministry. Ellen suggested that I put together a binder that substantiated the places that I had worked. So I went to work on this project and was really able to do that. From when I was Youth Pastor at Roanoke Baptist Temple in Virginia in 1964 thru today, I can validate churches where I have worked.

So, just in case there is a Whisnant’s Library, I will have some papers to furnish at least one room. Well, I could have all my binders of church and Bible study work. The collecting of sermons on cassette tapes. My stamp collection. My library books. My binders of Sports cards, etc. and my historical Scofield, and Dickson Bibles. And the 1986 .IBM computer.
PLEASANT VALLEY RANCH AND COLLEGE AND CAREER CLASS

The experience as Camp Director at Pleasant Valley Ranch, in Perrysville, Ohio

Since I had worked with youth for years, and having been to church youth camp many times, I was looking forward to this ministry. PVR was a ministry of Mansfield Baptist Church, and this was their first year in this ministry. We were on the ground floor and I was their first Camp Director. All this was a real challenge indeed for us.

Shortly after arriving at the Camp, Charity and I were able to go to THE WILD’S, a youth camp ministry in North Caroline. Ken Hay was the director. We had a wonderful time for a week of training in the camp ministry.

Our first Ranch Schedule was for the summer of 1977, on this 278 acres of land and plenty of wooded area for trails and hiking and evening campfires. We spent a lot of hours planning for a great summer of camp.

I personally enjoyed hiking in the wooded area of the Ranch and helping set up the Camp Schedule. The Ohio World Baptist Fellowship started using Pleasant Valley Ranch as their main camp. That first year, Troy Todd was the director and he directed the camp for the next twenty plus years.

My brother Don Whisnant, scheduled a week of camp for his youth group. He was a Youth Pastor at Calvary Baptist in Rittman, Ohio. We had a great week.

Dave Adams and his wife Becky, whom I went to High School with in Roanoke Virginia came down to the Camp with a group from Liberty Baptist College.

One of my camp buddies was Randy Webb, a young man who really loved the camp life. He and I had a great time around the camp fire. Randy is now in Mississippi, and we are still good friends. Randy was one of my main assistants when I was teaching the Young Single Adult class at Mansfield Baptist Temple.

One of the most gratifying experiences that we had was teaching the College and Career Class I still have a paper that we published, we called "The Searchers" One of the articles I had was:
  • ARE WE GROWING AS CHRISTIANS?
    Learning to believe His Word
    Learning to trust His Direction
    Learning to see His working in our living
    Learning to plant seeds (love, time, concern, money) that will reap eternal results
    Learning to thank Him for blessings
    Learning to live by God’s eternal principles
    Learning to live this life that will resemble the life in the Kingdom of God

  • Our class staff officers were: in April 1978
    Sunday School - Frank Donato Unit/Outreach -Randy Webb
    Activity/Mission - Steve Donato and Debbie Faugle Secretary - JoAnn P
    We averaged about thirty each Sunday, and what joy we had teaching and working with each one of the young men and women.

  • Ministry to this age group is critical if you want to see them continue in church. Those in their 20's then and now in 2006 drop out at a 90% rate.



PLEASANT VALLEY RANCH AND THE BLIZZARD OF 1976.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED BY THE LORD TO PREACH AND BE IN MINISTRY?

Charles Spurgeon gave several ways to examine if you have really been lead of the Lord to be in the ministry. From Spurgeon’s book: Lectures to My Students, which I have read several times.

1A There will be an "intense, all absorbing desire for the work."
2A There will be an "aptness to teach and some measure of the other qualities needful for the office of a public instructor... If a man be called to preach, he will be endowed with the ability, which he will cultivate and increase."
3A There will be "a measure of conversion-work going on under his efforts."
4A There will be "as a needful proof of your vocation that your preaching should be acceptable to the people of God.... God usually opens doors of utterance to those whom he calls to speak in His name."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * *
LOOKING BACK ON MINISTRY
I am not sure if returning to those yester years is a benefit or not (The Lone Ranger) I am certainly delighted I am on this side, rather than on the other side ready to enter into the next phase of life.

THE YEAR 1976 LIVING IN GRAPEVINE, TEXAS.
I left off yesterday with the statement" I was smart, intelligent and perspicacious" I was just being humorous. That word "perspicacious" means "keen and smart" But after thinking through this post today, and talking to Charity, I need to find an antonym for perspicacious which is stupid. I was twenty-seven years old, I should have been smart enough, experienced enough. Nevertheless the idea of getting back into ministry overcame any negative thinking.

