A Ready Recollection

The Mind Numbing Ponderings Of A Pulpit Preacher

When the Preacher is Fired…

Editorial by Jimmy Bagwell

I have often wondered if members actually consider the loss that a preacher suffers when they have been… how shall I say it…”relieved of their position“. The following article by Michael Whitworth answers a few of those questions.

Preachers are fired for various reasons; some good, some bad. Michael does not dwell on the reasons though. He made it clear that such was not the purpose of the article. I, however, will not hesitate to put in my two cents. (adjusted for inflation of course)

Based on observations, conversations, and personal experience many preachers, more often than not, are not presented with the reasons for their termination other that the convenient  “we just believe it’s time for a change” or “things are just not working out’. Dear brethren, if the decision has been made to fire your preacher please have the dignity to tell him WHY.

If’s it’s something he has done (or not done) tell him so he can correct it in the future. If it’s a doctrinal issue, tell him so he can reexamine himself. If your just ticked off at him, tell him at least he’ll know. Few things are worse than a preacher wondering WHY?

But I digress. Here’s a wonderful article by Michael Whitworth.

When the Preacher is Fired…
by Michael Whitworth

Something has been on my heart for quite a while, but I hesitated blogging about it for fear that some would allege that I am biased (Yes, I am) or that I speak out of malice (No, I don’t). Recently, I learned of a preacher friend who was fired from his position. Only God knows the entire situation, and though I don’t think he was terminated for legitimate reasons, those reasons are immaterial to this post.

The news brought to the surface a volatile sea of toxic emotions, for I too have been fired from preaching positions. Twice. It is not my intention here to speak ill of those incidents, but I want to address the general theme of firing a minister. God knows that I have hesitated to say anything on this subject, but I simply can’t hold it in any longer. In my experience, church members are often torn between their affection for the preacher vs. their spiritual obligation to obey the elders, and thus do not know how to respond appropriately. For better or worse, I believe a preacher being fired is wholly different from someone else being terminated.
When a preachers loses his job, he loses his…

Church Family
Growing up, since dad preached, we never lived near physical family members, so the church became my family. Now that I’m an adult, when I move into a new community, my local brethren become like family to me very quickly. (e.g. births, promotions, celebrations, healing), while also the pain of life (e.g., illness, economic hardship, death). I am often in the homes of my church family, and they in mine.

When a preachers loses his job, he loses his church family. Some elders (wrongly, in my opinion) insist that members have no contact with the terminated minister. When some other member would lose their job, as devastating as it is, they still have the ability to lean on their church family and share their hardship (and let’s be honest, unemployment is a traumatic thing for everyone). They can go to their church family and ask for prayers, encouragement, and other help. If loss of employment begins to affect their personal finances, that members can go to the elders and ask for assistance until they get back on their feet.

When a preacher is fired, he loses such a wonderful support system since he loses his church family. Can he go to the elders, men who just fired him, and ask for financial assistance if things become tough? A preacher often is geographically isolated from his blood family, who can offer only a little comfort if separated by long distances. What Sara and I found most disorienting is that we found it difficult to locate a new place to worship. And since we did not know how much longer we would be in the area, it was hard to establish relationships with people since we thought we’d be moving in the near future. To borrow Paul’s metaphor of the church as a body, we felt like a finger, hand, or foot that had been severed and cast aside to whither.

As crazy as it sounds, I wish there was a church somewhere that ministered to preachers in between pulpits, a church that could be their surrogate family until they were reestablished in local work. Were it not for my belief in the communion of the saints and the universal nature of the church, I might have left the church altogether and sought help and hope elsewhere. The church has given me a lot of reasons to walk away from my faith…

But Jesus has given me many more reasons to stay.

