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Dennis Clark

This is a very interesting blog, Alan. I am so thankful that about 4 years ago when we were in a somewhat similar situation that the first church we visited was the perfect church for us. And every week to this day it seems I am hearing "the best sermon I've ever heard in my life."

What I found most interesting in your blog was the one parameter of your search being Bible teaching vs. application. Would that all pastor/teachers trusted the Holy Spirit to make the application. In fact, I think teachers of God's Word would be more fulfilled and less anxious about the effectiveness of their ministry if they concentrated only upon what they had control of, the presentation of the Word, and left the application up to God.

I remember part of what I was looking for when our pastor of 20 years died and we moved on to another church, that one of my main concerns was finding a church where my gifts might be utilized. Ironically, the more I was involved in that church's ministry the more aware of the pastor's sin and manipulation of the "application" I became. I was so adversely affected by 8 years of that conflict that we left and I confined my next search to "where can we go and be ministered to" instead of where can we go so I can be a help. That's how emotionally broken I was by that man's "ministry of application." The church we are now involved in has grown in the last 7 years from about 350 to over 2,000 with the same pastor they've had for 20 years. And, by the way, after 3 years here they asked me to serve on the elder board, which I reluctantly have done for the last year.

If you remember, I am writing my book, and I am moving right along with it. I think I will be finished with the first draft in the next 2 or 3 months. Coincidentally, the topic of your blog is the answer to the dilemma of my story's protagonist. So, thank you again for being a part of my life and my project. And, good luck with your search.


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