Charles E Whisnant
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 REALITY OF PASTOR/TEACHER IS THIS
What a good day on Sunday. Most preachers it seems that I have known over the years, and have worked with (and there have been a few, believe me) don't seem to see the reality of the church as it really is.
"Let's give the impression that the church is really great, and there are no problems." I would hear a pastor say, "Let's put a spin on the problem and make it seem a bit better than what it really is."
Just before the pastor would leave the church, resign, go to another church, quit, for various other reasons, the church body would believe every thing was alright in the father's house.
It's amazing how many pastors are out interviewing for another church, without the knowledge of anyone in the church. "Everything is just great, except I am leaving the moment I can get another church."
It's amazing how many church elders are looking for pastors of churches, while the preacher is wishing to get another church to pastor. But if you ask the pastor, everything is okay in their present church.
How many churches have I attended, and was available to pastor the church, but the church pastor search committee was not interested. They were interested in someone who was already pastoring a church that they were not happy in. On several occasions the preacher that came to the church was not going to stay in the church for long. Think of that. A touch of sarcasm there.
How many times have I heard from members in a church, "I wish the pastor would just leave." While at the same time, the pastor has no clue that is thought by any member. Why? Because those same members would deny that they said that at all.
Some pastors seem to be clueless to the situation in their church, and find themselves in trouble because they are not in touch with their membership.
So how do you know if you should stay as pastor of the church you are in? Try to stay honest in your mind as to the reality of what is going on in the church.
July 2008 I was asked by Bob Temple to come to speak with him at Rivers of Joy Baptist Church. This was only to help the members out in their time of need. I went with fear and trembling.
While I was so excited about preaching and teaching, and so overwhelmed, the reality was, I believed there was no way this was going to work out. After all, I knew I was just about the opposite in style from the former preachers. Well not really all that different, but I had come to approach ministry and preaching a little different. Our doctrine was about the same, and our love for the Word was the same.
So Bob said I should preach in the morning and he would preach in the evening. So for three weeks that is what we did. Then on the last Saturday of July the deacon called me to come to the church for a meeting with him. We had a good meeting and we expressed our concerns and beliefs and the situation at the church, (which was not good at all). He asked and I agreed to become pastor of the church, if the members wanted me also.
So that Sunday evening, the church voted either to call a pastor or to shut the door, as the deacon said. The membership said yes to me coming as pastor. The doors to the building stayed open.
Now fast forward to July 2009 (almost) and I can say that I have really loved the experience of the last year. The joy of preaching and teaching over the last year has filled my soul and heart and mind so much that you can't imagine.
The experience that Charity and I have had has just overwhelmed us with great joy, and humility. I am humbled at the love the folks have given us.
I had just about given up on ever pastoring another church, I was sixty you know. But I was thinking I was a very young minded sixty. So I just settled in and was sad.
The church that I had attended for almost four years just didn't seem to find a place for us to really serve. And so we finally gave up and left, sadly I might say.
We started attending another church in town, and it was as if they didn't know we were even there either. I was getting this idea that we weren't really liked.
But God, in His time, must have felt sorry for us, kidding. When I believed the door was completely closed, He by His grace, opened up a place for us to love people, be loved by the people, and have a chance to preach and teach and pastor again.
For the first time in our ministry, we have worked in a church from day one to now, and have enjoyed every Sunday. It's a miracle. Maybe sixty is the age, I don't know, but Charity and I have loved this ministry so much.
I hope this is the real reality of what is really true. I hope the people at Rivers of Joy really love us as much as we really love the work and ministry and people at ROJBC.