Dr. Rich Denning
Philosophy of Pastoral Ministry
Upholding the New Testament doctrine of ministry has developed a passion within me for helping God’s people discover, develop and utilize their unique ministry gifts for the building of the body of Christ and for kingdom service. I believe in mentoring and discipleship as a primary means of giving away and receiving God’s blessings. All members of the body of Christ are called to the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Mt. 28:16-20; Mk. 16:15-18; Lk. 24:44-49; Jn. 20:19-23; 21:15-23; Acts 1:8). I have experienced a divine “inner sense” call to the full-time gospel ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. This call has unfolded as pastor/teacher in accordance to the five-fold description found in Scripture. I serve a local church body as their pastor. Believing that accountability is vital in ministry I willfully submit myself to the International Pentecostal Holiness Church officials. It is my desire as a pastor to be of maximum service to the local body of Christ. In a plain sense I see the role of a pastor as one who ministers God’s grace and love to the ones who are in need, has a passion to see people come to Christ and continue to grow in Him.
It is my passion to see the lost come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and to help disciple them into the Christian faith. Having been delivered from the bondage of alcoholism over twenty years ago I have a special burden for helping those desiring freedom and recovery. I take seriously crisis ministry and hospital visitation. I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives. I believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and that they are to edify the body of Christ. I desire to see the authentic move of the Holy Spirit welcomed in public worship. I believe that signs and wonders are evidence of the Holy Spirit ministering through believers as they yield to Him.
Realizing that integrity is essential to ministry has placed a burden on my heart for personal spiritual growth. Therefore, the priority of my ministry is my own personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is my conviction that the depth of my relationship with the Lord will manifest and speak louder than any word or deed done without Him. Therefore, daily devotions and times for spiritual renewal and enrichment are necessary for the maintenance and growth along my journey with the Lord Jesus Christ. I have discovered that my strength comes from Him who desires to shower me with His great love. It is with the continual infilling of the Holy Spirit that I am able to offer others what He has freely given to me.
I consider my wife as my partner in the ministry and she is my closest friend. I am devoted to her and our children if for no other reason because I believe the family unit is the foundational building block to a successful ministry. I accept the responsibility to be the head of my home and to lead lovingly and sacrificially (I Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:33). My wife’s needs are my priority and her needs take precedence over my own needs and desires. She is worthy of kindness from me and I am always be available to her for council (Col. 3:19; I Pt. 3:7; Eph. 5:21). Likewise, I have accepted the responsibility to provide religious training to my children (Deut. 6:6f; Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:4b). I love them (Titus 2:4). I believe in disciplining my children but without being overly severe (Eph. 6:4a; Col. 3:21). Realizing that emergencies and crisis ministry may take away from my family time it is important for me to have boundaries in place and find a balance in my ministry between ministry work and family devotion.
Knowing that I am not my own and that I was purchased by God through the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ I try to eat, dress, exercise, talk, etc. to the glory of God (Col. 3:17). It is my desire to honor God with all I have. I recognize that everything ultimately belongs to God and I strive to be a good steward with what He has entrusted to me. I joyfully tithe and present my offerings to the Lord.
I have a vision of God’s amazing grace being poured out to many and the forgiveness of sins being accepted by many that suffer. I believe in the soon Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and I feel an urgency to see people come into a saving knowledge of Him. It is my goal to be all God desires of me and to be sold out for the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ. I invite opportunities for further ministry preparation through formal education, spiritual retreats and special Christian conferences in order to be of maximum service to God and my fellow man.
Philosophy of Teaching
As a teacher, I believe that: all students are capable of learning, every student is unique, diversity should be celebrated and appreciated, students learn best when they feel good about themselves and their relationship with others, students can succeed if given the right tools, students deserve acceptance and respect. Specifically, my goal as a teacher is to help my students reach their full potential academically. I remain passionate about every subject I teach and seek to “sharpen” by tools. My learning process involves improving myself professionally. Because learning styles differ among students, I seek ways to accommodate my students so they can get the most from their investment. My objective is to create a quality environment that foster learning. The impartation of head knowledge alone is not sufficient because God commands us to love one another. Therefore, I believe demonstrating, modeling, and encouraging respect for and genuine compassion among my students is essential.
People have told me I am easy to talk with, trustworthy, responsible, ethical, and courteous. These are qualities I cherish. I enjoy the challenge to solve problems and helping organizations serve people well. I’m most motivated when I can make a positive contribution and do quality work. I do not have to be in charge, but gladly step up when leadership is needed. I am passionate about excellence from myself and from any organization. I am a self-starter, a catalyst, hard worker, quick learner, and constantly seek to improve.
I believe in and cherish freedom of religion as taught by our nation’s forefathers. Therefore, I unapologetically affirm the historic Christian faith as set out in the ecumenical creeds and doctrinal statements of evangelical Protestantism. My teaching philosophy has four components. First, each student should be viewed as a person of value to society. Every person regardless of their limitations has value and can contribute something positive to others. Second, teaching apart from relationship is unproductive. As a teacher I must develop and nurture a professional relationship where my students can approach me for assistance in learning. Third, the atmosphere of teaching should always be conducive to learning. Having a safe and positive learning environment enables students to learn at their highest capacity. Fourth, the family is a foundational block of education. Without family support the student is handicapped. I consider my wife as my lifelong partner and she is my closest friend. It is necessary for me to be devoted to her and our children if for no other reason because I believe the family unit is the foundational building block to a successful and meaningful life.
Research Interests: Leadership, Ethics, Practical Ministry, Theology, and Biblical Studies