Below are 13 questions I have been asked several times that I feel comfortable sharing online:
Question 1: Just who are you?
I am a computer technician who currently works for a major university.
I am a college graduate with a B.A. in Sociology, and a ThG in Theology.
I am happily married to my wonderful wife, who has patiently put up with me for 30+ years, and a father of 2 wonderful kids.
I am a sinner, guilty of breaking every one of God’s commandments in some form or another.
While God has blessed me in so many ways, scripture tells me:
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (Romans 7:18-19)
I am a sinner who has nothing good to offer, as my best is naught but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), and the only righteousness I can boast is that which has been given by grace through Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9).
I am a Christian who excessively fails. Only by the grace of God can I claim any righteousness (my best is but filthy rags).
Question 2: What is your pastoral experience?
I was the senior (bi-vocational) pastor for 2 years. I stepped down from this in October 2016.
Prior to becoming a bi-vocational pastor, I had six months in pulpit supply. Since stepping down as pastor, I have returned to serving in the area of pulpit supply.
Six years’ experience in nursing home ministry.
As a church member, I have taught Sunday school (both adult and children), performed in Choir, assisted with VBS and so forth.
Question 3: Are you currently pastoring a church?
No. I stepped down from my bi-vocational position a few months ago.
As there are two sides to every story, I cannot speak for the church, but for me there were assorted reasons. The biggest four go like this:
First, when trying to get the church involved in community outreach, I was approached by the head deacon and told: “…our church is on the main street of town. People in the community know where we are and know our service times, so we don’t need to be out witnessing“.
Second, I tried to organize an outreach to the homebound/elderly in our church. I asked our head deacon if he would contact one of the families he knew well. I was informed by said deacon that not only would he not call, but visiting homebound members was what I was paid to do, so I should not expect the church to be involved.
Third, we had a chance to start a teen youth outreach. I know a Missionary who works with a group called Teens of America, who was willing to help us get things started for free. When I presented this at our business meeting, again, our head deacon spoke out against this: “Having more kids around would cause our insurance rates to go up. We should probably have another church in the area do it…”
The final straw was when our head deacon told me, “…with most of the members getting up in age, we really expect to close the church in 5-6 years. The church has only been getting smaller over the past decade, and it’s obvious you just couldn’t grow a church in this day and age“. My job now is to focus on messages of “comfort” and “feel-good” stuff. I was to stop pushing for community outreach.
This was my first pastoring experience. From what you have read so far, you may think that it was a dreadful experience, but it was not. I have many fond memories, and I was able to do what I truly wanted to do: proclaim God’s word! People were impacted, and I was honored to lead one to Christ! But it was becoming obvious that things were not going to work out. I realized it was best to leave, so I stepped down.
I honestly wish the best for them. I pray a sound pastor will come in and motivate them where I could not. I believe that I learned what the Lord wanted me to while I was there. I made mistakes, obviously, but I am not been dissuaded from continuing to serve the Lord.
Question 4: What are your future plans?
First, to wait on the Lord. To reflect back on my time as a pastor, and to see what the Lord has for me to learn during this “down” time.
I am open to serving in whatever way needed. If a church needs a guest speaker to cover while their pastor and family take a vacation, or fill in for a pastor who is ill, I am ready to serve. If a church needs an interim pastor, give me a call. Moreover, if called to be a bi-vocational (or full time) pastor again, I look forward to the challenge.
Question 5: What denomination do you affiliate?
The Church I ministered to was Southern Baptist. Prior to that, I was a member at Faith Baptist Church, an Independent Baptist Church. Regarding pulpit supply, I have filled in at both Southern and Independent Baptist churches. In core doctrine, the are very similar. The biggest difference seems to be in handling missions.
During my time as pastor (SBC church), while we did send money to the SBC mission’s board, we also independently financially assist a church plant in another state.
Question 6: How were you trained? What ministry training do you have?