Home
Sara and I have been married 5 years as of April 24th, but we have moved 5 times in our marriage and been a part of four different congregations in those years. I realize that home is where the heart is, that it need not be tied to an actual house. But I don’t think I’m too far off base to say it is a traumatic thing to lose your house/home. When I was fired in Houston, it cut us deeper than we expected to face the reality that we would be forced to move and give up our house, a home we had built and planned to raise our family in. I had allowed Sara to decorate and make it her “nest” as we drew closer to starting our family.
When a preacher loses his job, unless he is willing to leave ministry, he almost always is forced to move. This means a new home, a new town, new schools, new relationships. Like ball coaches and military, a preacher has virtually no hope of raising his children in one place. As I get older, I begin to realize the terrible consequences of not having roots in a place. It’s never easy, but moving around is certainly easier when your single or newly married vs. when raising kids.
When someone loses their job, it is not as often that they are forced to move in order to be employed again. Again, it is often the case that s/he can remain in the same town, at the same church, and in the same schools. They perhaps might have a longer commute or other hassles, but moving isn’t always necessary. For a preacher, it almost always is. There is a terrible toll taken particularly on preachers’ kids who have to move around a lot, and the church could do a better job of showing those kids some grace.
* * * * *
To any preachers reading this who may have been fired, let me say I’m so sorry. I’ve been there. It stinks. God loves you, and your ministry is never over until He says so. Do not seek vengeance, or to inflict harm on Jesus’ bride. Jesus himself will return one day and take vengeance on those who have caused problems for you. Meanwhile, know that when you lose your job, God and your fellow preaching brothers know you’ve lost much much more than that.

To church members whose preacher has just been fired… Where do I begin? Your (former) preacher needs expressions of love and support. You don’t have to choose sides, and if he’s the man of God he’s supposed to be, that preacher won’t expect you to pick sides. But shame on any Christian elder-ship that considers expressions of love to be “picking sides” or a threat to the “unity of the body.” Both times I was fired, Sara and I quickly figured out who our true friends were. Some dropped us completely and we never heard from them. Others, who we thought weren’t too happy with us, turned out to be the best encouragers. Preachers, when terminate, need a lot of love and grace, because the personal toll of being fired will be more devastating for them than for anyone else.

To the church at large, whether you’ve just lost your preacher or he is celebrating his 30th anniversary, remember that preachers have no business being on pedestals or worshiped as heroes, and we sure aren’t to be envied by others. As Paul put it 2,000 years ago, “We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things,” (1 Cor. 4:13). Rough translation, true, biblical, Christ-glorifying ministry isn’t for those seeking prestige and fame. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart.

Thirty years ago, my aunt cross-stitched a small piece of cloth, framed it, and gave it to my dad. It now hangs on my wall, and I glance at it every time I walk out on Sunday morning to teach my class or present my sermon. Many preachers will recognize the proverb. “Work for the Lord, the pay is not much, but the retirement plan is out of this world.”

Indeed.

 

June 5, 2014 Posted by | FYI, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blessed Are the Cheese Makers

 

Image

Allow me to use parody to explain a very important point. Imagine, if you will, the scene at the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is speaking to hundreds, maybe thousands, of people. Some strain their ears to her what Christ is saying. Now imagine an elderly lady who is hard of hearing and a philosopher who is standing next to her. The scene goes like this.

Jesus: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Elderly lady: What did he say? Blessed are the cheese makers?  What’s so special about them?

Philosopher: Oh, surely he is making reference to makers of dairy products in general.

Silly don’t you think? My point is this:  Believe it or not, the above is quite an accurate representation of how some people approach Scripture. Scripture renders a doctrine that they, due to their personal opinion or preference, cannot accept. Such being the case, the temptation to “read into the text” something that is not there is very real.

Many people cannot accept the bold exclusivity of scripture. They cannot wrap their minds around the possibility (nay the fact) that the road that leads to everlasting life is indeed very, very narrow.  Under the guise of unity and tolerance they re-invent, re-interpret, and re-word passages they perceive as “politically incorrect”.

In pursuit of inclusivity and diversity they build for themselves, and others, unfounded doctrines that are appealing, pleasurable, and entertaining. The result being a chaotic blend of spiritual and secular babbling that renders the truth of the Gospel ineffective.

When souls are at stake and the eternal destinies of people are at risk; is it really wise to play such word games?

May 8, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

The Shame-Driven Church

shameNow I’ve heard everything. A twisted spin on the cult favorite “Purpose Driven Church” has resulted in an about face of the Christian agenda. The result “The Shame-Driven Church”. A church where if you’re not stepping out of the “traditional” shadows then you’re not doing what Jesus wants you to.

Under the guise of unity and an appeal for acceptance a pseudo-Christian movement has swept our classes, universities, and our pulpits. Constantly berated to feel guilt and shame because traditional values (values based on Scripture) prevent the masses from being in full fellowship with the local body of Christians; many congregations have given in (or given up) and embraced a more fluid and culturally neutral “gospel”. The result; a you-do-it-your way and I’ll do-it-my-way mish-mash of conflicting ideas that have reduced many churches to nothing more that social clubs and half-way houses for the spiritually wishy-washy.

Young Christians are made to feel guilty if conclusions reached from simply reading the Bible cause them to even question the validity of certain opinions and preferences. A “thus sayeth the Lord” is no longer acceptable and will prevent others from coming to know Jesus. At least according to the mantra of many modern “preachers”.

In an appeal for validity, and to sound legitimate, the words of the apostle Paul are hurled about to prove a point:

 “And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;”  

1 Corinthians 19:20.

By ignoring the context they conclude that if you want to reach the lost then you must present yourself as one who is also lost. You must adopt their ways and adapt to their lifestyle after all that’s what Jesus would do”. Really? Should Christians frequent bars providing such an establishment with income to save a drunk? Should a Christian spend time at a strip club dishing out twenty dollar bills to save the purveyors of immorality?

I am not saying that we should not make every effort to reach those that are lost. Nor am I endorsing the idea that we should isolate ourselves from the world around us. But let’s get real folks! You cannot reveal Christ to the world by becoming like the world! Being made to feel guilty because you are no longer like the world is not the answer. Being made to feel shame because you hold yourself to a higher standard than those in the world is both immoral and ungodly.

I believe Jesus said it best in John 17 when he prayed on behalf of His followers I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil”.

Christians are not of this world even though we are in it. We are different. The blood of Christ has made us different. Adopting the ways of the world so that we can be perceived as more tolerant and loving is nothing more that superficial sentimentality. It is hypocrisy to the nth degree and brings shame upon the body of Christ.

May 6, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

World Religions; Hinduism

Upon doing studies in world religions, I am hesitant to expend large sums of money to gather materials concerning, what Christians would consider, false religions. However, since a knowledge of such religions is necessary in order to understand and eventually evangelize to those who follows such teachings I have decided to make available some material in PDF to those who may be interested. Click of the link below to download  Survey of Hinduism: Third Edition by KLAUS K. KLOSTERMAIER

Survey of Hinduism

February 25, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, E-Books, FYI | Leave a comment

Eat, Pray, Love

 Eat, Pray, Love, is a film that epitomizes feminist-backed solipsism, New Age Eastern mysticism, and the notion that women must unfetter themselves from the ‘enslavement of a boring husband. After leaving the man who loved her, the wife then takes a trip around the world. While embarking on this trip she holds her own, lust and desires in the highest esteem. And female critics, eager to live her adventure vicariously, praise her as a paragon of “female” bravery.

However, this woman victimized an innocent man who loved her. Not only that, she has no remorse, and celebrates the ungodly and hateful things she did to him by taking a trip around the world and taking multiple lovers.

“Fortunately” I missed Oprah’s two episodes “exalting” this woman’s actions. That being said her actions are “morally wrong”. Selfishness must be so deeply ingrained in some women that they can’t even admit there’s anything seriously wrong with what the main character did.

Morally speaking, the story is atrocious. The most offensive thing about the film is its morally repugnant message. Not long ago, I knew a couple, the wife in which saw this movie. She divorced her husband of over 20 years. Her husband contested the divorce and fought to save the marriage. In the process of the divorce she made numerous allegations against him which were all proven to be false. She then bragged about how she was planning a trip to Europe. Talk about life imitating fiction.

I have often wondered how many other “Christian” women have followed the example found in this film and left their husbands and dishonored their vows in such a selfish attempt to “find themselves”.

April 2, 2012 Posted by | Counseling, FYI | Leave a comment

Download:

In the past, I have included several items that can be downloaded. Among them are PowerPoint slides, Music Workbooks and sheet music. I am thrilled to be able to offer these items.

That being said, I would be interested in any and all comments made by those of you who have taken advantage of these offers.

You can leave a comment on site or you can e-mail me at jb728b@gmail.com

Thanks

Jimmy

Artistic Song Leading

Power Point Artistic Song Leading

Revelation Separating Fact From Fiction

December 21, 2011 Posted by | FYI | Leave a comment

This May Surprise You

Did you know that there is a secret code to understanding a minister wanted ad? There are hidden meanings within the text as opposed to what is actually being said.  While the following may sound like a joke, and is said with tongue in cheek, the conclusions reached are based on personal interviews with X# of congregations across the country.

