Boy-Preachers and What Is Preaching?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Abiyah, Jan 20, 2003.

  1. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    First, this is not to bash young preachers; I am
    looking for opinions and information. Please do
    not use this thread to bash. Also, I welcome any
    young preachers to join in, but please let them
    feel welcome.

    I have heard of little boys preaching; they have
    been in the news over the years. One news story
    had a snippet of a child preaching, and he was
    doing very well, parroting, it seemed to me, what
    he had seen and heard demonstrated. This was a
    little guy around 11 - 12 years of age, who had
    created problems by preaching on the school
    playground. I have also heard of boys 16- and
    17-years-old preaching but have never heard one
    preach.

    What does a child preach? What training is
    necessary in such cases? What is preaching, in
    general, that allows children without training to
    preach in the assembly?

    I fear that if I were to hear a child preach, my
    response would be more like, "Aw. Isn't that
    cute?" I cannot see how I could take it seriously.
    It is not that I have not met many very wise young
    people; it has been my experience that many are
    far wiser than my peers in certain areas. But it
    seems that much of preaching must be based
    upon biblical knowledge, most of which is gained
    through years of study, and experience, which
    comes only with time.
     
  2. blackbird

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    Interesting post, Abijah!!

    If we study the life of the Lord Jesus Christ we will discover little of His childhood--of course, over in Luke 2--the Doctor gives us an account of the Lord Jesus as a boy--there in the temple--His momma and daddy looking for Him amongst the relatives--but get the picture--

    They find Him in the temple--notice Luke 2:46-47--"And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers."

    As much as I can gather--Jesus as a child never preached--it simply says here that He was at the temple---listening and asking---and the Doctors were amazed at His intellect and the answers He gave to their questions to Him---

    Jesus never preached--as what I can gather in this text--as a boy---but learned and grew full of wisdom---

    Same as the Apostle Paul and the rest--

    Boyhood is a time of learning--and generally when you see one like you described--they are generally repeating what they heard somebody else say---maybe the fellas have dreams of becoming a preacher one day--and this is practice---but I wouldn't let the same young fella drive my big ole Kenworth at that age--if he told me---"I'm gonna drive when I get old!" He ain't mature enough to drive my truck--hand/eye/mind coordination is not fully developed--and a wreck is lible to happen---same way with boys preaching---mind and spirit are not "clickin'" just yet--and there will be a spiritual wreck on the playground one day.

    My brother-in-law lets his son drive the big ole John Deere 4430 all by himself--as well as the pickup truck---I tell myself--"OOOHHHHHH! I can't bear to watch! Please Lord . . .!" That's the way I feel about little boys preaching---"OOOOHHH, I can't bear to watch . . .!

    Your friend,
    Blackbird
     
  3. blackbird

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    My brother-in-law's boy ain't but nine!

    Blackbird
     
  4. David A Bayliss

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    First let us remember that the bible refers to the 'foolishness of preaching' and frequently reminds us that eloquence is not a requirement.

    Secondly I need to admit that I wasn't a child preacher. I was saved at 18 and started preaching at 20.

    Surely the interesting question is not how old the person is but how long they have been saved and how much of that time they have spent in the word of God.

    My eldest was saved at 4 and has been studying the word of God (as part of his school course) for at least an hour a day for that past three years. By the time he is 16 I suspect he will know the word of God as well as I did at 30.

    Our church thrives on lay preachers. I have heard a number of 'boy' preachers. Frankly the ones I have heard do not have the depth and polish of the thirty years olds.

    And that is a jolly good thing.

    Yours in Christ

    David A Bayliss
     
  5. Living by Faith

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    I've heard some boys preach some are very good and some are like a novelty, are all about entertainment. Just like some of the adult conterparts. I'm not gonna do anything to discourage what God is trying to accomplish with in child or anyone else.
    Jeanne
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    I would prefer not to listen to a parody of the Gospel or a memorized speech by a 9-year-old. Have seen some college-aged young men who simply memorized and parroted a famous sermon (by Ron Comfort or by Billy Sunday) and was so turned off I got up and left.

    Preaching to me is a serious repsonsibility, not a "novelty" or "gimmick" or "show" for enjoyment. I preach as "if I might never preach again, as a dying man to dying men."
     
  7. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed
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    If you mean actual preaching, that can only come from God. So, if they are preaching, then they are speaking the words that God is telling them to.