While a member at Faith Baptist church, when I felt the Lord calling me, I approached my pastor (Pastor Joseph Kline, who now serves at the SBC church Vintage Church). Pastor Kline personally started preparing myself and another member of the church for ministry. He also recommended we take correspondence courses through Gulf Coast Bible Institute. It is through the Gulf Coast Bible institute where I received my degree in Theology.
Question 7: What are your goals for this website?
Several actually. The blog portion I plan to use to share little “nuggets” from my personal studies.
Next, I have been going over my past sermon notes, reading over them and converting them from the hodgepodge of notes into something that would make sense to someone reading them. Now, as I convert these, I share them on some message boards and on social media. In a way, this has become my personal ministry (I know a few people read them). This is also a way to archive my past messages. Finally, thus site gives search committees who may visit a sampling of how I preach and teach.
I have come across a handful of previously recorded sermons. I intend share those soon.
Ultimately, in all things, my goal is to give glory to God.
Question 8: How can I contact you?
If you would like to have me speak at your church (or would just like to ask a question), feel free to email me at leezyC@Outlook.com. I welcome all inquiries. I work with some good people at the University, and have quite a bit of leave time built up, so given enough notice, depending on the distance, so many cases I am available to travel.
Question 9: Are you ordained?
I am/was. My ordination was through a group called the International Believers Alliance. This was a Baptist group that focused on home churchs. The goal of this group is twofold. First, to evaluate the request and determine the actual need. Often people just needed help locating a good local church, so this was where we started.
In some instances, there was no biblically sound churches around, or you may have a homebound individual and the family desired setting up a home church.
Unfortunately, the International Believers Alliance had to close it’s doors, so in regards to the question “are you ordained?” I guess that is up to you to decide. I was never notified of my ordination being revoked. At my last pastorate, it was discussed about possibly doing an ordination ceremony at the church, but that never happened (even though I served for an additional year before I stepped down, so it was not a pressing issue at the last church I served).
There is not a lot remaining on the internet regarding the International Believers Alliance. A search on the Internet Wayback Machine (https://archive.org/web/web.php) will get you some information about the organization (and you will find I was the Missouri representative for that group).
Question 10: Which bible translation do you prefer?
I teach and preach from the King James Bible. Acts 11:26 tells us that is was in Antioch where “…the disciples were called Christian first…” The King James Bible was assembled using the over 5000 manuscripts that were discovered here. Because of this, plus the fact that the King James Bible has an established track record dating back 400+ years, I feel that the KJV is the bible I should used for “…rightly dividing the word of truth” (2nd Timothy 2:15).
There are times when I might like the wording from another translation. For example, 1st Corinthians 6:9, the KJV uses the word “effeminate”. I would probably share that the New Living Translation uses the word “homosexuality” to add clarity to the passage.
Often some good bible study materials will come using only more modern translations. In those cases I will use the material, but will normally have the KJV verses available on a handout (or displayed on a PowerPoint presentation).
Question 11: Pre-, mid- or post trib rapture?
I have admired the teachings of many more knowledgeable than me who come down on both sides (Pre- or post), and have heard many good arguments (and some really lame ones) for both views. My advice: we don’t know when the time will come. Just be ready like the 5 wise virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). Meanwhile, pray for a pretribulation rapture, prepare for a post tribulation rapture.
I see nothing in scripture that supports a mid-tribulation rapture.
Question 12: Premillennial or Amillennial?
Question 13: Do you ONLY work with Baptist churches?
Good question. In general, the answer is yes, but I have encountered some very odd baptist churches that I will not assist. I have also seen some non-denomination and Bible churches that are very biblically structured, filled with good teaching and solid doctrine. I know one methodist church where the pastor was warned “If you’re not not careful, they’re gonna find out they have a baptist pastor…” If your church is not baptist but you are interested in help, contact me and we’ll talk! (see Luke 9:49-50)