The Primary Task of the Church Leader : A Portion of an Abaco Bible College Lecture by Me

The tale of "Mutiny on the Bounty" is an unforgettable story that took place on April 28, 1789. When some of the members of the crew of the Bounty mutinied, they cast Captain Bligh and 18 crewman adrift in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The Captain's group traveled for over 3,000 miles to safety, but the odyssey of the crew that remained on the Bounty was even more remarkable. The mutineers married Tahitian women, and along with some Tahitian men, they eventually traveled to a tiny island called Pitcairn. It was not a paradise island, in spite of appearances to the contrary. They fought among themselves to the point of killing each other, and those who survived eventually died as a result of drunkenness and disease until only one mutineer remained.

For most readers, the story ends here; but as a Christian, I was even more fascinated to learn  that the descendants of the mutineers became Christians. Generations later, when the first missionaries arrived, the island was almost entirely inhabited by Christians.

What caused such a life-changing miracle? The last surviving mutineer started reading the ship's Bible and was converted.  He, in turn, taught the children of the mutineers to read and write from the BIble, reading it to them regularly. This custom continued until a missionary arrived and planted a more formal church.

This story typifies the power of God not only to change a generation but also to maintain a strong church from generation to generation. This, in fact, is the weapon the church must have to combat attacks from without and within. It also illustrates that a primary task of all church shepherds is to feed the church on God's Word. Stated as a foundational truth, we can say that, The preaching and teaching of the Word of God, correctly interpreted, is crucial to maintaining a biblically sound and victorious church.

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