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

THE CHALLENGE OF LEADERSHIP IN THE CHURCH


The Ministry Update at Rivers of Joy Baptist Church

The culture, though it is growing less and less Christian, just so happens to be progressively becoming more and more “spiritual”. And sadly, I believe young people are being swept away by this movement out of a response to the staleness and plastic portrayal of Christian living that recent generations have displayed.

Our desire and wish (prayer) is to have a church body of belivers that is a portrayal of Christians who show a love for the Lord Jesus Christ in the context of the local church.

It's my desire for myself as well. The local church has been my focus for 50 years of my life. While I have seen the plastic portrayal of Christianity in so many people over the years, my focus has been on Christ rather than the church or people. Otherwise, you would be out of the church all together.

As a pastor and teacher of a local church, it's my calling to lead, feed, teach, love and train those whom Christ gives to the local church body. I am supposed to be able to see people where they are and take them to be where they are supposed to be as a Christian believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

What I see are people who have their own agenda as to what the local church is to be about in their minds. That mindset has been set by their church training, which is of course what is supposed to happen.

People's presuppositional thinking i.e.:

  • to believe that a particular thing is true before there is any proof of it.
While it's the duty of the pastor/teacher and leaders of the church to teach right biblical thinking about the church and about the Christian life, (and in many churches that is exactly what happens) many pastors and churches teach their own agenda of church ministry rather than biblical agenda.

While all of us pastors and leaders believe we have taught right principles of church ministry, sometimes we discover we err in biblical principles. Sometimes we have to correct our position as we learn the bibical principles as we understand them in scriptures.

Often as I have found, when I become the pastor of a local church, I find my training and thinking about church ministry are different than the church I am in. Herein is the challenge for the the pastor leaders and people in the church.

Herein you have those those who are willing to accept the challenge and work with the pastor and go with the changes set forth; and then you have those who will challenge everything the pastor does and will not change; and then you have those who view what is happening and just leave.

Therefore in any ministry that is new, you have all three situations. Some members will stay, some will leave. The challenge as leaders is definitely challenging, because you know, some will stay and some will leave no matter how you lead.

The challenge of the people is (as it is for the pastor), to desire to discover the principles of church ministry and the prinicples of Christian living and not quit because your own agenda is not met.

As Pastor of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church, we have had the challenge to lead the church. As in all church ministry, some people leave before you arrive, some come and stay a week or more and then leave. Some meet the challenges and stay and work with the new leadership and new ministry perspectives.

As pastor and leaders we have the challenge to present our belief of the church ministry and christian living in a manner that is going to be the most effective way. It is a challenge.

Since June 2008 the ministry has been a challenge. The challenge of a ministry that lost almost 90% of its attendance and income, and three pastors, and sixteen years of history. (And the doors were just about to shut). The good things were, the church buildings were paid for, some good folks stayed and desired to see the ministry of Rivers of Joy continue, and that the work that its pastors and people of the past desired to have would continue.


(FOOTNOTE:) The photo comes from Charles Stanley's website. I believe Charles Stanley's teaching is good and sets forth a lot of great biblical principles for christian living. (the click doesn't take you to the website, sorry.) I wanted to use the photo to show there are Biblical principles to Church, and Christian ministry.