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

  • I’m having a difficult time bringing myself out of the pastoral mode; thus, I have to keep myself focused on other things. When you are not pastoring you do feel like a fish out of water, especially when you are in a church where they don’t want you to have any pastoral responsibility. The mindset that you have as a pastor is directed toward watching over the sheep in the flock. I have found just because I am not pastoring doesn’t negate my mindset in this area. While being a member of another church in which you are not a pastor, understanding your role as a member is difficult. Thus, my outlet has been my blog GROW BY LEARNING and e mail. Since August 11th there have been 200 articles.
At church John came up to me and said, "And there are people who think we are not going through the Tribulation." The Pastor said, "I am not sure that there is going to be a Tribulation." And Paul said something entirely different. And I believe there is going to be a Rapture of the church and a seven-year tribulation and a 1000-year Reign of Christ. What saith thee?

Can someone read and study the Bible and understand what the Scripture is teaching on any subject? Most people in our churches are on the first grade level of understanding how to study the Scripture, and they generally have to rely on what the Sunday School Teacher is saying or on what the Pastor is saying. Which is what many pastors really like in their membership. Really.

Many preachers really do not like to reveal how they study the Bible. One group of preachers don’t study themselves. Another group get their sermons from someone else without studying. Another group of preachers like to make people believe they don’t study

There was a time that I wanted people to believe what I was preaching/teaching was a revelation from God Himself. And if I said it, they were to know what I said was a direct revelation from the Lord. I knew better for sure. I have never heard a word from the Lord like Moses did. Wouldn’t that be wonderful!

There was a time when my own study was totally dependent upon what someone else said. There was a time that my skills of Bible Exegesis were slim to none. I was not taught the skills of Bible study. . I was taught the Word of God by some very good professors (preachers). They taught correctly the Scripture. The issue was they didn’t teach us how to study the Scripture for ourselves. They said to read the Bible and ask the Holy Spirit for a sermon to preach. They believed that if they taught us the meaning of the Scripture that was what was necessary for us to know the Bible.

Later when I learned some skills on Bible Study, and I was able to purchase the necessary books which helped me study the Bible, I was fearful that the members would believe what I was saying wasn’t from the Lord but from books. You really wanted people to believe what you were saying was coming directly from the Lord.

"This sermon this morning from I Peter 1:19 came this week from the Lord." "The Lord spoke to my heart and mind, and I sat down and began to write this message, so listen up folks."" I have heard that line for sure. Preachers like to believe what they are teaching is correct. And they should have that attitude.

But members of the church should be taught how to study the Word of God and learn themselves how preachers of the Word arrived at their thinking about the interpretation of the Word of God.

Yes, it’s our profession; and yes, it’s our work to study and learn the Word of God. We are supposed to know and study and preach the Scripture. But I also believe as teachers of the Word, we should teach the flock how to learn the Scripture. "Do like I do folks, just read the Scripture, and the Lord will give you the proper interpretation." Yep.

Now others may arrive with a different point of view through their own study, but they are studying the Scripture. They are not pooling their ignorance in their own study, nor are they totally accepting what others are saying without some study on their own. What you really want is when they argue with you, they are arguing with some knowledge of what they are saying. Well, truthfully, you don’t really like people disagreeing with you. So it’s best that you know how you arrived with the conclusion you have.

The objective in your preaching/teaching is to so teach the Scripture that your people will believe that you have studied the text fully. They will be satisfied that you have a knowledge of the Word of God.

Teaching members of the church what really is required to know the Scriptures is really the task. Teaching members that the preacher/teacher’s first responsibility is to teach the Word of God, and what is required for that task is necessary. Giving members confidence that the Teacher is faithfully learning the Word so that the dispensing of the Word of God is done faithfully is meaningful. John MacArthur said, "The most important thing you can do for your church members is to study the Word of God."

It is important to actually teach members that as a teacher of the Word you do need to study. Showing them how you study will bring more confidence.

"I already know the scripture, study is not necessary." seems to be a prideful attitude rather than a correct attitude. I do think at times it’s a pride attitude when you would like your people to believe you already know the Scripture and a lot of study is not necessary. On the other hand, telling them how much you study gives the idea you know too much. Saying you don’t know the Scripture very well is also a prideful attitude as well. There is to be a balance I am sure.

In my earlier ministry, church members believed the preacher didn’t have to study, nor did they think they should. They believed the preacher received his inspiration from revelation through the Holy Spirit. I have been criticized for studying too much and not being filled with the Holy Spirit. Using notes is a sure sign of not being filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit for sure.

Well, may I say, Holy Spirit filled preachers will have a mind filled with the Word of God.

"Shouldn’t we just accept what the teacher is saying at face value?" No. The Pastor/teacher needs to earn that acceptance. He should demonstrate that he does study the Scripture.

Of course, it’s easier for the Christian to just accept the preaching as correct. I would hope that if you are a member of a good Bible teaching church that you do have a preacher who faithfully dispenses the Word of God faithful to the text of the Bible.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 00 04 09 07 Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant