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

Pastoral Ministry

I was asked in the Wednesday Service: "Pastor do you love what you do?" And I said, "Does it tell that I do?" And the group said, "You can tell you love the ministry."
The teaching of Biblical principles is the key, I believe to pastoral ministry.
Over at Expository Thoughts a question was asked of us pastors:

Pastors: What, if anything, are you going to say to your people before the upcoming election? Or maybe said differently “what have you said or taught on thus far?” Do you ever preach a topical sermon on an issue like abortion as John Piper does each year? How do you address issues without having people assume you are trying to support a specific candidate or party. (footnote: I wish more Democrats were pro-life and pro-family and that the issues they’re debating were not issues at all).

I asked the group on Wedensday: They said they are well able to make up their minds as to who to vote for.


Back in the 1950's H. Grady Davis shifted the metaphor for a sermon. Instead of something constructed by the preacher, a building, it is something grown, akin to a tree. Here is another quote used in McDill's book, 12 Essential Skills (I appreciate these quotes at the start of each chapter).

A sermon should be like a tree. . . .
It should have deep roots:
As much unseen as above the surface
Roots spreading as widely as its branches spread
Roots deep underground
In the soil of life's struggle
In the subsoil of the eternal Word.

McDill, Wayne. The 12 Essential Skills for Great Preaching. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1994. 290 Be Careful How You Listen: How to Get the Most out of a Sermon (Paperback) Jay Adams

The more I read the articles on the web, the more I learn how little I know about preaching. While I have been preaching/teaching forty-five years, I seem to sense I have a few more years of getting it right.

While preaching has always been a great passion for me, the desire to dispense the Word of God, has always been a passion.

Sermon preparation has always been a joy, I love the process of learning what God is saying in the text. Sermon delivery of the message has always been a joy. Often in the middle of the sermon, I really sense that the Holy Spirit is giving me understanding that I had not received in the study of the text itself. The passion of what Paul is saying to the church at Philippi or the church in Thessalonica grips my heart.

The comprehension or a proper understanding of what Paul is driving home to the church, fills my mind as I am preaching. And I desire to have that understanding come out in my preaching to the people to whom I am preaching.

  • "The real strength of a sermon is not found in delivery, although that aspect matters much. It is not found in the structure and content. The strength of a sermon has to be located in the roots. So check the roots of your sermons, of your ministry as a preacher. Are they deep into the soil of life's struggle? Are they deeper still in the subsoil of the eternal Word? Let's be sure we are not preaching impressive, but rootless sermons . . . a breeze might just blow them over!" Peter Mead
Too often I think I want the content of the message to be correct so much that I forgo the smoothness of the delivery. I rarely speak without a deep fervor of what I am about to preach. And most of the time, it's when the Holy Spirit impresses my spirit that this fervor is activated much more.

A sermon manuscript is just that, the handwriting, or typed copy of the sermon you are about to preach. I believe that I have adequately prepared. While sometimes I think I have just barely been sufficient in the quality of the delivery of the sermon, I can say that my spirit has been uplifted in the presenting of the message to the congregation. And I do read from my manuscript, while sometimes it seems like I am reading the sermon (which of course I am) may at times be a little distracting( to my wife) to those who are listening. Sometimes I might get a little distracted myself, but I am going to work on this.

While I have said to the people, my prayer is that God will over ride my delivery and supply you with a listening ability that will enhance my preaching, so that the Word of God will be freshly supplied in your mind. That God would improve or add to the strength and beauty of the Word of God. That God would increase the clarity of the message. The root of the message, the fundamental cause, the source from which the message is derived is deeply embedded in my spirit.

I have found that listening to a "man of God" whom I sense in my spirit that they are "man of God" gets my attention. The delivery to some would seem to be dull, but to me it's the message that fills my mind. While others are very emotional in their delivery and have little or no affect on my mind.

Some preachers would be totally correct in their speech, you would never note a flaw in their delivery, they would smile, and gesture all the right ways, but the spirit of the message was dull.

Some speakers were so dominant in their voice, their words seemed to be so powerful on the mind, yet what they were saying was not biblical in the least.

And all this observation does not negate the need for preparation of the sermon or the delivery of the message. After all, people do have to look at you while you are preaching; they have to listen to you; they have to try to understand the words you are saying; and they have to get a sense that what you are saying is what the Lord would have them to understand about His word and Himself, an........

drafted by Charles E. Whisnant and proof read by Charity.