THIS IS ONLY WITHIN MY EXPERIENCE
I am glad to say there are many great church ministries that are doing a wonderful work for the Lord. Amen. Thus I am not talking about those churches. I study healthy churches and glean from them. Large churches do not mean they are necessarily Biblically healthy. Small churches are not necessarily unhealthy either.
In my experience, the Lord has seemed to be pleased in His providence to direct me toward churches that are not always very healthy, and they need some healthy leadership.
While I have been in some churches that are large, from 300 to 1000, (not counting FBC in Hammond), generally I have worked in or have pastored churches from 12 to 300. So, I have been in the smaller churches.
We have now written some seventy articles looking at the past ministry experience,.which has been rather a stimulation of spirit and mind. I am not sure there has been any significance or importance in this endeavor, other than Chad my son thought this was good therapy for me.
I have enjoyed putting down some of the experiences. I have come to the understanding that I have loved the work of the ministry.
What I have tried to understand about these last forty years is "have these experiences been to the glory and purposes of the Lord? Has the Lord been glorified, and has He purposed the direction that I have been lead over these forty years?"
I often say, from a personal consideration, the ministry was frequently an abbreviated ministry that was not a fulfillment of the goals and objectives that I believed should have occurred.
The Apostle Paul could stay a few weeks in Thessalonica and accomplish God’s purpose. I have found that ministry today takes a while to accomplish a strong foundation..
What I have thought as I glance back through the maze of ministries and the positions that I have enjoyed, the people that I have met and the young people that I have worked with, it has been extraordinarily worth every moment.
While no place where I have served would we consider to be a failure of effort, and even believe there has been some degree of success; nevertheless, I believe there was so much yet to be accomplished had we stayed longer. . .
It seems that most of the places I have served there was some form of hardship or the church had been hampered from effective ministry. When we arrived to begin our ministry, or shortly thereafter, it seemed that there was a need to help bring the ministry into a more healthy position. (As a footnote: Generally the churches didn’t feel they were unhealthy.) My objective was to help develop a good foundational ministry that would bring about the best results. The enjoyment of initiating a new philosophy of ministry in the church was certainly a good objective. For example:
- At Madison Baptist - Having a pastor for more than a year, and paying the pastor
At Wooster - A youth ministry developed - Team Leaders both Sunday Morning/Night
- Calvary Baptist - A great Children’s Church Ministry.
- FBC - Altoona - Eldership Ministry, Training Faithful Christians -
- Victory Baptist - Sunday School Ministry, and Youth Ministry
- Portsmouth Baptist - Re-establishment of a Sunday School.Ministry.
Some of the churches I happened to be in, I would describe as dysfunctional. Biblical ministry was missing. In a few churches there were workers who loved the Lord, but lacked spiritual leadership. I have said this must have been my mission from the Lord.
I would like to believe the Lord’s mission was to provide the leadership necessary to get the church healthy. And in the case of Madison, and FBC, I believe this was accomplished. I was the pastor in these two churches for the necessary time to accomplish the task. Both of these churches are today doing very adequately in ministry. Both churches today are still small churches in very small towns (less than 500), but both are doing very well. But when I went to these churches they were functional but not healthy. I enjoyed the task of helping provide the leadership to bring the church into a condition for ministry.
I have from my youth enjoyed the leadership role and enjoyed the development of ministry. I enjoyed training men and women and youth for ministry. I have enjoyed learning the different styles of other ministries. Let me give a few places as an example:
- Thomas Road Baptist Church - Lynchburg Super Conference
- First Baptist Church - Hammond Pastor’s School Sunday School Teaching Material Church Office Work, Visitors,
- Basic Institute of Youth Conflicts Bill Gothard
- All Day Ministers Seminar for 12 years Bill Gothard
- From 1983 & 1990 Grace Community Church - Shepherd’s Conference - Van Nuys, Calif. (FBC Altoona) My preaching style of Expositional teaching The style of church government
- Calvary Chapel - Chuck Smith -2003
- Purpose Driven Church - Rick Warren 2002-2003 Have a reason and purpose for ministry
- Southern Acres Christian Church - Lexington Ky 1996-2002
- Ashland Ave Baptist Church - Lexington - 1996-2002
- 9 Marks of a Healthy Church 2005 Mark Dever
- Several Online Ministries I have studied.
- George Norris, Gideon Baptist Church 1968-69- Practical Pastor’s Work
- Robert Schuller, really, in the early 1980's. Sunday School Ministry
Drafted Charles E. Whisnant 10 16th & 24th Proof Read Charity 10-24,25 2006 Posted 25th