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TheSword

Would You Say Something?

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Whenever I go back to visit my dad, which I did over this past father's day weekend, I go to church with him where he is the music director.  This is a small town church that is greatly struggling and in dire need of a great many things.  It is evident that there has been no discipleship for at least 15-20 years and the majority of the congregation has never grown past spiritual infancy, including some of the "deacons" in my observation which was greatly exacerbated by a year without a pastor after the last one had an affair and left.  The new pastor was filling in on an interim basis, but was asked to step in full-time, and really only get's ankle-deep into Scripture.  He does well at the caretaking and visitation parts of ministry, but is severely lacking in the preaching and teaching department.

 

Having a ministry role and the only person able to run the electronics part of the church (sound board, sermonaudio, etc) my dad feels unable to just pick up and leave to find another church.  Instead, he has gotten permission from the pastor to lead a discipleship program to help right the ship and re-vector the church to what it should be.  That being said, I feel I can't give up on trying to help this church where I can while it is still moldable. 

 

Now on to my real question and reason for the post (sorry for the long background)...

 

The new youth director (not an official ordained pastor on staff, just someone filling the role) is a guy I knew growing up and is the son-in-law of the new pastor.  His heart is clearly in the right place and he is passionate about growing the youth program and seeing young souls saved.  However, it is also quite clear that he has never had any discipling and not exactly well-grounded in Scripture or the principle of separation (his prominant feature is a large diamond stud in each ear).  In his current state, I would say that even though his intentions are pure he's somewhat of a liability and maybe even a danger as an example for youth.

 

On the one hand I feel compelled to say something to him and help in get on the right path if he's going to be influencing young and impressionable minds.  However, on the other hand it is not my church and I'm not sure if me saying anything to anyone will make a bit of difference to anyone there.

 

Would you say anything to him about specific things he needs to correct?  Give general exhortations and guiding principles for sound youth ministry? Or would you just watch and hope the church as a whole turns the corner?

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Can you build a discipling relationship with this youth pastor? You don't really have the position to try and fix the church (though it'd be nice), but helping one man in leadership to grow could do a lot.

I'm not a pastor or anything, but my suggestion would be to follow your second idea - giving general exhortations and guiding principles - rather than addressing specific things.  Until he understands and accepts the principles of holiness and separation, everything else is so many man-made rules (to his mind, at least). It's like addressing the symptoms before the disease.  Imposing standards without separation is a good way to incite rebellion; at least, that's been my observation with the youth I grew up around. :twocents:  Pray about it and speak as the Lord leads and gives opportunity.

 

"Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." James 5:19-20

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Can you build a discipling relationship with this youth pastor? You don't really have the position to try and fix the church (though it'd be nice), but helping one man in leadership to grow could do a lot.

I'm not a pastor or anything, but my suggestion would be to follow your second idea - giving general exhortations and guiding principles - rather than addressing specific things.  Until he understands and accepts the principles of holiness and separation, everything else is so many man-made rules (to his mind, at least). It's like addressing the symptoms before the disease.  Imposing standards without separation is a good way to incite rebellion; at least, that's been my observation with the youth I grew up around. :twocents:  Pray about it and speak as the Lord leads and gives opportunity.

 

"Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." James 5:19-20

This seems to be a reasonable course of action. If you just go to the man and tell him his earrings are a problem he's likely to immediately get defensive and likely become close minded to anything else after that. If you can help disciple him, teaching him commandments and principles of Scripture that relate to such matters then the Holy Ghost will have that Word within him to work with. It's also possible that at some point in the future, after you have been discipling  him and hopefully forming a good relationship, the Holy Ghost may then lead you to bring up the issue of the earrings and/or other specifics.

 

The best case would be as he's being discipled he would come under conviction about some of these things and ask about them or take corrective actions on his own.

 

Whatever you decide to do, cover it all in prayer.

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Can you build a discipling relationship with this youth pastor? You don't really have the position to try and fix the church (though it'd be nice), but helping one man in leadership to grow could do a lot.

I'm not a pastor or anything, but my suggestion would be to follow your second idea - giving general exhortations and guiding principles - rather than addressing specific things.  Until he understands and accepts the principles of holiness and separation, everything else is so many man-made rules (to his mind, at least). It's like addressing the symptoms before the disease.  Imposing standards without separation is a good way to incite rebellion; at least, that's been my observation with the youth I grew up around. :twocents:  Pray about it and speak as the Lord leads and gives opportunity.

 

"Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." James 5:19-20

 

This seems to be a reasonable course of action. If you just go to the man and tell him his earrings are a problem he's likely to immediately get defensive and likely become close minded to anything else after that. If you can help disciple him, teaching him commandments and principles of Scripture that relate to such matters then the Holy Ghost will have that Word within him to work with. It's also possible that at some point in the future, after you have been discipling  him and hopefully forming a good relationship, the Holy Ghost may then lead you to bring up the issue of the earrings and/or other specifics.