    How old was Jesus again?

    I know of one preacher, he is an old man now, that was preaching on tree stumps at 5 yrs old. He actually ran away from home because he was scared of this.

    Thankfully, he came back and is now a preacher.

    God Bless. Bro. James
     
  8. Bugman

    Bugman
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    Didn't Spurgeon start in his late teen years?

    It definitly one thing to preach and another to recite. I think there are people out there who can preach in their late teens. Personally I wouldn't want them as a pastor or something unless it is made very clear by God that he should be. I am continually amazed by my freinds, who like me are late teens, who have known God for a long time and the words come naturally to them.

    Bryan
     
  9. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    Dr. Bob --

    I wholeheartedly agree.

    - - - - - - - -

    David Bayliss --

    If you were saved at 18 and preaching two years
    later, you were, indeed, younger than any person
    I would take time to hear preach. 8o) What could
    you give a congregation after a mere two years?
    And what could you give them at that age? Yes,
    at 20, to me, you were a boy. You could vote,
    get killed in a war, and drive, but you could not
    have even legally drunk liquor; therefore, the law
    also saw you as a boy. 8o)

    What were your church's requirements to preach?
    Did you have any seminary education at that
    time?

    - - - - - - - -



    I have heard many preachers claim to be saying
    what our God was telling them to say, and they
    had many followers who agreed, but they were
    preaching error. The fact is that I used to mimick
    preachers in order to entertain my friends when I
    was a teen. And I was Good! It meant nothing,
    but I knew that I could have done the same thing
    from a pulpit and convinced the unlearned.

    Unfortunately, all preachers are not oracles of our
    God. 8o)

    When He started preaching? It is speculated that
    He was around 30, and this is a very good
    estimate. According to Jewish ways, He would
    not have started preaching publicly until He was
    30.

    - - - - - - - - -

    I am certainly not against boys who feel called
    into the ministry! But what I wonder is why, when
    a boy is called, he is not encouraged to wait until
    he has studied and has some life-experience
    as our Lord did? What is the purpose, what is
    advantage, of putting children before the
    congregation to do a man's job?

    Would we do the same thing for children who want
    desperately to be doctors, or would we advise
    them not to operate until they are educated? How
    much more important than doctoring is
    expounding the message of our very Creator and
    the Author and Finisher of our faith? How much
    more important than bodies are the souls of the
    people? Shall we give these into the hands of
    children?
     
  10. Ben W

    Ben W
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    My first sermon was at age six on my swing in the backyard of my house. I had been sent to a Lutheran Sunday School. And I informed my friends that a man without Jesus Christ is like a man with both arms ripped off. And told everyone about God.

    The requirement and training in ministry is to know the voice of the Holy Spirit, which transcends age.
     
  11. Pete

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    hmmmm...I dunno. I've been a Sunday school teacher for 5 or 6 years or so, and sometimes have learnt more from 10yr olds than 50yr olds [​IMG]

    Pete
     
  12. Scott J

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    Yes. But even his early sermons show work and study. Most of the "boy preachers" I have heard basically chant the mantra. They stand up in yell, walk to and fro, bang things, point fingers... and all other types of emotional dramatics... but seldom say anything edifying or proclaim the gospel of Christ clearly.

    I don't want to pick on your friends but this is not the way Spurgeon did it. Early in his career, he taught himself Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. He learned the classics as well as theology. You cannot compare him to the typical "boy preacher" we see in the radical, pseudo-fundamentalist church.
     
  13. j_barner2000

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    My pastor was saved at 4 or 5. He surrendered to full time ministry at age 9 and was mentored and trained by deacons and his pastor with that in mind. When he was 17 his pastor had a heart attack and he was asked to preach for him. His pastor never returned to the pulpet and after about 6 months the congregation asked him to pastor their church. He had other experienced pastors teaching him as he did the job.

    So personally, I think a teenager is qualified to teach, if they have the Bible knowlege to do it.
     
  14. Bro. James Reed

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    As I said before, we need to look at the difference between preaching and speaking. Anyone can stand up and speak, but only a God-called minister can preach the gospel.

    Preaching is not just repeating a sermon you've heard before. Enough of those tv "preachers" read their sermons. That is not preaching, that is speaking.

