My Testimony & Ministry Philosophy

June, 2013 My Testimony & Ministry Philosophy

Philosophy of Ministry

Paul said in Ephesians 3:7, “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.” I am fully persuaded this is the will of God for me also. I desire to be a pastor (1 Tim. 3:1). My burden is to “earnestly contend for the faith”: to preach and teach God's Word with power and conviction. Standing against man-made doctrines (Matt. 15:9) and worldly philosophy (Col. 2:8) and science falsely so-called (1 Tim. 6:20), I desire “that I may know Him”; and I pray, as Paul prayed, that God would give me and those I teach “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Eph. 1:17). As long as I have breath and God allows me to remain in this world, I desire to point people to Jesus Christ.

My passion is knowing God and His Word. For more than 15 years I have passionately studied the Bible and sought a deeper relationship with the Lord God of Heaven and earth. Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – I desire that every day I might see just a little greater how great God's ways really are. My Bible preaching and teaching is apologetic in nature, often verse-by-verse and expository, and seeks to increase people's faith in God and His Word. I recognize that God said in Proverbs 23:7, “as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” which is why I desire to get people to think Biblically and have a Bible-based worldview regarding culture, country, family, and every other issue in life.

My aim is God's glory. My life and ministry are not about me, but are all for the glory of God. May God's name be exalted and not my own. The glorifying and worship of God is the most important. If we are to eat and drink for the glory of God, then most certainly the church is for the glory of God in our preaching, singing, giving, service, relationships, and every other aspect of our lives.

My family is very important to me. 1 Timothy 3:5 comes to mind, “For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” Which shows that it would never be right for a Pastor to sacrifice his family for the ministry (remember the examples of Eli and Samuel). I have learned how to truly love my wife and kids during good times as well as bad. After 15 years of marriage, I now have a much better understanding of what true love is and I can honestly say I love my wife as Christ loved the church. I can tell you that ministry is not going to come before my family, for if I lose my family I lose my ministry.

My earnest desire is to teach and train Christians to understand the times and arm them with the truth of God for the purpose of reaching a lost world for Jesus Christ. I believe the major problems in our country stem from socialism, evolution and atheism, humanism, new age pagan spirituality, religious hypocrisy that is a “form of godliness”, etc. – all of which are completely contrary to the Bible. School violence, abortion, increased suicide rates, apathy, increased sodomy, etc., all have their root in those major issues. Our culture used to be primarily Biblically based, but now we have had a couple generations of young people grow up in school and homes with no God, no prayer, no Bible, no absolute truth. “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he”. It makes perfect sense that a godless culture is turned over to vile affections and lusts (Rom. 1). Our fight is a spiritual fight, and whether we like it or not we are all in a battle between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of His dear Son – Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” May God use me to arm His people with the armour, sword, power and ability to “withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” I believe we need much more preaching on social issues from a Biblical perspective.

Unity in the church: I love the gathering together of God's people and will lead the church according to Philippians 1:27, “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel”. I have found that bitterness is one of the most destructive forces in the church. For it starts out as a root (Hebrews 12:15), undetectable, and if not dealt with by the grace of God will spring up and defile many people. I see the need to remind that God's grace is always sufficient. The Lord has taken me through negative and bitter circumstances that I might learn how to walk according to Philippians 1:27 by the grace of God.

I'm sure this passage still has future fulfillment in Israel, but spiritually I see it as applying to God's will for me as a pastor:

Jeremiah 23:
1 ¶ Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.

Personal Testimony

I was originally born in Australia. My father, Ken Ham, has been in full-time ministry as long as I have been alive. When I was 10 years old he brought our family over to the United States as missionaries to America, and we have remained here ever since. My Dad's burden was to first get the church back to the authority of the Word of God, beginning at the first verse, and to stand against the secular humanism that has taken over our culture. After more than 30 years of world-wide ministry, my father has received many testimonies of people who have been saved or blessed by his ministry, Answers in Genesis. My Dad's Bible teaching and stand on God's Word have been the strongest influence in my life.

Although I prayed a salvation prayer when I was very young, it wasn't until I about 18 years old that I truly knelt before God in repentance and gave my heart to trust Him. I attended Bob Jones University to study Computer Science and have worked in the Information Technology field for 17+ years, but shortly after graduating and getting married in 1998 I was increasingly burdened about full-time ministry and specifically the position of pastor.

After more than 10 years of intense prayer, Bible studies, and ministry experience, the Lord led me to pastor Harvest Baptist Church, a struggling church on the west side of Cincinnati. I worked with the church as Assistant Pastor and then Senior Pastor for a total of almost 2 years. At the churches I have attended, with my whole heart have I followed Philippians 1:27, “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel”. We helped the church until it was clear the Lord was ready to move us on.

My wife, Kristy has lived in the Cincinnati area all her life. I met Kristy when she was working at my Dad's ministry. Her parents, Frank and Donna McNeill, are hard-working, Godly people that love their family. My father-in-law is one of the most consistently Godly men I have ever met, and many others have said the same. He has served in ministry for years and often in leadership positions. I could not have picked better in-laws, and would only be half the Christian today without them.

Kristy, like me, said a salvation prayer when she was younger. Struggling with fears and doubts for many years, she finally settled the matter and turned her trust to the Lord instead of a prayer. Which is why we both encourage our children and others not to trust in a salvation prayer like it has some hocus-pocus magic, but rather to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself as our Salvation.

I do not deserve Kristy. She is an incredibly sweet girl who cares very much about pleasing the Lord. She has been a really strong spiritual influence in my life also, which says a lot about the character her parents have instilled in her.

Our children are Malachi (13), Kathryn (11), Noah (9), Madelyn (2), and Emma (1). Malachi, Kathryn, and Noah have professed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Kristy continues to homeschool our children with the Abeka video curriculum.

Where To From Here?

Currently, we are back at First Baptist of Milford, the church that sent me out and ordained me as pastor. I am teaching the Couples for Christ Sunday school class.

I am currently praying about either starting a church or taking an existing church to pastor. I have a strong burden for the Cincinnati area and would love for the Lord to open a ministry position in this area where I could faithfully serve Him.

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