(Second posting of this article edited with new title).
“THE WORD DOES THE WORK – David Platt and the church he pastored, The Church at Brook Hills, decided to try to answer the question, “Is His Word still enough for His people to come together?” They stripped away the entertainment value and invited people to come simply to study God’s Word. They called it Secret Church. They set a date—on a Friday night—when they would gather from 6:00 in the evening until midnight, and for six hours they would do nothing but study God’s Word and pray. People came. A thousand people came the first time and it grew from that. Soon, they had to start taking reservations because the church was packed full. Secret Church now draws tens of thousands of people via simulcast in over 50 countries around the world—with no entertainment, no bells and whistles or smoke machines. Why do they come? Platt explained in an interview: ‘People are hungry for the Word. There’s really nothing special or creative about it. It’s just the study of the Word …. The Word itself does the work!’”
The above was reported in a blog by Mike Livingstone. For many years people tell me, “We need more teaching of the Word of God.” This comment comes after I teach God’s Word by subject or verse by verse where I am invited to minister. I find people everywhere are hungry for God’s Word – not entertainment. In my ministry of providing nationwide counseling by phone or Skype, people are begging for more of the Word of God. Many do not have a clue how to have an intimate relationship with God through prayer and His Word.
I was raised with my father/pastor (Raymond G. Theobald) who was a self-taught theologian who made the Word of God come alive. We were spiritually feed with solid preaching/teaching of the Word for an hour-plus twice on Sunday and on Wednesday evenings. The saints in the church were always begging for more Word and did not want him to stop teaching.
Several years throughout my growing up, my father would teach out of the book of Revelation for one year on Wednesday evening Bible studies. He would use God’s Word to lay out God’s plan for Israel and for the church. I received a firm foundation in understanding that salvation offered much more than just escaping hell. Because of the cross, the Bride of Christ had a promise to rule and reign over the new heaven and new earth throughout eternity with God. We understood the promises from God about saving His Bride from the wrath that is to come – the Great Tribulation.
God was manifest in the flesh to pay the price for our sins on the cross and He is preparing a place for His Bride in heaven. During the Great Tribulation, the church will be in heaven experiencing the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. We will return with Jesus on white horses coming out of heaven when He returns to conquer Satan at the end of the seven years of tribulation.
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. His Word is a lamp to our feet and lights our path. The New Testament letters written to the church teach us how we ought to behave ourselves – to be holy as He is holy. Jesus showed by his example on earth when he taught thousands of families for hours on the hills of Judea. He did not entertain them. He fed them spiritually and then fed them physically.
A few years ago, I read an article about major churches across America where youth groups were growing. They were asked the question, “What is making your youth group grow?” The answer, “Because we are teaching the Word of God to our youth.” It’s God Word that must be planted in hearts for it to take root and produce from good ground.
After my father retired from pastoring, he taught six years at Christian Life College (Stockton, CA) the subject of Eschatology (prophecy) under Dr. Daniel Segraves. The students from across the nation loved his anointed teaching and his excitement about God’s truth. David said, “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee!”
Pastors, teachers, leaders must get a love for His Word. My father spent many hours every day in the Word of God. He was blessed to sit at the feet of Bishop GT Haywood as a young teen (received the Holy Ghost in 1925 @ age 15) and young adult who planted God’s Word into the hearts of the people.
It would be interesting to find out what would happen in churches today if we had one night a week where we would start church with prayer only and then teach for 1 ½ to 2 hours from God’s Word. This makes me think of the old song, “Jesus has a table spread where the saints of God are fed. He invites His chosen people come and dine!” Do we desire entertainment or do we desire God’s Word to penetrate our hearts and souls? My desire is for God’s Word because it is the foundation for godly living and our hope of the resurrection!
Carol Clemans is an anointed teacher of God’s Word, Certified Pastoral Counselor, Christian Life Coach. She teaches for churches/conferences and provides a nationwide confidential counseling ministry by phone/Skype (636) 448-0121- www.carolclemans.org, 165+ articles, teaching CD’s, DVD’s, book: “God’s Design for Marriage.” Carol’s husband is ordained minister, Harold E. Clemans. Pastor Daniel Batchelor of Dupo, IL is on her Bd. of Dir. For Life Enrichment Ministries, Inc. (501c3).