Instruction Manuals

For the aspiring fundamentalist preacher boy here is the end-all of instruction manuals for how to succeed in the ministry.

A few nuggets of wisdom from this book:

Do I? It’s like he’s reading my mind! What a great pastor I could be if I weren’t messing around with people all day long!

It’s also a great way to catch them wearing, listening to, and smoking things that they oughtn’t be. Score!

You know you’re always right, and soon they’ll know it too!

Man, why didn’t I think of that? How do you counsel? Just don’t!

There is so much more but I’ll let you have at it on your own.

47 thoughts on “Instruction Manuals”

  1. Ditto Emily

    However there is a point…. I totally believe in counseling. But there is a point that one needs to read the Bible for himself.

    But if they actually took the above writer at his word about reading the Bible, they just might leave the IFB world. (Like I did. 😉 )

    But good counseling defiantly has it’s place. I was counseled by non-IFB’s for about a year and half until I felt comfortable enough to take God at his word.

    They *helped* me to do that. They didn’t brush me off.

    The above is just sick. 😛

  2. I love this one…

    “Use deep offering plates. Some of the little shallow plates made for churches would discourage nearly anyone from giving.” So my giving is based on how deep the offering plate is and not how the Holy Spirit worked in my heart?

    Or this about invitations…

    If, after two or three verses are sung, no one is moving, it is sometimes best to change to another hymn.”

    I skimmed some of the book, and I could be wrong, but it seems like much of the pastoral success he talks about is very gimmicky and man-centered.

  3. This book was written in 1981, so it’s not new. This was probably right in the middle of the peak in modern fundyism (70’s-80’s) when you had many of the fundamental popes leading the movement. You could get away with writing a book like this back then because if you were a who’s-who in IFB circles no one would question you. Probably couldn’t successfully write anything like that these days…but you never know!

    Again, I’m just amazed how man-centered this is.

  4. I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself today. On Page 76 this totally blew me away concerning visitors with visitors cards…

    “People will generally put something in the plate when it goes by. If they have not been instructed to put in a visitor’s card they will usually put in some money…when I learned that lesson our offerings picked up.”

  5. okay, the counseling section is so offensive to me. SOOOO offensive. I am just going to come out and say that I came from a not-great home life (which is kind of embarrassing to me to admit on here, but hey, no one knows who I am anyway). And I have ended up needing counseling. And let me tell you one thing, if someone handed me a Bible and said “this Book has all the answers” and said “And be sure you attend all the services and you’ll be just fine”, I would have never ever ever gone back to that church. How insensitive. And WRONG.

    I went to “ALL the services” for years, and I know whole chapters of the Bible. I can quote as many verses as a lot of pastors. I have prayed a ton. So what did I do wrong? Why aren’t all my problems solved? Why do I still need counseling????

  6. i was not aware that pastors offered counselling until i left fundyism.

    and if people can find all the answers for all their problems on their own by reading the bible, why exactly do they need to be preached at at all? shouldn’t you just throw bibles at them?

  7. I actually read this book in the 80’s while waiting for my father to finish meeting a pastor’s meeting.

    The whole book. One sitting.

    Ah, the joys of being an MK.

  8. Wow. . this book is. . .umm. . .quite interesting, as I continue:

    Page 30: make sure you take the time to visit shut-ins because “well-cared-for shut-ins often leave substantial amounts to the work of the Lord and the church in their wills”

    Page 33: note in the schedule any school age children net approximately an hour and a half w/ dad all day (at dinner time), before he leaves to go “visiting” again.

    Page 34: he recommends some books/tracts on counseling also for those poor, pathetic people who “can’t stand on their own two feet.” It also insinuates that those who need counseling need to be “taught to pray”.

    Page 34: their own troubles will probably vanish if they read “Our Daily Bread” and get busy doing something for others. (I wonder if this works in abuse cases? If the victim starts reading “Our Daily Bread” and volunteering in the church, does the problem vanish?) Or perhaps, as suggested, they just have a mental issue.

    Page 36: If you can’t get rid of someone have your secretary interrupt the meeting and make an excuse to help you get rid of the person.

    Page 69: Love the list of chorus suggestions for Sunday nights. Wow, those numbers would keep me coming back. 😉

    Page 96: Sample ad for revival meetings. . .”an appeal to all ages with the puppet ministry for the children and a soul-winning class for the teens.”

  9. What I love is the gaudy style of the cover. Do I spy FIVE different fonts?? Five different font sizes, that’s for sure. Ouch. My editor’s training is making me wince. But, of course, if it isn’t professional, then it’s just another indication that this isn’t worldly, and it’s probably of the Lord, right?

  10. Bottom of page 324 in the chapter “The books I would not part with” — a good rhyming dictionary. That certainly beats out things like, “Toward an exegetical theology”

  11. When my father was in highschool Hugh Pyle was his pastor (Danny Sweatt was a classmate and fellow church member) and so my dad had HP speak at our church quite often. Pyle would pass out his books as prizes to the church members who brought the most visitors, passed out the most tracts, memorized the most verses, saved the most souls, ect.

    This post brings back memories of my 10 year old self eagerly sitting on the front pew hoping that I would win and get to pick a prize. I still have some of the books.

  12. “If they are willing to take the Bible formula and obey God, you have accomplished something.”

    Riiight. So salvation is a formula, huh? And YOU have accomplished something if they feel moved (by the Spirit?) to “obey.”

  13. RE: Don’t forget that the pastor has to be extremely on the defensive against those needy women who come to him for counseling but really want his body.

    This just made me LOL. . Because for example, let’s just say that in our church, most of our pastors are older and not very attractive (well, i’m sure they are to their wives, but you know what I mean). So, I kind of doubt many women my age would be going to them for counseling with ulterior motives in mind. Then again, maybe the senior citizen women who haven’t had much action for awhile would. J/K.

  14. @ Josh : Fundies… we put the “fun” back in “fundamentalism.”
    @ Stephen: I prefer “Fundies…we put the “mental” back in “fundamentalism.”

    @ Donny: Fundies… we put the “dam” in EVERYBODY’s “fun” and “mentalism”

  15. Sword of the Lord is reporting that Dr. Pyle passed away today. Although his name may not have been widely know, he was a stalwart part of fundamentalism in the Florida Panhandle, and his was a shaping influence on the founders of Pensacola Christian College.

  16. I know I sure enjoyed hearing his Bible stories when I was a kid. His rendition of the story of Naaman was spectacular! It was fun watching an old man (anybody older than my dad was really old when I was 6) pretend to dip down in the water and shake himself off every time. That being said, as an adult I can say that I would rather read Scamper Squirrel and not much else that Pyle wrote.

  17. Dr. Pyle was a true gentlemen and not the caricature presented by the comments made here.

    He was not afraid to “buck” the fundamentalist taboos and was always polite and genuine.

      1. I know. I am pointing out that the comments in the original post, which make Dr Pyle look like clownish and uneducated, were made by Dr. Pyle himself. Whatever else he said, he said this crap. He actually tried to sell it.

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