Site Search:


Our Stories - The Error of Preaching From The Bible

Seek The Truth Blog

Our Stories - The Error of Preaching From The Bible:

My Pastor was slowly working towards filling the leadership positions with his children. While becoming the youth pastor had not been my plan, the previous sunday school teacher and the assistant pastor had maneuvered for it to be me. While I had preached on a number of occasions for the congregation, I loved being in the class with the kids. It was difficult to get approval for activities unless the assistant pastor sponsored them for me, but otherwise I had pretty free reign in the classroom each sunday. That is, until his youngest became old enough to join my class.

I didn't notice right away but topics that I spoke about and things I would say would be worked into the pastor's sermons. The pastor used my statements as examples of things "those without understanding of the 'Message'" would say -- never as a good example. I spoke to some people about it but of course I was seen as oddly paranoid and maybe in "need of prayer". During yet another closed door "see you after service" meeting as I took my seat across the desk from the pastor, seeing him thumbing through his youngest's notebook she always had in my class, I had my confirmation.

"Bro. Tim I'm looking over these notes and I must say your classes seem to be very sporadic. What kind of prayer and planning go into them?"

I shifted uncomfortably. He had never sat in my class, and now it would be judged on the notes of this 11yr old? I explained how I spent at least an hour in prayer before beginning to study and how I took my commision of getting the youth engaged in church very seriously. That I had even felt that there had been some major progress.

"I'm noticing that you don't seem to be using the message books in your class at all"

I agreed. My task had been getting them reengaged. So I taught the Bible on a level they could understand and use. It had worked splendidly, since the past several "Questions and Answers" services had been dominated by questions from my class. The way I figured it, if they knew the Bible it would lead them to the message, right?

"Bro. Tim, this blatant disrespect for God's word today and you still refusing to make your tithes payment current, I'm afraid I can't let these rebellious spirits around my daughter or the other children. We're going to suspend your class until we can make this right."

There was no explanation from the pulpit, but suddenly Bro. Tim's class was no more. I had to sit in silence as the other classes were called and the children in my class looked to me with inquisitive eyes wondering why they were missing out. Sideways glances from families wondering what sin I had committed to lose my office but not get called out from the pulpit. I made it three months before I caved. I paid him all the back tithes, plus some since I didn't want issues and I gave my word I would work some message material in. Bro. Tim's class was back just as suddenly as it had been disbanded.

While the pastor thought that he could "hold me in line" by using the children in my class, he was actually giving me every reason to resent and doubt every word he spoke. I began wondering: "If this is how the present day "Message" operated, how had it operated in the past to inspire men like this?"

- Tim Hoover
Former "Message" believer