We received a call from Dr. Tommy Leatherwood, from the Mansfield Baptist Temple in Mansfield Ohio. "Charles, I would like for you to come to Mansfield and be on our staff and be the Camp Director of Pleasant Valley Ranch." Now that was exhilarating to think we were invited to come to Mansfield.

KNOWING WHEN TO GO AND KNOWING WHEN TO STAY! Sometimes I think there is a problem with this process that we go through in the ministry. When you are an Independent Baptist you are indeed eccentric, an individualist, a non-conformist, and self-reliant And it seems most of the time a maverick, and I am not talking about James Garner.

I have two great jobs that I am working at, and the work at FBC in Haltom City is going very well. I love preaching and teaching, but when I get this call from T.L., I am ready to move.
Looking forward to the possibility of working as a Camp Director it seemed at the time a great opportunity for me, looking backward on this opportunity it was an experience of both hurt and blessings.

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN IT’S THE LORD’S DIRECTION TO ENTER INTO A NEW OPPORTUNITY OF MINISTRY? Should I have stayed in Grapevine Texas?. Bro. Mosley stayed at FBC in Haltom City until he died in 2006.

Sometimes you are in the position to make a decision and in that moment you make a choice that you fully believe is right. However, when you get into that ministry, you certainly think differently. I had always prided myself in thinking I could make good decisions. You would think by now, I would have had little confidences in any decisions. Just note the decision to go to Wooster, or Minford, or even Victory. While I would say they were very good ministries, in the final analysis or upon the examination or investigation of the events that were to follow, you would say, "Why did I believe I was led to go there?"

What are the evidences that would make any sense that you made right choices? Humanly speaking?

John MacArthur says, "To know the will of God, sometimes it’s after you have been there for a while that will determine His will." If you look at the ministries at Wooster, Madison or Victory, you would conjecture the ministries were very successful. But then upon further examination, because I left because of the will of the Pastor, or church members, you would say differently.

I have said, "I will leave, but it’s not the will of the Lord that I do." I did not really want to leave any of those ministries. Too many good things happened while in those ministries not to think we were in the Lord’s will for our lives.

Why after a near collapse of the belief that I was to be in ministry, did I jump back into it at FBC of Haltom City? I am glad I did because my confidence was raised back up to the point I believed the Lord wanted me in ministry again. And this time I was leaving on my own free will.

So now we are going to move to Mansfield, Ohio, with little money for gas, or moving. We were leaving a good job, a good ministry, and a good place to live.... we move to Mansfield.
When we arrived at Mansfield, we discovered that we were going to live in the upstairs that was in the gym on the Ranch. We learned that our salary was about $50.00, and I was going to have to go to work another job as well. Thank the Lord for Adam Giess, who gave me a job in his business of siding houses. This was going to be a very difficult ministry from the first day I arrived to the day I left the Camp Ministry.

At the time I had little reason to comprehend this was going to turn out an awful ministry. To me at the time, this was an experience of a life time. This was a large, respected church, a pastor well admired by many, and I was personally appreciative to be working for him and the church. And as a matter of fact in spite of the experience, I still love T.L. and the church. I had the time of my life, preaching at the church and sitting on the platform with some great preachers. I thought I was on the top of the world in ministry.

The ministry of being a Camp Director was short lived due to the fact that T.L. left the church
Following Bro. T.L. leaving the church after twenty-five years of ministry, we stayed in the church and were asked by the next Pastor, Richard Folger to teach the Young Single Adult Class. While we continued to work for Adam Giess, we had a wonderful time teaching the young adult class. Randy Webb, was in our class. He was a young man who had a great desire for the ministry at the camp and has to this day, been a good friend. He has some good stories to tell. The Lord has taken him through the fire and back, but he keeps fighting back, and we are thankful for him and his family.

Charity has put up with me now for seven years, (1969-1976). We have moved a number of times, from Fort Worth, to Wooster, Ohio to West Portsmouth, to Minford, to Portsmouth, to Grapevine, Texas, and to Perrysville, Ohio and now Mansfield, Ohio. And we are still 28 years old. Oh Lord.....

Now we have been in a lot of places in houses and apartments. Oh my! At the Ranch we moved from the ranch’s gym building to the old ranch house. In the winter of 76-77 the snow was the worst in Mansfield’s history. We were snowed in for a month. During one blizzard we lost all heat in the house. Thinking we could hold out for a while in the house, we gathered all the blankets we could to keep warm. We would have died had it not been for the caretakers on the Camp, who were able to secure some heat and we stayed with them. Thank goodness we survived the snow. Eric was six and Becky was a year old in Feb 77.

With all this said, if My God, in His Wisdom and Will, has Chosen this experience for us for His Glory, then we will give Him glory.