What the ad say’s
Candidate must be sound

What it means
Candidate must agree with us at ALL times on All things. He must do every thing we tell him to do when we tell him to do it and like it no matter how degrading the task may be. Oh, did we mention he must always agree with us? Even when we’re wrong we’re not wrong.

What the ad say’s
Candidate must be married

What it means
We want his wife to be an unpaid secretary, janitor and babysitter. She will also take over the ladies class, the children’s class, the nursery and the women’s prayer group because OUR wives don’t want of do it.

What the ad say’s
Candidate must be a family man.

What it means
A family portrait will look impressive in our directory and his kids will make our youth group look bigger than the other church’s in the community

What the ad say’s
Candidate must be stable

What it means
He can have no outside interest and must be at our beck and call 24-7 ready to fulfill any request or whim we may have without hesitation or question. We also want him to mow the lawn every week for free.

What the ad say’s
Salary based on experience

What it means
You’re gonna need a second job

October 4, 2011 Posted by | FYI | 1 Comment

The Detroit Zoo

   

 

July 31, 2011 Posted by | FYI, Photo Album | Leave a comment

Pew Packer Class

Can you answer any of these questions?

1.  Which of the following was the first man to have two wives?

  1.  Adam
  2. Cain
  3. Abraham
  4.  Lamech

2.  Besides Sarah, which of the following was Abraham’s wife?

  1. Haggar
  2. Keturah
  3. Rachel
  4. Rebekkah

3.  Besides Isaac and Ishmael, which of the following was a son of Abraham?

  1. Lot
  2. Jacob
  3. Ishbok
  4.  Laban

At best you will probably have a little difficulty. The reason for such a demonstration is to announce a new class at the Flushing Pointe church of Christ. It will begin Sunday night July 24th at 5:30 pm.

This class will meet in the front of the auditorium. It is for the young people and the “young of heart” It will consist of 15 minutes of Bible Q&A.

Some people may reply, Isn’t that just a bunch of silly trivia? The truth is that there is NO SUCH THING as useless Bible knowledge. NOTHING is in the Bible by accident, there are no passages that are just filler and all Scripture is God’s word.

This short Bible drill class will ask such questions as…

  1. Who was the first man/woman
  2. Who wrote the first five books of the Old Testament
  3. What must I do to be saved

It will also drill students concerning….

  1. Name the books of the Old Testament/New Testament.
  2. Name the books of poetry.
  3. Name the books of History.
  4. Name the major/minor Prophets.

How can we expect our young to function as Christians when we, ourselves, don’t take it seriously?

Ecclesiastes 12:1

July 19, 2011 Posted by | Church Growth, FYI | 1 Comment

Never Stop Learning

There’s an old saying; “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.  While that may be true of our canine friends, it is not so with us. As creatures of intellect, human beings are constantly learning new things. Knowledge can come in unexpected ways and we are never to old to “learn new tricks”. Some knowledge is gained without us even recognizing that we have just learned something. Experience is great teacher if we learn from both our mistakes and success.

Enough of that: This is primarily a Bible centered blog so let’s switch gears and turn our minds in that direction.

Study of Scripture in an important aspect of Christian life.  It is not just beneficial, it is a command. When was the last time you read your Bible? No, I’m not talking about reading it for a class or while putting together a lesson or sermon.  NO! I’m talking about getting into the Book; learning the history of places and people.  Looking into the insight of the inspired writers and finding truth you never knew was there is a very fulfilling activity.

This is especially important for those of us who minister on a regular basis. Too often the preacher will find himself reading purely for professional reasons. That is to say, preparing for some study, class or sermon.  Some only read to prove themselves right and others wrong.  While a lot can be said about one’s approach to study, I want to focus on study itself.

There are many ways of study and with today’s technology the options are boundless.  There are a multitude of choices available.  You can go back to school and seek a higher degree. You can take online Bible studies in your spare time.  You can do a correspondence course to sharpen your skills. You can even look through some of those old Bible school workbooks that are just taking up space in your closet, bookcase or stored in boxes.

You can also…

  • Take a course in Greek or Hebrew.
  • Read about Biblical archaeology.
  • Study church history.
  • Learn the rudiments music to improve singing.
  • Re-acquaint yourself with basic principles.

No knowledge of God’s word and ways is “beneath” your station in life nor is it trivial and useless.

I know some “preachers”, and I use that term loosely, who (although they do not verbalize it) believe that such trivial activities are beneath their pay-grade.   You’re never too old to learn new things and you’re never too smart to not have to study.

