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

 
 
WHY DID WE COME TO RIVERS OF JOY THIS LAST SUNDAY?


Where  going to church was for most Americans the default ( an option that will automatically be selected by a computer if the user does not choose one setting, today it’s a conscious choice. Many churches tried wooing Boomers back with softness and smiles, affirming images of a God who is helpful for our life projects, and myriad activities for the kids. Many of their children and grandchildren are burned out on it all. Some head for the exit, toward Rome, the East, or the “spiritual but not religious” category. Others are calling the church to be less consumer-driven and to make God the focus.

Rivers of Joy Baptist Church is or desires to be a God focus, Bible driven church.

We have few side dishes of worship.  We don’t have a “contemporary-worship” dish and a “traditionalist” side dish either.  The really only dish we offer is the main dish and that is the teaching of the Scriptures the best we can.

If you are looking for a church that will address your children needs, and your needs, well, it all depends upon what you call needs.  We are not necessary “human-centered” that is we want you to feel at home in our church. We do not ask you to take off your shoes when you come in and dress like I am at this present moment.

The design of our services hasn’t really taken the shape that as an Pastor/Eiders wish yet, but it is getting there.  The services are not design to get the people to have more participation in the service.   Some would say that is worship, that is longer singing time with a praise band.  We don’t have either long singing or a praise band.

So just what we consider worship at Rivers of Joy Baptist Church. I am sure what this Pastor/Elder has in mind would be a little different than what members would have in mind.
We come to church for what purpose?  What is worship?

Doesn’t it seem that many come so that they can do something, to praise, to express themselves, to serve, to get their needs met? Yes we are to confess our sins and our faith to Christ, and give financially to support the ministry of the church, and we are to pray. But where in the service is there room for God to give us anything when we are doing all the doing in the service?

I was reading an article today that said that historically at least, Reformed churches believed that the Triune God is the primary actor in the public service in church they called it the “divine service: the Father, in Christ, by the Spirit, serving His people with His good gifts..

Could we say that our church public service is a “divine service?”  As the Pastor/Elder of our church it’s my desire that we might receive from God Himself. What I would hope is when people say “This was a really great day at church” they would not mean that Johnny sung a great song, or I had a great motivational sermon, but rather, “our heavenly Father did it again today.”  He blessed us with His grace, Christ poured out His love, and the Spirit through His Word touched our hearts.  He was real and present in our church today.
I remember coming up out of the water when I was baptized many years ago, I remember the times that my spirit was lifted up to glory as it were when the preaching had the Spirit of God upon it.   In one case I felt just wet from the water and in the other case God came down upon my soul and spirit.

Too often people come to church for all the wrong reasons. They are looking for a Wal-Mart consumer-driving model. Where we come to church to “get something out of it.”

Personally I believe we should come to church to have God tell us what we really need, (regardless of our “felt needs) and to give us what we need most.  Ye we come to give ourselves to worship, and one way is to praise Him, but another is to listen to Him, and the Spirit.  Far too many people want the praise band or the music to speak to them, and shut off their minds when it comes to the preaching, just where the Lord talks to them.

Who calls us to worship in the first place? God does. Then who sets the tone of the service? Well the Lord does. Are we just asking God to look upon us as we do our thing? How can we experience God being active in our worship?

If I come into the church on Sunday Morning with this default setting of narcissism, consumerism, and seeking for my needs to be meet, than I don’t need better techniques, rules or motivation for becoming a more intense worshiper of God; I need to be killed and made alive in Christ!” Pastor/Teacher Charles e Whisnant