 

The best case would be as he's being discipled he would come under conviction about some of these things and ask about them or take corrective actions on his own.

 

Whatever you decide to do, cover it all in prayer.

 

I would tend to agree.  Coming on too strong can often backfire when trying to help someone grow, especially in cases where the person feels they are on the right track already.  You certainly can't make someone change...they have to see the problem and want to change themselves.

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MAybe jump in and tell him you'd like to have a regular Bible study with him-no one's in charge-he prepares some studies, you prepare some, and in doing so, there can be an open back-and-forth between you, as well as teaching him, through experience, to study and prepare lessons. I never learned as much as I did when I had to prepare to not only teach, but answer questions. Just an informal brother-to-brother Bible study.

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MAybe jump in and tell him you'd like to have a regular Bible study with him-no one's in charge-he prepares some studies, you prepare some, and in doing so, there can be an open back-and-forth between you, as well as teaching him, through experience, to study and prepare lessons. I never learned as much as I did when I had to prepare to not only teach, but answer questions. Just an informal brother-to-brother Bible study.

 

Now that's an excellent idea.  He is 4 1/2 hrs away so it would have to be done via email most of the time, but I have also found that type of study to be so greatly helpful.

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Whenever I go back to visit my dad, which I did over this past father's day weekend, I go to church with him where he is the music director.  This is a small town church that is greatly struggling and in dire need of a great many things.  It is evident that there has been no discipleship for at least 15-20 years and the majority of the congregation has never grown past spiritual infancy, including some of the "deacons" in my observation which was greatly exacerbated by a year without a pastor after the last one had an affair and left.  The new pastor was filling in on an interim basis, but was asked to step in full-time, and really only get's ankle-deep into Scripture.  He does well at the caretaking and visitation parts of ministry, but is severely lacking in the preaching and teaching department.

 

Having a ministry role and the only person able to run the electronics part of the church (sound board, sermonaudio, etc) my dad feels unable to just pick up and leave to find another church.  Instead, he has gotten permission from the pastor to lead a discipleship program to help right the ship and re-vector the church to what it should be.  That being said, I feel I can't give up on trying to help this church where I can while it is still moldable. 

 

Now on to my real question and reason for the post (sorry for the long background)...

 

The new youth director (not an official ordained pastor on staff, just someone filling the role) is a guy I knew growing up and is the son-in-law of the new pastor.  His heart is clearly in the right place and he is passionate about growing the youth program and seeing young souls saved.  However, it is also quite clear that he has never had any discipling and not exactly well-grounded in Scripture or the principle of separation (his prominant feature is a large diamond stud in each ear).  In his current state, I would say that even though his intentions are pure he's somewhat of a liability and maybe even a danger as an example for youth.

 

On the one hand I feel compelled to say something to him and help in get on the right path if he's going to be influencing young and impressionable minds.  However, on the other hand it is not my church and I'm not sure if me saying anything to anyone will make a bit of difference to anyone there.

 

Would you say anything to him about specific things he needs to correct?  Give general exhortations and guiding principles for sound youth ministry? Or would you just watch and hope the church as a whole turns the corner?

 

If this man has the title of "Youth Director" even on an interim basis, the problem in my mind is the new pastor. Everything in an IBC is going to rise and fall on the leadership of God’s man leading the church. This pastor does not have the discernment to recognize this situation for what it is which leads me to think that there are or will be larger areas of concern that will surface.

 

A youth pastor should have ministry training before anyone is under his authority and influence.

 

Should you “say anything?” Probably not, but every situation is different. When I got saved, I was annoyed by comments about my hair being too long. My hair was something I knew in my heart was too long and I had already planned on cutting it because I wanted to be an effective witness for Christ. Nevertheless, I was still bothered (because of my pride) when a humble man told me that he was praying that I cut my hair.

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The answer is found in the Proverbs:

 

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: - Proverbs 1:5

 

Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die. - Proverbs 15:10

Edited by swathdiver

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 When I got saved, I was annoyed by comments about my hair being too long. My hair was something I knew in my heart was too long and I had already planned on cutting it because I wanted to be an effective witness for Christ. Nevertheless, I was still bothered (because of my pride) when a humble man told me that he was praying that I cut my hair.

 

The world wants us to shut up.  Many problems cannot be corrected with silence and time, they will get worse.  How many times is counsel used in the Bible?

 

The OP is not a member but he can still say something to another brother.  It makes little difference if this guy has earings if the church is going contemporary, uses MV bibles, and has gone soft on separation.  If such is the case, Christ left the building long ago; he's at the door, knocking.

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If this man has the title of "Youth Director" even on an interim basis, the problem in my mind is the new pastor. Everything in an IBC is going to rise and fall on the leadership of God’s man leading the church. This pastor does not have the discernment to recognize this situation for what it is which leads me to think that there are or will be larger areas of concern that will surface.