Knowledge is the key to understanding. It is also the means of salvation.

For this is eternal life, that they KNOW You, the only true God….  John 17:3.

An Old Testament prophet once said on behalf of God. “My people PERISH because of lack of knowledge“. Knowledge is more than just fundamental, it is a necessity. If we do not KNOW God then we don’t have eternal life.  If we don’t KNOW the truth we can never be free. We can never KNOW unless we STUDY!

Keep the faith: Read THE BOOK!

May 3, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

Online Bible Studies

NEW!!!!!!

We have a new menu containing links to various online study’s

April 25, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

List of Suspected Degree Mills.

Some time ago, I presented an article concerning Fake Bible Degrees. Since then several people have inquired as to what institutes they should avoid. While the following is hardly an exhaustive list it does provide information concerning several popular institutes that have questionable standards and are regarded by leading authorities as degree mills.  I encourage you to do your own research.

This information was taken from an article that you can read here.

Brief list of suspected degree mills.

  • Christian Bible College
  • Clarksville School of Theology
  • Summit Theological University
  • The Theological University Of America
  • Vision Christian University
  • Logos Bible College

While there are some who consider these to be “valid” institutions of higher learning (usually faculty members or students who can’t get legitimate degrees elsewhere), I would caution anyone to really do their research before pursuing them.  If it looks too good to be true it probably is. If the legitimacy of an institution can only be argued for by faculty or students, more than likely, you have a degree mill.

The most common ways to identify a degree mill is by their academic standards.

  • If they offer a degree based on “life experience”
  • If they offer full class credit for reading a book or attending a function.
  • If they allow multiple credit for undergraduate work allowing it to substitute for graduate work without leveling courses.
  • If, in the past, they have had to relocate to another city, state or country in order to avoid legal requirements.
  • If a majority of the faculty have their advanced degrees from the same institution
  • If they just flat out sell you the degree after filling out a few forms.

If an institution fits one of these it may be cause for a red flag. If it fits 3 or 4 of these it would be wise to look somewhere else for your education. If it fits all of these you have yourself a degree mill.

BUYER BEWARE!

If it is a quality education you are seeking there are links to several legitimate institutions in the menu marked EDUCATION.

April 25, 2011 Posted by | FYI | Leave a comment

Nations University

April 25, 2011 Posted by | FYI, Videos | Leave a comment

Heritage Christian University

April 25, 2011 Posted by | FYI, Videos | 1 Comment

The Problem:

We’ve all heard stories about people we know.  It usually comes in the form of gossip or slander. There are times when we hear things that have the potential to turn us against another.  What do we do when such information (be it true or not) turns our hearts and attitudes against another?

The first thing we need to realize is that those who gossip and slander  have an ax to grind i.e. ulterior motives.  Some do it for attention, some to hurt others or to force friends to “picks sides” against another. All of which are the core of sin and the products of hearts filled with guile and hatred.

The Bible clearly states, that is COMMANDS, that if such occurs we have the obligation to approach the person to see if the stories have any faction of truth.  Unfortunately, many seem to feel that they are “above” this command. They believe they don’t have to talk to “so and so” and continue to harbor feelings of hate and vindictiveness against a person that may very well be innocent. Some even join in the tirade of slander and gossip believing that they are doing so for “the greater good”. The truth is that two wrongs have never, ever made a right.

Such arrogance will lead to destruction.  Not only are the reputations of innocent people at stake but the souls of those who gossip and slander are endanger of the fires of hell. Those who engage in such seek only to vilify, destroy and steal the good name of fellow Christians all for the sake of attention or some other selfish gain.

No one is above the command to approach those whom they have heard rumors about to seek the truth in the matter.   The Bible clearly gives you only two choices, you talk to them or you keep your mouth shut.

April 20, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

Why Did God Give Us The Bible?

If God did not give us the Bible that means that it is a product of man.  It is easier to believe that God gave it.  It would indeed be incredible if  men, not aided by divine inspiration, could have produced the Bible.  Take notice of the volume lying around your house called the Bible; it was written by the hand that made you! Why did God give this volume?