    Preaching comes from God and God alone. It has absolutely nothing to do with age. If God can create the entire world and save His people from our sins, then why couldn't He do something simple like call a child to preach His word?

    I'm not saying that every boy who mimics the preacher or something is preaching. Like I said, the sermon preached to you at church can be filled with the spirit, but, take those same words, and let someone who is not called speak themm to you. They are the same words, but only the ones spoken by a preacher is preaching. The others are just words.

    God Bless. Bro. James
     
  15. Bugman

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    "I don't want to pick on your friends but this is not the way Spurgeon did it. Early in his career, he taught himself Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. He learned the classics as well as theology. You cannot compare him to the typical "boy preacher" we see in the radical, pseudo-fundamentalist church."

    Scott,

    I understand this, I was simply trying to say that there are exceoptions such as Spurgeon, and some people are naturally gifted in preaching. My freinds are not preachers, but I wanted to point out that some people at an early age displays some of the qualities that will be needed later if they do becoem a preacher. I whole heartly agree that much more work, study and prayer is needed they child-preachers put into their preaching.

    Bryan
     
  16. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    It boggles my mind that people who would not even entertain the notion of allowing a woman (who is called, ordained, and trained in biblical languages, theology, pastoral care, church history, and homiletics) would even consider allowing a child who meets none of those qualifications to preach. :rolleyes:

    Joshua
     
  17. Pastor_Bob

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    It boggles my mind that no one has referenced the Word of God in this discussion. I Timothy 3 clearly gives the requirements for a man to preach the gospel.

    1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
    2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
    3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
    4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
    5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
    6 Not a novice , lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
    7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (KJV)

    I don't see any requirememnt in this passage that couldn't apply to a teenage boy. You may say, "How can a teenage boy be the husband of one wife, or rule his houshold well when he is not even married?" Let me remind you that Paul, one of the greatest preachers of the New Testament would have been disqualified using this logic.

    The only reference to age in this passage is that he is not to be a "novice." The word "novice is the Greek word neophutos, it simply means "newly planted," or "a young convert."

    If a young man has spent time with God, why in the world wouldn't he have something of value to say to you and me? To say that God cannot speak through any willing and yielded vessel is selling God short in my opinion.
     
  18. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    It boggles my mind that some think a woman has been called when God says she has not. However, I agree with your last statement.
     
  19. Abiyah

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    Titus (Pete) mentioned that he teaches and has
    sometimes learned more from 10-year-olds than
    from 50-year-olds. With this, I agree. I have been
    blessed to have been surrounded with very wise
    young people and have learned much from them
    "sometimes."

    The problem very young wisdom is that it comes
    in spurts, usually with some deep insight they
    jhave as they happen to pick up on things that
    adults are too set in their ways or too high-
    minded or too self-preserving to see. Young
    wisdom is not solid, like a river, but comes in
    those wondrous moments more like an
    occasional short shower--it is there, then it is
    gone. Preaching requires a steady flow of
    wisdom with continuous study which needs,
    by nature, to be deeper than that of the
    congregation.

    Scott says that he has seen the "boy preachers"
    as they chant, "yell, walk to and fro, bang things,
    point" and create "emotional dramatics." Is this
    what preaching is intended to be? Dramatics?
    In other words, acting?

    In reference to my other question in my title,
    exactly what is preaching in these churches?
    Is it mere dramatics? If I want mere dramatics,
    I can turn on TBN and watch that! I can see
    preachers doing the chicken-walk, I can hear them
    yell their lungs out, and I can even watch them
    blow whole rows of people over. Hey, I can even
    watch them rant and rage at demons as their angry
    faces go nose-to-nose with congregants.

    It is all dramatics. Is this all people want from a
    preacher? Dramatics? Entertainment? Why?
    We are to follow in the steps of our Lord; can you
    imagine Him emulating another preacher? Can
    you envision Him doing the chicken-walk? He
    used his preaching time for teaching.

    What, then is preaching in these churches where
    boys preach? What is pastoring in churches
    where boys pastor? What is preaching in your
    church?
     
  20. Bro. James Reed

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    Joshua, are you sure you're Baptist?

    How much more are you going to feed to us? I just can not, and hopefully never will, understand where you get some of your ideas from.

    I guess your bible translation is the Authorized King Joshua version. :eek:

    [ January 21, 2003, 07:50 PM: Message edited by: Jim1999 ]
     

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