Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Impact of Teaching through First Timothy Earlier This Year

In January - March of this year I preached a sermon series through the book of 1st Timothy, verse-by-verse.  You may remember it:  DOING CHURCH GOD’S WAY.  It was profound, challenging, edifying to our congregation, and insightful.  

One of my goals for this series was to lay the groundwork for a more Biblical model and operating structure for our church, and the establishment of a teaching team.  The result has been better than I could have hoped for.  We've made giant strides in that direction and PCC has taken a noticeable upswing in many ways.

This series covered topics like pastoral discouragement, false teachers, troublemakers in the church, the lifting of hands in worship, proper dress and attire for women, the role of pastors and deacons, the ability to teach, sound doctrine, public prayer, and pastoral ministry, to name a few

It also resulted in a few people leaving PCC.


They were so indoctrinated in their denominational traditions (ingrained at previous churches before they arrived at PCC) that they just couldn’t hack the clear, concise teaching from God’s Word about how to structure a church (that was outside their frame of reference).

I’ll never forget the day that a conversation took place with one person who was leaving.  It was unpleasant.  She said, (that being the wife, because her husband had her do the talking.  I could tell she was simply parroting him because I had heard it before), “I don’t think the church should blah, blah, blah.”  This was the very week I spoke on 1st Timothy chapter 3 which speaks of the difference between pastors and deacons and the roles that each has in the church. (The CDs of this sermon are still available at church or online at our web site).

I replied, “Do you hear what you are saying?  Everything you say is contradicting God's Word.  Your argument is with the Bible.  You are ignoring what it clearly says and you're proposing a model for this church in favor or your own preferences, personal opinions, and biases.  Do you really think I should lead that way?”

They left. 

This couples' departure came after we had visited them in the hospital on numerous occasions…stood by them during serious injuries of their family members…. through illnesses, surgeries, ambulance rides, and standing with them in every conceivable crisis over the years.  We had even been in their home on several occasions sharing meals together.  Then, suddenly, it was all over.  Kind of knocks the wind out of me when that happens.

I hated to see them go.  But on the other hand, if they didn’t respect the Word of God more than that then they didn't belong at PCC.  And our church is healthier for it.

Know why?  The teaching of God's Word is how Jesus exercises His authority over the Church, which He is the Head of.

In 2014 I will continue this emphasis by teaching through the book of 2 Timothy - the next Pastoral Epistle - so that the health of PCC will continue to improve.

My only goal is to peach the gospel, make disciples, and have a New Testament Church... not a religious country club for spiritual fat cats who would nullify the Word of God by their traditions.

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