American Pastors Network Helps Pastors Navigate the Challenge of ‘Preaching in Perilous Times’

Pastors can sometimes feel isolated, being just one among a flock with a specific set of responsibilities and concerns.

The American Pastors Network (APN) aims to alleviate some of these feelings of isolation by offering both in-person and virtual events where pastors can come together, gain insight from each other and share their ideas and experiences.

A recent APN conference call among pastors focused on the topic of “Preaching in Perilous Times,” and APN president Sam Rohrer says these types of gatherings help pastors to know there are others facing their same challenges.

“We were not only honored to host this pastors’ conference call aptly titled ‘Preaching in Perilous Times,’ but we as a pastors network take it seriously to enable pastors to lead their churches in the best way they possibly can, and this means by preaching the whole counsel of God and giving the people in the pews insight into how they can look at today’s issues from both a biblical and constitutional basis,” Rohrer said.

The call highlighted several pastors who are part of the network. Keith Wiebe, APN’s vice president of state chapter development, posed several questions and participants on the call were also able to interact during a time of Q&A. A few of the questions and answers from the call are highlighted below:

QUESTION: George Barna’s research tells us that just 30 percent of pastors actually believe in the absolute authority of Scripture. How has preaching changed over the past few years?

ANSWER: Gary Dull, pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Altoona, Pa.: “God’s concept of preaching has never changed, God’s message to the preacher has never changed, but one of the things that concerns me is that down through the years, a lot of preaching has become what I refer to as a ‘cupcake’ sermon. In other words, preachers will preach that which looks good, sounds good, maybe even tastes good but it has very, very little spiritual nourishment. I’m very concerned about that because I think we need to do as Paul said—to preach good sound doctrine—and some of these ‘cupcake’ sermons today do not do that.”

Q: How has the audience changed? Have their expectations, needs and interests changed?

A: Dull: “The needs will never change from generation to generation because of the spiritual aspect of the individual’s life are all aboard in sin. We all need a Savior, and we all need to grow. I began pastoring in February of 1974, and when I started out, there was a lot of interest in sound doctrine from the pew. People wanted to know what the Bible really said, to understand the doctrine, who God is, what God expects and how God operates. What I have found down through the years is that people in the pew have gotten away from the desire to have sound doctrine preached to them. They’re more interested in having messages that teach them how to do this and how to do that. Those come by way of practical application, but if doctrine is not first of all established in their hearts and minds of people, then living is not going to be right.”

Q: What challenges are faced in training young preachers—shaping their thinking and molding their preaching?

A: Nathan Crockett, professor at Bob Jones University, Greenville, S.C.: “When they come as freshmen, we’re amazed at … their lack of biblical understanding. I tell them to turn to a certain passage and they’re fumbling around, partly because they are used to the cell phone. Before you can preach God’s Word to others, you have to understand it yourself. They may be very familiar with the world in which they live, but they have to understand the world of the Bible and actually have biblical knowledge and understanding to be able to get that information to the audience they’re preaching to.”

Q: Describe the preaching burden God has given you for a multiethnic, multicultural setting.

A: Joe Green, pastor of Antioch Assembly, Harrisburg, Pa.: “Our motto is to promote and protect the image of God. I believe that that’s our calling and the church’s calling as a whole. As we examine the image and the likeness of God, which we are made in, I look at the trinity: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, which includes unity in the midst of diversity. I’m always careful to mention unity in the midst of diversity and not unity in spite of diversity, because a lot of times when we come together from a multicultural perspective, we want to take the person out of their cultural experience and background and make them more like us.”

Q: Why are messages on a biblical worldview important to address from the pulpit?

A: Mike Frazier, pastor of Canton Baptist Temple, Canton, Ohio: “I think in churches across America, there’s a little bit of a disconnect between what I would call ‘Sunday Christianity’ and then their weekly Christianity. They might affirm a way of believing on Sunday but then often their lives do not reflect that biblical understanding throughout the rest of the week. I felt it very critical to deal with the subject of having a biblical worldview. I dealt with the importance of it and how to cultivate a biblical mindset. We talked about how a biblical worldview all begins in Genesis Chapters 1 and 2 and how a biblical worldview helps you to understand the mess we’re in today all across America and in the world. We also talked about a biblical worldview and how it pertains to salvation. That’s where it all begins and how a is person saved—how really thinking biblically sets us apart from the rest of the world. It was Jesus who said in John 17:17: ‘Sanctify them through thy truth.’ The idea of sanctifying is to set apart, to distinguish. If we can get our people to think biblically, we can get them to live biblically. If I can help you to do that on Sunday and then to get you to live out the truth of God’s word throughout the rest of the week, we can truly be the salt of the earth and the light of the world that He’s called us to be.”

Accusers and Accusations: What Is at Risk in the Kavanaugh Hearings?

As the nation continues to be captivated by the Judge Brett Kavanaugh hearings and the accusations that have come forward, the American Pastors Network is looking at the biblical principles that should be guiding the entire process—especially considering the great impact on the future of the country.

