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Kindle Version of Feed ... for a Little Flock:


Paperback Version:


Feed ... for a Little Flock, by James E. Funk, 2003.

     This is a collection of seventeen messages by this gifted brother.  It was compiled after his home-going from tapes of his messages.  Many have benefited from his ministry.  This book was printed in an effort to preserve those messages for coming generations.  We especially wanted his grandchildren to hear and benefit from his Bible teaching, but his messages are equally valuable to all -- Christian and non-Christian alike.



Excerpts from the book:  


     In the messages on Eldership which are the last two in this volume, Jim pointed out that 1 Peter 5:2 calls upon elders to "feed the flock of God which is among you." The title for this collection of messages was taken from that verse. This is the work Jim sought to do (and did) throughout the four decades of his Christian life - to provide feed for the little flock.

     It was a little flock. Jim helped to shepherd a small assembly of Christians who gathered in the upstate New York college town of Alfred. A small group of Christians originally came together there in this way in the early 1960s. The work continues today.

     Some families, including the Funks, were part of this fellowship for many, many years. Others who participated in the activities were college students who were in residence at Alfred University for 4 years each, or at Alfred State Tech for 2 years each, give or take a few.

     Weekly activities included a Friday night Bible study, the Remembrance meeting each Sunday morning, Sunday School, a Sunday morning preaching meeting, Sunday evening teaching meetings, mid-week prayer meetings, and frequent special teaching meetings. Jim led the weekly Bible Study in the Funk home, and he spoke often at the different teaching meetings.

     Many of the messages at these meetings were taped. They were taped primarily for those who missed a meeting due to sickness or travel. None of the Christians were professional tape recording specialists, and that is reflected in the tapes. At the end of many of the tapes, the recording stopped mid-sentence as a scripture was being read, or as a point was being made. Fortunately, some continue on the flip side. Many do not.

     Jimís own speaking style was a contributor to this problem. He always said that he had a speech impediment: "his mouth runneth over." That was certainly true. Even though many of these meetings had 30 minutes allotted for a message, being a college professor, Jimís auto-pilot always aimed at a 50 minute message. If he was allotted 50 minutes, however, heíd speak for 75 minutes.

     He typically used the clunk of the tape recorder stopping to tell him that time was almost up. Only a few times did he actually stop before the tape recorder did. When the cassette happened to contain a long duration tape, the problem continued because invariably, someone would restart the same cassette at the next meeting from the exact point at which it had stopped, rather than waste any space by starting fresh on the flip side.

     Many tapes were re-used. That is, they were taped over and over again, sometimes three and four messages deep. Many were circulated, consistent with their purpose. And today, many are still out there somewhere in circulation.

     The messages in this book are some of those that we were able to locate. With this publication, they will again be put back into circulation.

     All Bible verses in this volume are taken from the King James Version and are quoted in "bold face type." When emphasis has been added to the general text, it is sometimes shown in CAPS, or in italics, or in bold.

     The attempt was made in the first draft of this compilation to accurately record the words Jim spoke, as well as his emphases and inflections. This was challenging to accomplish using only punctuation, and the various forms of emphases possible in a written document. He snapped his fingers [snap], nodded [nodding], and shook his head [shaking his head] frequently. Such gestures are recorded in square brackets [] when appropriate. Obviously, a lot of gestures which would have helped the context were missed simply because the sources were audio tapes. Upon completion of the first draft, it was obvious that editing was necessary. This published version has been edited to smooth it out and to make it more easily readable and understandable.

     The changes that were made, however, do not transform these messages from being Jimís into being the editorís. These are still clearly Jimís messages. Anyone who knew Jim, who heard him speak, and who reads these messages, will be able to clearly recognize his style of speaking. His messages have been preserved.

     You will notice that Jim frequently quoted Godís words, Jesus words, and the writersí words throughout these messages. Some of these are direct quotations out of the Bible, in which case they are quoted in "bold" type (as are all Bible quotations throughout this book). Sometimes, Jim paraphrased the words. These are also quoted, but in normal type.

     In private conversations and discussions with Jim, we always joked about the use of loose paraphrases. Some of these quotations are loose paraphrases. Some are looser than others, but they all tend to be quite appropriate.

     Jim was always concerned that Godís children should learn the Word of God, and learn it accurately. God gifted him as a teacher, and he trusted God to use him to open Godís Word. Throughout his life, God did use Jim in this way. Jim had a unique way of looking at Godís Word, a unique way of thinking, and a unique way of presenting the teachings of Godís Word. God used this to advantage with many.

     The fact that Jim gave these messages, however, is unimportant. The fact that the messages frequently present the bare, unembellished, clear truths of the Word of God is whatís significant.

     As Jim would have been the first to tell you, he couldnít teach you anything! "Not a lick!" The Holy Spirit teaches Godís Word!

     If you are accustomed to listening to preachers who can give 45 minute sermons that are funny and interesting, that include well-performed theatrics, but that are light (superficial?) treatments of single phrases in single verses of scripture, then be prepared. These messages are jam-packed full of good stuff.

     Another Bible teacher friend of ours used to say that God did not entrust him with the gift of teaching so he could waste the saintsí time. His messages were always jam-packed full. Jim agreed with that reasoning, and he developed a similar speaking style. As a result, you will find a treasure trove of teachings included in the messages contained in this volume.

     We trust that the Holy Spirit will put these messages to as much use this time around as He did when they were originally given. We trust He will use them to help those who want to know God better and who want to learn and understand the messages that God sent to us through His written Word, and through the living Word, His precious Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

     Another statement Jim would also have been the first to make is this: "Donít believe anything that I teach! Donít believe anything that anyone else teaches either! Check it out in the Bible. If you find it there, and itís correct, believe it because God said it! Believe it because the Holy Spirit teaches it!" We pray that each of you, who read this book, do this.

     May God bless all who diligently study His Word!

                                                 Dennis R. Dinger
                                                 19 May 2002