1.  God gave the Bible to reveal himself to man: It is a permanent record of God’s revelation of Himself to man.  Without the Bible, man might conceive that there was some force out there that is superior to man, but without the Bible man could possible know what that ‘force” is; without the Bible man could not know anything about God.  One skeptic who rejected the information about God in the Bible began to set forth his concept of God.  He was then asked, “Where did you get your concept of God?”  Man may foolishly try to make God fit into his own image of what he want’s God to be, but such a “god” would not be the true and living God revealed in Scripture.

2.  God gave us the Bible to reveal to us a lasting picture of Christ:  What would you know about Christ were it not for the Bible?  relatively uneducated men gave in the Bible the record of a man who was the world’s greatest teacher who taught and lived perfectly the world’s greatest truths!  Their being uneducated is good evidence they were divinely aided.

3.  God gave the Bible to reveal man to himself:  God’s word is like a mirror. (James 1:22-25)  This is why some despise the Bible.  it is said an unbeliever gave a Bible back to a missionary and exclaimed: Every time I read this book it makes me feel guilty!”

4.  God gave the Bible to reveal man to man:  It will show us the sin in others as well as our own sins, and it will make us “consider ourselves” as we view the mistakes of another.  There is a Native American proverb that shows the meaning of this.  it says: “I will not criticize another until I have walked in his shoes for two weeks.”

5.  God gave the Bible to reveal His plan of salvation:  No more can we look for visions and signs: God speaks to us through His Son in the new testament.  (Hebrews 1:1-3)  Salvation is in Christ and no where else.  (Acts 4:11,12; 2 Timothy 2:10; 3:14)  To be in Christ is to be in His body which is His church.  (Colossians 1:2, 18: 3:15)  We are baptized into Christ.  (Romans 6:3)

6.  God gave the Bible to reveal man’s destiny:  We are going somewhere.  We cannot will our souls “OUT” of existence.  The Bible determines our eternal destiny, depending on our attitudes towards it.

April 14, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

The Jenkins Institute

by Jeff Jenkins and Dale Jenkins

LEWISVILLE, Tex. (BNc) – Our dad Jerry Austin Jenkins was a man of vision and passion. He left behind a legacy of faith and his vision for serving the church.

He saw a forest and envisioned a Christian camp for young people. Today, Maywood Christian Camp is a first-class camp and home to thousands of young people each summer.

He envisioned a television program by which the gospel could be preached throughout the Southeast U.S. At the time of his passing, “The Living Word” television program was the longest running and most popular, locally produced religious broadcast in Alabama.

He envisioned a Christian school in Birmingham that would allow students to learn the Word of God every day. Now Jefferson Christian Academy serves Birmingham and surrounding areas in a marvelous way.

He envisioned a school to train deaf preachers to carry the gospel to the deaf around the world. Today, the Birmingham Bible School for the Deaf has sent deaf preachers around the country to proclaim God’s message to those who cannot hear.

He learned that there was one English-speaking nation left in the world where there was no church of Christ and he envisioned the church being planted in that country. Now there are strong, growing, and vibrant congregations throughout the nation of Belize.

Dad believed the best was yet to be. Among two of his favorite quotes were: “The future is as bright as the promises of God,” and “Attempt great things for God, expect great help from God.”

The Jenkins Institute seeks to honor this type of vision. Through seminars, workshops, books, and publications, we will continue and hope to expand the legacy of a man with faith and vision.

Our goal in these efforts is to edify the church, encourage preachers (especially younger preachers), and strengthen families. Between the two of us we have more than 70 years of experience in preaching the gospel and helping churches grow.

What We Do

PREACHING SEMINARS – These two- to three-day seminars are held at various regions around the country. The format allows preachers to attend and not miss a Sunday at their home congregation. We encourage elders to send your preacher. It will do him good to have a little time away from the daily grind and to interact with other preachers. If you are a preacher and would like to help in planning a Preaching Seminar in your region please contact us.

We have committed ourselves to encouraging those who preach. These seminars will serve to provide strength, education, and fellowship as well as providing a welcomed retreat for the preacher. We will study, pray, laugh, equip and learn to do the Lord’s work more effectively together. We believe these seminars will invigorate your ministry and reignite your energies.

CHURCH GROWTH SEMINARS – These weekend or one-day seminars will strengthen God’s people. The church will learn how every member can do his or her part in helping the local body grow.

LEADERSHIP SEMINARS – These seminars are designed for elders and other church leaders to learn valuable tools that will help them become better leaders for the Lord. In these seminars you will grow in your knowledge and ability as a leader of God’s people.