APN president Sam Rohrer discussed the matter on yesterday’s “Stand in the Gap Today” program, the radio ministry of the American Pastors Network.

Rohrer said few are considering the biblical principles that are at the basis of both the legal and moral crux of a confirmation hearing such as this one.

“Contrary to what many may believe, there is a biblical principle that is, in fact, part of our law, and, frankly, this principle is at the core of what the American Pastors Network communicates and what the ‘Stand in the Gap’ programming aims to share. The very basis of our justice system—our law—comes right off the pages of Old Testament Scripture. The Book of Deuteronomy speaks exactly to what every legislator, every Congressman, every Senator and every lawyer should be thinking about right now—that every lawmaker who gives credence to unproven accusations are indicting themselves because they are participating in very bad justice and very bad law.”

Rohrer shared Deuteronomy 19:15-19 (ESV): “A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established. If a malicious witness arises to accuse a person of wrongdoing, then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days. The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.”

“False accusations, false witnesses and false testimony, God says, are evil, and unless purged, brought into the light and the false accuser identified and punished swiftly and appropriately, the entire justice system is brought down,” Rohrer said. “And when The Washington Post or a Diane Feinstein sits on an accusation by one person alone, from a long time ago, it makes it even worse. Worse yet, our lawmakers and leaders do not recognize that one witness could be a false fitness; when play along with it, they are part of the dismantling of our justice system, and they would be as a part of what this verse says: ‘They are a part of an evil that must be purged.’

“This is a serious matter because our entire justice system hangs upon it,” Rohrer added. “It’s been attempted before, but now, I’m afraid, it’s being attempted with abandon. It’s dreadfully perilous for our system of justice. Senators who are clamoring for a single witness to be heard without demanding other witnesses come forward as well are violating important processes that already exist within the law. We’re in dangerous times when such things are even allowed to occur.”

Listen to an audio clip of this important discussion on “Stand in the Gap Today” here.

Photo by Claire Anderson on Unsplash

On 9/11, Even Amid Horrific Tragedy, God’s Hand Was Present

Every September 11, Americans remember where they were when the nation suffered a history-altering terrorist attack.

With the 17th observation of 9/11 occurring tomorrow, the American Pastors Network(APN) is sharing the stories that show how God’s hand was indeed present that fateful day, even in the midst of incredible turmoil and tragedy.

Almost unbelievably, Scheibner had been scheduled to co-pilot American Flight 11 on Sept. 11, 2001.

“The attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, left indelible marks on millions of people,” Rohrer said on the program.

“Over the course of that day and the days after 9/11, the nation shared the collective violation of having our security shattered,” Rohrer said. “Immediately, most people knew they needed God. Church attendance surged, prayer meetings sprang up, and people for a while forgot their petty differences and became united as Americans.”

“But others wondered where God was in this tragedy and ran from Him. Yet we know from so many who have experienced great hardship and loss that even in the midst of tragedy — and this tragedy in particular — if we look, we can find the fingerprints of a loving God reaching out in mercy to all, welcoming them to come to Him in repentance.”

“As we see how one man took the place of a friend, the real lesson is how Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago, because of His great love for us, died on the cross in our place, so that if we trust in Him, any person, from any nation, from anywhere in the world can live and have eternal life,” he also said.

“That hope and that reality cannot only change every life and bring peace with God, but can bring peace among all Americans and turn the remembrance of tragedy into great hope for the future,” Rohrer also told LifeZette. “May our nation that is so divided today look to God and His fingerprints of mercy manifested not only during 9/11 but to our nation for the past 200-plus years.”

This article was originally published by Lifezette  HERE.

Watch Scheibner’s video story here and view the recent “Stand in the Gap” TV programs on 9/11 below:

Photo by Axel Houmadi on Unsplash


Support for Christians Refusing to Use God-Given Talents at Same-Sex Weddings Increases

Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips is tangled in controversy again, despite winning his case at the U.S. Supreme Court. In the wake of Phillips’ victory, Christianity Today is highlighting a new PRRI survey that found that while public support for same-sex marriage has never been higher, “Americans are increasingly sympathetic to service refusals by bakers, caterers, florists and other small business owners with conservative religious beliefs.”

The survey found that 46 percent believe “owners of wedding-related businesses should be allowed to refuse their services to same-sex couples based on their religious convictions” up from 2017, when just 41 percent felt the same.

Sam Rohrer, president of one of the largest pastors groups in the country—the American Pastors Network (APN)—talks frequently about religious liberties on the daily “Stand in the Gap Today” radio program and the weekly “Stand in the Gap” TV show.

“It’s encouraging that more Americans are realizing that individuals have the right to refuse certain services based on their closely held religious convictions,” Rohrer said. “One could argue that baking a cake or taking photographs is a form of art, and therefore, a piece of that person’s God-given talents is being used for something that is not only against their beliefs, but against the biblical teaching about God’s design for marriage between one man and one woman.”

Photo by Photos by Lanty on Unsplash