 

 

That's absolutely true in this case.  Personally, I don't think the church should have called him as the pastor.  I think it was a decision made out of convenience by a spiritually malnourished (and somewhat abused) congregation.  Indeed I see grievous problems on the horizon for this church if my father's discipleship efforts fall flat.  In my mind these two things are sort of last ditch efforts to help them turn things around.  Since it's the church I grew up in I hate to see it in such disarray and confusion, but if they refuse to hear....well I guess there's nothing I can do but visit a different church when I go home.

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If your dad begins that discipleship course, it would be great if the youth leader (and his dad, honestly!) attended.  Maybe you could pursue a Bible study asking him to share what he learns there with you?  And you know, you could always skype, if your times worked out.  That way you could see his body language and facial expressions - as we all know, the keyboard tends to hide those, and so often our words are misunderstood.

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Whenever I go back to visit my dad, which I did over this past father's day weekend, I go to church with him where he is the music director.  This is a small town church that is greatly struggling and in dire need of a great many things.  It is evident that there has been no discipleship for at least 15-20 years and the majority of the congregation has never grown past spiritual infancy, including some of the "deacons" in my observation which was greatly exacerbated by a year without a pastor after the last one had an affair and left.  The new pastor was filling in on an interim basis, but was asked to step in full-time, and really only get's ankle-deep into Scripture.  He does well at the caretaking and visitation parts of ministry, but is severely lacking in the preaching and teaching department.
 
Having a ministry role and the only person able to run the electronics part of the church (sound board, sermonaudio, etc) my dad feels unable to just pick up and leave to find another church.  Instead, he has gotten permission from the pastor to lead a discipleship program to help right the ship and re-vector the church to what it should be.  That being said, I feel I can't give up on trying to help this church where I can while it is still moldable. 
 
Now on to my real question and reason for the post (sorry for the long background)...
 
The new youth director (not an official ordained pastor on staff, just someone filling the role) is a guy I knew growing up and is the son-in-law of the new pastor.  His heart is clearly in the right place and he is passionate about growing the youth program and seeing young souls saved.  However, it is also quite clear that he has never had any discipling and not exactly well-grounded in Scripture or the principle of separation (his prominant feature is a large diamond stud in each ear).  In his current state, I would say that even though his intentions are pure he's somewhat of a liability and maybe even a danger as an example for youth.
 
On the one hand I feel compelled to say something to him and help in get on the right path if he's going to be influencing young and impressionable minds.  However, on the other hand it is not my church and I'm not sure if me saying anything to anyone will make a bit of difference to anyone there.
 
Would you say anything to him about specific things he needs to correct?  Give general exhortations and guiding principles for sound youth ministry? Or would you just watch and hope the church as a whole turns the corner?

the Apostle Paul wrote the Church at Corinth, pointing out several characteristics that were contradictory to a Spirit-filled Christian's walk and relationship with God.

Perhaps a similarly written letter of admonishment and encouragement would be in order?

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is it an IFB church? If it's not, is it wise? My mom attends a Weslyan church and I attended church with her on special occasions before attending my IFB church, and it was always shallow and quick. Like a catholic homily, 5 to 10 minutes tops. You can't get into anything in 5 to 10 minutes. And now I realize that her faith has never waivered but her Bible knowledge has never really increased. I know she is responsible ultimately for her own actions but I know that having a pastor now that challenges my own knowledge and faith to know and learn more and pray more that it makes all the difference in the world vs. attending a church where you don't even bring your Bible because you won't use it!

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is it an IFB church? If it's not, is it wise? My mom attends a Weslyan church and I attended church with her on special occasions before attending my IFB church, and it was always shallow and quick. Like a catholic homily, 5 to 10 minutes tops. You can't get into anything in 5 to 10 minutes. And now I realize that her faith has never waivered but her Bible knowledge has never really increased. I know she is responsible ultimately for her own actions but I know that having a pastor now that challenges my own knowledge and faith to know and learn more and pray more that it makes all the difference in the world vs. attending a church where you don't even bring your Bible because you won't use it!

 

It's an SBC church unfortunately.  That's about as far as I'm willing to stray from IFB even for visitation purposes.

 

 

the Apostle Paul wrote the Church at Corinth, pointing out several characteristics that were contradictory to a Spirit-filled Christian's walk and relationship with God.

Perhaps a similarly written letter of admonishment and encouragement would be in order?

 

I'm not sure it would be well received right off the bat.  Paul had apostolic authority in Corinth but I'm just the visiting son of the music director.

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It would be good to give him an encouraging word & being as your not a member of that church it should not go any further than that.

 

If you were an evangelist called to hold a revival at that church & you saw something that could help that would be a completely different matter, but you were only a visitor.

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