FAMILY SEMINARS – These seminars are meant to build better families. The home, the building block of our society, is struggling. In these seminars church families will receive valuable tools to help strengthen their home. Family Seminars can be held on weekends, Sunday-Wednesday, or Sunday only.

GOSPEL MEETINGS – If you would like to have an old fashioned gospel meeting where the gospel is preached at each service, we are happy to help. Sermons can be designed to be evangelistic in nature to reach out the lost souls, or they can be designed to encourage the church. We attempt to do at least one combined meeting each year where both of us preach, in addition to our individual meetings.

WEBSITE – Our website explains the nature and work of The Jenkins Institute. It includes our blogs and our speaking schedules. Here, “Thoughts From The Mound” and “The Tie That Binds” will continue to encourage, challenge, and inspire. And “The Scoop Blog” will expand as Jeff and Dale work on it together. It also includes an explanation of the various seminars available as well as our contact information.

We desire to be an encouragement to fellow servants and their work. We will help churches and individuals develop and promote the good works they envision being a part of that will bless our great brotherhood. Our prayer is that The Jenkins Institute will be a tremendous blessing to our great brotherhood for years to come.

For more information about having one of these seminars in your area please contact us at:

or both of us through the contact information on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.

April 7, 2011 Posted by | FYI | 1 Comment

Does The Language Get In The Way?

What is the best Bible translation? Which is the most accurate? What should I be using?  These are questions I hear all the time. You can ask these questions and each person would probably give you a different answer.

But enough about that.  This is not an article about translations (though that would be a good article in the future).   What I want to talk about is the message itself.  Regardless of your translation, I feel, that sometimes the actual language gets in the way of understanding what is actually being said.

I will now give a few examples of what I am talking about. First I will post the verse in a series of translations, then I will render it in language that anyone can understand.

Matthew 25:40

New International Version (©1984)

  • “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

King James Bible

  • And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.

American Standard Version

  • And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me.

My Rendering.

  • This is what the King will say. “You want the truth; when it comes to even the most distant of my family, you mess with them you mess with me!”

Matthew 5:3

New International Version (©1984)

  • “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

King James Bible

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

American Standard Version

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

My Rendering.

  • When you understand that you are in great spiritual need, you can find happiness in my heavenly kingdom.

Now this is just a sample. We need to realize that a word for word translation sometime misses the point.  Why? because the original was written in languages that, at times , cannot be translated with a single word. A literal translation may give you the proper “translation” but does the meaning translate? My renderings are not “translations” per say; but they do convey a dynamic equivalent of the actual meaning.

As far as which translation to use, use as many as you can in your personal study. Compare and study the different ways the same verse is rendered. The truth is there.

April 1, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

The Silencing Of God

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March 31, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI, Politics | Leave a comment

So What?

A man is in prison; death row to be precise. Soon he will walk what many call “the green mile”. He is a murderer, a vicious piece of filth of the worst kind.  Another is laying in a hospital bed dying of multiple sexually transmitted diseases brought about by a lifetime of perversion and deviancy. Yet another is in a clinic suffering the wages of drug abuse and alcoholism.  Their lives destroyed for all intents and purposes. The thought of “normality” is just a day dream, they can never have the lives they once had.

“So what?” That’s usually the first response. After all, they are only getting what they deserve. The Bible says you reap what you sow.  Again “So what?”

I will not argue that they are getting what they deserve. Our choices have a way of defining us in ways that other aspects of our environment can’t. There will always be consequences.

Let’s look at this from another angle.

The prophet Isaiah said that “we all like sheep have gone astray”. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned. It says that all have fallen short.  Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death. Knowing that what do you think YOU deserve? What consequences lay ahead for YOU?

I have met many people in my life who were getting exactly what they deserved for the choices they made. I have seen people suffer and die because of a life lived in sin and darkness and I confess my first thought was “So what?” Shame on me!

The time has come for those of us who “have been called according to His riches” to thank God that we don’t have to get what we deserve. While the wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life.  We can’t earn it or buy it and we definitely don’t deserve it. We all have sinned.  We all have, at one time or another, turned our backs on what we know to be right. But, when we accept God’s gift on His terms no matter the sin or depravity in our past it is God who say’s “So what?”.  You have sinned. So what? I will cleanse you.  You have suffered sorrow. So what? I shall wipe away your tears. You have fallen short. So what? I will bear your burden.

Jimmy

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, Counseling, FYI | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment