TIME

God is never in a hurry, and He is never late. He is working from the perspective of eternity. Church building is not swift or immediate. God may slow our progress or even set us aside for a time to make us stronger. Moses was forty years in the wilderness before he led Israel out of Egypt. Paul was saved several years before his missionary journeys. Likewise, God develops the preacher through trials and struggles which always requires the element of time. We must get to know ourselves, and our utter weakness before God can use us. A. W. Tozer stated, “God cannot use a man greatly until He first wounds him deeply.”

H. Strong was asked by a student, “Is there a shorter course I may take?” “Oh yes,” he replied. “It depends upon what you want to be. When God makes an oak, it takes 100 years; when He grows a squash, it takes only a few months.” It has been stated that the foremost requirement of a strong church is the longevity of the pastor. Church building requires time. Both good and bad experiences contribute to the maturing of the pastor which leads to the maturing of the church as a whole. Growth in the oak is not uniform, neither is it uniform in the Christian; there are times of solidification. A tree experiences most of its growth during four to six weeks in the summer. There are no shortcuts to spiritual growth. Every pastor will experience droughts as well as growth and times where the church is being solidified.

There is the temptation to seek experiences and blessings without experiencing the solidifying process of growth that makes us strong. The temptation is great to follow the latest fad and in essence the latest shortcut to growth. In the end, it will be through obedience to the Word of God and allowing God to refine the preacher that leads to true growth. Fruit ripens slowly — days of sunshine and days of storms each add to the process until the fruit comes to maturity.

True spiritual growth involves pain as well as joy, suffering as well as happiness, failure as well as success, inactivity as well as service, death as well as life. The temptation to take a shortcut is especially strong unless we see the value of and submit to the necessity of the time element. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6

There are emotional highs and lows for every church. God is still working even during the lows to teach and mature His people. Every preacher wants to build a great church, but God wants to build a great people. God’s plan requires time, and the wise preacher will be patient, waiting upon God to do His work in us and in His church. Working hard and striving to be your best is admirable and every man of God should seek to be his best for the Lord. However, we must never lose sight of the fact that it is God’s church, and He will build it. Building an oak takes a long time.

“Being con_dent of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

Used with permission from Church Planting Helper, Dr. Townsley.

http://www.centralbaptistchurch.net/ministries/church-planting/


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BIBLICAL INNOVATION FOR CHURCH PLANTING

Innovation is defined as the introduction of new things or methods. Some call it “cutting edge”, “state of the art”, or “contemporary”.

Regardless of the terminology, innovation is widely embraced across many domains of society. The world of business is full of entrepreneurs looking for the next “big idea”. The medical field is open to many new ideas that advance the cure of deadly diseases or shorten the healing process. We are all familiar with the rapid advancement and innovative ideas that have arrived on our doorstep through technology. Even in sports innovation is seen as a positive thing. But mention the word to a group of independent Baptists, and some will assume that you are a compromiser of the truth.

 
Sadly, there are those who lean so hard away from innovation in church ministry that they become inflexible and unable to change in ways that are biblical, God-honoring, and involve no compromise.
 
For example, if a younger pastor attempts to further the cause of Christ with a community outreach event, such as a neighborhood barbecue hosted by his church, a more seasoned pastor may comment that “we’ve never done it that way before.” Even the subtlest change in the worship service can become a point for criticism by those who are holding the “old line.”
 
When we refuse to allow for innovation we begin to die. We should not be sending the message to the next generation of church planters and pastors who are biblical, faith-filled, thinking men, that we have already done the thinking for them. These young men are the present, the future, and the hope of our movement! Certainly, we must pass along the convictional truths, and biblical foundations that have made our movement strong. But we must not remove from the hands and hearts of the next generation the opportunity to implement God-given vision. That will make our movement weak.
 
Now we need to understand that there are checks and balances. In the remainder of this article you will find a brief, but not exhaustive, summary of ways in which innovation is a blessing in church planting ministry, as well as some of the dangers that are inherent when new methods are employed without biblical parameters.
 
 
I. Innovation is a Blessing to Church Planting Ministry
 

Let’s begin with the blessings. When is innovation a blessing?

 

  1. When it is a means of better facilitating the God-given purposes of the church.

 

Paul expected Timothy to be doctrinally sound, uncompromising in conviction, and godly in character. But he also understood that Timothy would have to be who God made him to be. Therefore, Paul challenged him to “exercise thyself . . . unto godliness” I Tim.4:7; to “Let no man despise thy youth” I Tim. 4:12; and to “stir up the gift of God which is in thee.” II Tim. 1:6

Paul understood that Timothy would be his own man, and he did not steer him away from that individuality. Rather, he encouraged Timothy to focus his unique calling and gifts toward being the best leader he could be. Timothy’s individuality would naturally lead him to some innovation.

The right kind of innovation will always be driven by a desire to facilitate ministry that is more effective, biblical, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Innovation for innovation sake will never be right, but innovation with God’s purposes in mind will be divinely blessed and used of God.

 

  1. When it revitalizes and refreshes a ministry program that is neglected or dying.

 

Have you ever considered that a particular way of doing ministry is not working in the context of your ministry? Now if you are hitting a home run every time you step up to bat, keep doing it! But that is not reality for most of us.

Over the course of twenty years of pastoral ministry in the greater Toronto area I came to the conclusion several times that the way we were going about ministry was not facilitating the type of growth and involvement among our church family that God desired. So, we needed to ask, “Do we continue with the way things have always been done, or do we make changes?”

In one instance we moved from the standard Saturday morning soulwinning outreach to a program called NETS that would enable us to facilitate every member, anytime evangelism. Instead of Saturday we staged our soulwinning meeting once a month on Sunday evenings, and asked for a minimum monthly commitment in the area of personal evangelism. Instantly, the participation level went from ten to one hundred! Much more was being accomplished in terms of advancing the gospel.

Why do we have trouble admitting that we are failing? Why is it we are too stubborn to change even when there are good biblical ways to do it differently?

The right kind of innovation can breathe life into a ministry that is otherwise on life support.

 

  1. When it helps church members to better understand their responsibility and opportunity for service in the church.

 

Where things do not change, and there is a lack of innovative ministry, over time things become stale. The tendency is for church members to become disinterested and apathetic towards church ministry. They are not being challenged to attempt something greater for the cause of Christ.

A refreshed and innovative approach to the soulwinning, or discipleship programs serves notice that the church cares about the vitality of those ministries. It is like applying a fresh coat of paint to a room. It can bring things back to life, and reenergize God’s people to serve Him!

Before we conclude let’s consider the other side of this coin as we look at the dangers inherent in the wrong kind of innovation.

II. The Dangers of Innovation in Church Planting Ministry We must be intellectually honest and careful to acknowledge there are some dangers that can creep into innovative ministry. I have listed a few that we should carefully contemplate.

  1. The danger of violating Biblical precepts and principles.

 

We should understand this implicitly, but it still needs restating in the most explicit of terms. There is a danger of getting so caught up in new trends and innovation that we overstep the boundaries of what is pure, and modest and appropriate in a biblical sense.

There must be standards for everything from our dress to our music. Those standards are a representation of our biblical convictions. They are a representation of what we believe about God. While there is room for variance on where we draw the line, there can be no variance on the fact that we must draw a line.

Younger men must be careful to listen and glean what they can from seasoned men in the ministry. They should seek to understand why certain positions were held, and stands were taken.

 

It is the wrong sort of innovation that leads us away from Biblical standards of separation.

 

  1. The danger of becoming dependent on innovation more than we are dependent upon God.

 

We can subtly gravitate to the thinking that our success in ministry depends upon our new programs, methods and innovations. And to be perfectly balanced on this issue our success does not depend on the old, so called “tried and true” methods either. God is not in need of our programs old or new to breathe out His power and blessing upon the work.

It is a grave mistake to think that innovation is a replacement for the power of God upon our lives and ministry.

 

  1. The danger of innovating for purely pragmatic reasons.

 

Pragmatism is the idea of implementing something simply because it works, or gets results.

Perhaps there is pressure to keep up with ministry trends, so we mimic the innovations of others. We take note of the outward or statistical success that other ministries enjoy, and wrongly believe if we copy their program we will enjoy similar results.

 

Concluding Thoughts
 

If you were Moses, would you expect Joshua to follow your ministry methods of bringing water from the rock, and fashioning brass serpents? Would you understand that God designed your ministries to be unique?

God called Moses to a ministry of deliverance, but appointed Joshua to a ministry of conquest. Both were godly, faith-filled, spirit-led men. Yet it would have been folly for Joshua to seek to duplicate the methods of Moses, and it would have been unwise for Moses to mandate it.

In similar ways today, God calls men and designs them for unique contexts within His work. He expects us to be biblical men filled with faith and conviction. He desires us to follow Him into an innovative and effective ministry rather than to blindly follow the methods of those who walked before us or mimic the ideas of those who walk beside us.

We should not discount the convictional contribution of the past generation, nor should we dismiss the spirit-filled innovation of the present generation.

We can be conventional without becoming clichéd. We can be contemporary without being compromisers.

 


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WHAT’S NEXT?

Walking a new church through the early years
 
1. Focus on three priorities
 
  • Evangelize 
Go ye therefore and teach all nations” (Matt. 28:19). Even if you had a good attendance during your start, you should spend most of your time evangelizing. You will lose the first “scaffolding” people within the first three years.
  • Mobilize
“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry” (Eph. 4:12). Concentrate on developing people.
 
Ground people in doctrine through teaching, preaching, and personal discipleship. This is one major reason to start the church with all the services.
 
Implement people into serving. Meet with each visiting family and go over general information about your   church such as church description, ministries, and membership. Have new member orientation meetings and cover doctrine, purpose, and areas of service.  
 
Begin to train and delegate. People who are involved will stick with you. Most of the people at the beginning will be workers, wanting to pioneer with you so prayerfully put them to work
 
  • Advertise
“Now when this was noised, the multitude came together” (Acts 2:6).  Let everyone in the are know that God is working in your church. Use every means possible to saturate the area with info about the new church. It will take several years for people to notice that your church is in the area.
 
2. Follow a purpose
 
Develop a Scripturally based purpose statement and follow it as you grow. It will help you keep on the right track and avoid pitfalls.
 
All ministries of the church should comply with the purpose.
 
Show the purpose regularly.
 
3. Fine Tune the program
Try to start out with all services as this helps people know you are stable, permanent, and are serious about the Bible. This will also help the church to mature more quickly.
 
Be short – people are not expecting a long service so don’t disappoint them. Services should be less than an hour.
 
Don’t lag – start on time and have the music, announcements, etc. planned and rehearsed. People will be more apt to come back if the service was well organized.
 
Have sermons prepared. Good messages can make up for lack of other ministries. People are like sheep and will return if they are being fed.
  • Ministries
Be clean and prepared.
 
Don’t try to have too much – a children’s ministry and nursery the two most critical ministries at the beginning.
 
Have regular fellowships. Building relationships is crucial during the early years.
  • Plan ahead
Use a calendar and plan the year.
 
Print your plans and give them to people.
 
Share your vision, plans, and goals regularly. Talk about short-term and long-term desires. This will build a desire in people to want to stay with you.
  • Be positive
There are many benefits to starting a new church so dwell on them.
 
Negativism will quench the Spirit and kill the church.
  • Be people oriented
Show hospitality- “Given to hospitality” (1 Tim. 3:2). 
 
People do not want to know how much you know but how much you care so be personable.
  • Be faithful
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Cor. 4:2). Attendance will fluctuate and    people will be fickle, but God and His Word will never change!
 
Faithful to God. Have a personal strong relationship with the Lord.
Faithful to family. Have meaningful relationships with your wife and family. Take time to enjoy each other and grow with the Lord together.

 


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USING AN INTERN IN A CHURCH PLANT

The biblical example is for local churches to reproduce local churches. This example is for both an established local church and for a local church in the process of being established. A church plant should focus on reproducing herself as she focuses on establishing herself. One method of doing so is through using an intern. Below you will find some helpful thoughts on this subject.
 
1. Who is a candidate to be an intern?
  • The biblical requirements set by God for pastoring a church should be upheld when seeking an intern. Often, a church planting pastor will welcome any help. However, no help is worse than unbiblical or bad help.
  • The intern should be someone who walks with God. Church planting is the front-line work of God. He will be tested repeatedly.
  • The intern should be someone who senses God’s call to be a church planter.
  • The intern and his wife must demonstrate a strong, determined work ethic. Their faithfulness will be tested. Their energy will be stretched.

 

2. How to choose an intern?
 
  • Primarily seek the Lord and His peace. Take your time and do not be in a hurry. Pray and fast.
  • The intern and his wife should visit the work for at least ten days (more if possible). During that time the church planting pastor must realistically show the intern what to expect in the ministry he will be joining. This survey time will aid in preventing an intern arriving and leaving within a year which hurts families in the church in the process.
  • The church planting pastor must be upfront and honest with the intern. Will the church plant pay the intern? Will the intern need to work a secular job? What responsibilities will the intern carry?
  • Ensure that the intern’s wife and children are on board with the position. If the wife and children are not in agreement, the intern will struggle immensely and ultimately fade away.
 
3. Practical advice in using an intern.
 
  • The church planting pastor should create a contract for the intern. The contract should clearly state all responsibilities, state the amount of salary (if applicable), and a designated extent of time of service with the church planting pastor before the intern leaves the current ministry or begins deputation to plant another local church. The contract should also include a statement regarding the willingness of the intern to follow the church planting pastor’s direction in the timing of reproducing a future church plant.
  • The church planting pastor should be sensitive to the intern’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs If the intern is part-time in the ministry and having to work a secular job, the tendency is to treat the intern as a full-time staff member with high expectations within the ministry; however, this can prove to be overwhelming and be discouraging to the intern and his family.
  • The church planting pastor should meet regularly with the intern to promote growth in the intern through prayer, Bible study, and book studies. Another benefit of meeting regularly is to ensure that the intern is completing his responsibilities.
  • The church planting pastor must constantly check up on the intern. They will be prone to wonder. They will not carry the same burden the church planting pastor carries for the people of the church plant. Realize this fact and help the intern to see the importance of the decisions he makes.
 
4. Struggles in using an intern.
 
  • The strain of the intern working a full-time or part-time job along with the ministry will become a struggle. The intern will grow weary. Dealing with those issues can be difficult.
  • The responsibility of administrating a staff member can be exhausting, especially for a church planting pastor in a young work.
  • The church planting pastor always runs the risk of being hurt by his “Timothy” in a variety of ways such as: abandoning the work, hurting church members through poor decisions, and planting a new work with a different philosophy of ministry.
 
5. Advantages of using an intern.
 
  • The fellowship an intern can provide for a church planting pastor and wife can be refreshing.
  • The man-power in the church plant will be welcomed and become extremely useful.
  • As the intern speaks of his future church plant and as the church planting pastor references the ultimate purpose of the intern, church planting is regularly in the minds of the local church. This focus will launch the church plant into reproducing itself naturally.

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STICKING WITH THE CHURCH PLANT

Planting a church is a difficult business, filled with problems, pitfalls, and perils. Though every church plant is different, almost all will encounter a significant amount of adversity. Here’s some truths to consider of why you should stick it out through the difficult times.

1. Remember Your Calling
• First and foremost, if you have been called by the Lord to plant the church then you cannot leave until God calls you somewhere else.
• Servants serve in the place of their Master’s choosing.
• If God hasn’t changed His mind about the need for a church in the place to where you are called, then why should you change yours?
• Your calling will keep you, when other things will not.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
 
2. Reacting to Your Circumstances
• Often discouragement comes when we are reacting to adverse circumstances.
• Don’t be a prisoner to your circumstances.
• Respond with faith and not with fear.
• Circumstances can change rapidly, either for the good or bad.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
 
3. Revive Your Compassion
• When we loose sight of the purpose of ministry, we allow our compassion for souls to be diminished.
• The ministry is about people.
• When things are difficult, pour yourself into helping and ministering to people.
• Focus on the needs of others instead of your own problems.
• If you leave, who will shepherd the people that God has given to you?
Matthew 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
 
4. Resist Comparisons
• Comparing ourselves to other church plants and other ministries fills our hearts with discouragement and discontentment.
• Remember the grass looks greener on the other side because you are not close enough to see the dirt. Every ministry has problems.
• Comparing ministries leads to a results-based mentality and focus, which in turn can lead to an-end-justifies-the-means ministry.
• Duties our ours, results are God’s.
2 Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
 
5. Rest in Christ
• Above all, rest in Christ. It is not your church it is His.
• It is not your ministry, it is His.
• The pressure is not on you, but on Him and He can handle it.
• You are just the servant, not the decision maker, not the responsible party. Be faithful in your duty and responsibilities and then rest in Christ for the results.
Genesis 41:16 And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

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FROM PIONEER TO PASTOR

Many times a church planter, because he is naturally a pioneer, will have a difficult time adjusting to the composition of a more established church. It is at this transition time that many decide to “move on” when they should “move up” in their relationship and commitment with the Lord.

 

1. Reasons for the adjustment
  • The church begins to “stabilize” and “settle”
  • Pastor is used to constantly evangelizing and motivating butnow has to spend more time visiting and nurturing. You are now more of a grower than a sower
  •  Pastor is now spending more time putting out fires. People = problems
  • Pastor has to spend more time studying to better “feed the flock” and focus on spiritual growth
  • Pastor has to switch from “doing it all himself” to “delegating”
  • Pastor has to “take the oversight” and trust others to do the work
  • Pastor goes from “people person” to “personal trainer”
  • Pastor realizes his work isn’t the day of Pentecost but will take time to grow just like everyone else’s church

 

 

2. Reactions to the adjustment
  • Frustration with the situation
    • Church isn’t growing as fast – numerically or spiritually
    • Congregation loses its zeal
    • Not as many members out soul-winning
    • Pastor is putting out more fires
    • Not as exciting because there are real issues to deal with
    • Wife sees her husband as a “baby-sitter.”
    • Pastor realizes he was too quick to announce he is “self-supporting” and to have churches cut support
  • Rethinking of a long-term ministry in that church
    • Pastor begins to think God is moving him on
    • Pastor and his wife question if the ministry is for them anymore
    • Pastor begins to prepare an exit strategy
 
3. Reasons to stay beyond the adjustment
  • Because God put you there – renew and reclaim your calling
  • Because God wants you to grow and mature with the church
  • Because you will see more fruit that remains
  • Because you can multiply more for world evangelism by staying and reproducing churches
  • Because you will learn to enjoy the fruit of your labor

 

4. Steps to making a successful adjustment
  • You and your wife make a spiritual decision to stay
  • Realize the church isn’t your church but it’s God’s church
  • Seek advice from others who have successfully transitioned
  • Focus on discipleship, training, and developing leadership
    • Preach and teach on serving
    • Focus on the mentoring the faithful members
    • Focus on one person at a time, don’t expect too much
    • Display areas of service and include new areas
    • Give a spiritual gift test
    • Meet with the faithful men on a regular bases in order to train and discuss church-related needs
    • Share your vision often
    • Bring on an intern or assistant
    • Pray that the Lord will give you patience and resolve

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10 PRACTICAL STEPS TO PLANTING A CHURCH

Following the Lord to launch out and start a church is exciting. The following steps are a practical guide to help the plant to be healthy and enduring.    

 
1. The need to answer and guard the call.

The church planter should be absolutely certain that this is the leading of the Lord and he should guard this calling. The church plant shouldn’t be viewed as a “trial bases” or a “stepping stone to real ministry.” The baby church is a living organism and walking away will ensure its death. This calling will be what anchors and drives him during the most adverse circumstances as his endurance will be tested.

 
2. The need for training under a reproducing church and pastor.

The Bible is very explicit about not putting a novice into the ministry. Spending time working under, and being mentored by, a reproducing pastor is invaluable. The church planter should be willing to submit and allow a seasoned pastor to poor knowledge and experience into him. This mentorship could take several years but they are needed for maturity and preparedness. Sending a novice is the second reason why church plants die prematurely.

 
3. The need for the right area.

Although there are many needy areas, a need doesn’t constitute a call. Paul was persuaded of the Holy Spirit twice in Acts 16:5-8 to stay away from areas where he thought needed the gospel most. The lord needs to direct in choosing the place and, usually, the reproducing pastor will know of places that the Lord has put on his heart.

 

4. The need for financial support.

Times have changed and most communities are now full of people with little or no church background. In addition, most families now have multiple financial, marital, and social issues. The church planter needs to devote his full time to reach an area effectively. He should go into the church plant with full support but have a reduction of 20% each year over a five-year term. This will give him time to establish the work but still keep him focused as the reduction will happen each year.  

 

5. The need for acclimation.

The church planter should have time to move to the new area, get his family settled, and understand the culture and people he is impacting. He should work with, and become friends with, other pastors in the area who can give him insight and help. Many church planters give up because they didn’t take time to get acclimated.  

 

6. The need for the right meeting place.

Hotels conference rooms, schools, and activity centers are all good meeting places. Location is key and it should be safe, well lit, and easily accessible. The building should have good light, sound, and smell. People will go up but not down in social status areas so look for the best place in a good neighborhood even if it costs more.   

 

7. The need for mass evangelizing.

Every family should receive gospel literature and an invitation to the new church. The best way to do this is through door-to-door. John and Roman booklets are preferred as people will be less likely to throw them away and those two books are a great help to a new or baby Christian.

        

8. The need for advertising and promotion.

Every means ought to be used to get the gospel out and advertise the new church effectively. Social media and mailers work great but the best is still temporary signs. Putting dozens of signs on every street corner will saturate the area and be a constant reminder of the new church.

 

9. The need for special opening meetings.

The number one need from church planters is for credibility. When a church planter begins to engage a community he is often treated with suspect and resistance. It usually takes years to build the credibility of the pastor and new church into the community. Special “Get Acquainted Meetings” can help introduce the new pastor and church to the community and give much-needed credibility. Other pastors can host a night and bring their members to help serve with nursery, ushering, refreshments, and music. The guest pastors can give testimony and say positive credible comments about the new pastor and church.        

 

10. The need for further focus after the start.

Though the first services are over, now begins a lifelong journey of growth with the new baby church. The church planter needs to realize that the early years of a church plant are crucial for the longevity of the new work. His focus should be on evangelizing, mobilizing, and advertising.


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PLANTING WITH PERSONAL AND FAMILY PRIORITIES

Planting a church will be very difficult without having the proper priorities in place. The stresses, attacks, and emotional highs and lows can cause a church planter and his family to steer off course from a healthy God-honoring relationship. Establishing priorities from the beginning is a must.  
 
I. Your first priority in life should be to Glorify the Lord personally
  • Spend your life knowing God (Phil. 3:10)
  • Spend much time each day in personal prayer and in His word (Ps. 55:17)
  • Your strongest desire ought to be an intimate relationship with Him (Ps. 42:1)

 

II. Our second priority should be to glorify the Lord with your wife and family
 
  • Your wife and family ought to be a joy to serve with
  • The Lord makes a successful family a prerequisite to a successful ministry. (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9)
  • Family and ministry can be successfully blended and balanced
    • By recognizing the importance of doing so
    • By refusing to see either one as a hindrance to the other
    • By being determined to make whatever sacrifices or adjustments necessary
    • By seeking to glorify God in your family and ministry
    • Avoid the mistakes of family in ministry
    • Giving the impression that others are more important than your family
    • Having time for others but not for family. Do a weekly assessment
    • Treating others better than you treat your family
    • Expecting too much from your family to protect your “image”
    • Being inconsistent, one thing at church and another at home
    • Not exposing family problems in fear that you will jeopardize your “image” before the people. Let them know you are real.
    • Carrying your ministry burdens home with you.
    • Living a life that is too “rushed” – always in a hurry.
    • Building your ministry at the expense of your family. You will regret this!
  • The Goals for the Family in Ministry
    • Spend time with each family member, know them personally.
    • Make your family feel valued and cherished.
    • Instill Godly, Biblical values in their lives.
    • Live by convictions and share why they are Bible-based.
    • Be consistent and genuine, model your faith.
    • Seek the wisdom of God as a family when making decisions.
    • Pray together about needs, rejoice together in answered
    • Serve together with everyone involved. Show it to be exciting.
    • Show appreciation and thankfulness for all things.
    • Be open and honest, don’t pretend to be perfect.
    • Allow room for failure. Admit when wrong and ask for forgiveness.
    • Be forgiving, this is Christ-like.

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5 NEEDS FOR THE RIGHT MEETING PLACE

The right building to meet in can be challenging. It has proven to be one of the most determining factors for guests as they decide to visit and/or return.  

I. The Need for Research
  • Know where people shop. People will go to church where they shop    not where they work
  • Know where the growth is with new homes and/or apartments
  • Know where the crime areas are, or places people usually avoid
  • People will go up in social status areas but will not travel to a lower one. 

 

II. The need for Visibility
  • Location is crucial. Money will be spent on a highly visible place or it will be spent on advertising trying to direct people to a hidden one
  • Try to locate on a high trafficked road
  • Locate near a landmark that people can identify with such as a post office, fire station, Walmart, etc…

        

III. The Need for Aesthetics
  • Good “curb appeal” is critical as it is the first impression
  • It should be easily accessible with parking and walking distance. People are turned off when they have to walk too far or make too many turns to get to the meeting room.
  • It should be safe and well-lit at night
  • Inside should be clean, fresh smelling, and well lit.
  • A carpeted room is best as it absorbs sound.
  • Clean bathrooms are a must
  • Think sight, sound, and smell

 

IV. The Need for a Temporary Place
  • For at least the first two years it’s best to have a temporary location such as a hotel, school, activity center, …etc. The cost is affordable and there is no overhead. This frees up time and money that can be given to evangelism and discipleship.
  • A permanent location too early can be a financial burden with high rent and extra cleaning and maintenance costs. Having the building 24/7 isn’t necessary for several years.

 

V. The Need for Patience
  • Try to stay in the same place for at least the first two years as people will visit from the initial evangelism. Some people will wait at least a year before visiting as they wait to make sure the church will be permanent
  • Staying in one place gives stability to the church and credibility to the community
  • Stay as long as new guests are coming. There is no need to move if there is fruit from outreach
  • Too many church planters have rushed into a land or building project prematurely only to regret it
  • Wait on the Lord and He will bring the right permanent place!

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THE CHURCH PLANTER’S WIFE – ASSISTANT OR ASSISTING?

Cultivating a healthy working relationship with your wife during a church plant
 

One of the greatest blessings of church planting is for a church planter to be able to serve together with his wife. Although this should be very rewarding, because of the demands of church planting, this relationship can be filled with frustration and lead to an overall strain on the marriage. The mistake that most church planters make is to expect their wife to take on the role of the “Assistant Pastor” instead of “assisting” her husband, the pastor. There are several points to realize that will help avoid costly, and sometimes, disastrous mistakes.

 

1. Realize the Proper View of the Calling
  • The gift of the “pastor” and “evangelist” is a gift to a called man
  • The wife’s role is not a calling but is a commitment to be a helpmeet
    • There are no requirements found in the Bible for the pastor’s wife
    • Your wife should not be pressured into a non-biblical role

 

II. Realize the Value of Your Wife
  • She is your helpmeet and completer (Gen. 2:18) = “To surround, to protect, aid, to gird, to defend”
  • She has a natural desire to see you and the ministry succeed
  • She will stick with you when no one else will
  • She is designed to nurse you when you are injured and hurt

 

III. Realize She is to Assist but not be the Assistant
Church planters often feel pressure to have several ministries prematurely without the proper leadership and, because she wants                    to help her husband, the wife gets “pulled in” to taking over those ministries
  • This will lead to undue stress, fatigue, and burn out
  • This will lead to resentment and disdain for the ministry
  • This will ultimately lead to severe marital problems
  • Your wife should have the freedom to find her spiritual gifts
  • She should have the time to find where the Lord would have her serve
  • She will serve with joy because she is using her gifts
  • She will have a long-term commitment to the ministry

 

IV. Realize the Need to Cultivate the Marital Relationship
  • Spend time listening and giving full attention to your wife. (1 Pt. 3:7)    Don’t rush your wife. Listen and wait for her to end a conversation
  • Pray together
  • Communicate clearly. Look and listen to each other and be understood     
  • Date and get away often
  • Retire at night together. Unwind and relax together.
  • Don’t share emotional problems from the ministry with your wife. Emotional issues are normally short-lived and there is no need to stir the emotions of your wife
  • Encourage your wife to make and protect her nest (Titus 2:5)
    • She should not need to work outside the home if it interrupts the nest
    • The home should be a sanctuary, a retreat – especially the bedroom
    • The husband should enjoy, and look forward to, retreating at home
    • Have boundaries – times when it is “no church”
    • Give your wife time to keep the home. Protect her time alone
  • Listen to your wife’s alarm clock as she has intuition
  • Your wife should reflect ministry questions from church members to you as people will try to get info from you and sometimes use it      against you
  • Your wife should be in the services to be fed as much as possible. She should be encouraged to listen to sermons, godly music, etc…
  • Your wife should have time to be alone, go shopping, rest, or hobby
  • Guard against other women becoming emotionally dependent on you
  • Your wife should have free access to your phone, computer, etc…

 

V. Realize the Need to Protect Against Burnout as your wife can become depleted of energy, stamina, focus, and emotions.
  • Stay healthy and exercise – walk out issues
  • Take a day off – have a hobby, etc…
  • Take a full or mini vacation – change midweek service if needed
  • Be flexible – take care of needs as they arise
  • Don’t let people exhaust your wife, they will suck the life out of her. Work with faithful people, baby churches attract baby Christians
  • Do a weekly assessment with each other. Look over the schedule, analyze time, communication, and needs
  • Laugh together!
  • Don’t compare or compete with other ministries or marriages
  • Encourage each other to stay close to the Lord
  • Watch phone usage
    • The pastor’s phone is for his convenience, not the church’s, Delay callbacks and texts
    • Have times to turn it off or put it away
    • Teach church members not to call during family time or date nights

 

VI. Recognize and address your wife’s needs.
Remember, your wife is a “weaker vessel” (1 Pt. 3:7). Her needs must be met or there will be a breakdown.
  • Spiritually – she needs to be growing while she is serving. She needs to be in the services as much as possible.
  • Physically – a need to diet, exercise, and rest
  • Mentally – a need to be motivated and creative. Having a hobby such as gardening can help with this
  • Emotionally – a need to be supportive and understanding, watch hormones, postpartum and menopause
  • Socially – a need to have healthy relationships with friends outside the church
  • Financially – a need to have financial needs met and not always feel the pressure to be tight

            

 


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WHY CHURCHES SHOULD REPRODUCE CHURCHES

Now consider another question for a moment. How are we doing in this process of church planting? Read more

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BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES FOR CHURCHES REPRODUCING CHURCHES

Baptist Church Planting Ministry believes that new churches should be reproduced by a local church and not by a church planter. What we mean by this is that local churches should take an active role in the church planting process and not just a passive role. We believe that every decision should be finalized by the pastor of the reproducing church and not by the one pastoring the new church or by anyone else. This includes Baptist Church Planting Ministry. Whenever we get involved in helping a church reproduce a new church, one of the first things we discuss is who will make all final decisions. We believe that should be done by the pastor of the reproducing church and no one else. This does not mean that the one pastoring the new church or anyone else in the ministry does not have involvement. Everyone is involved; it simply means that since the church is reproducing the church, the pastor of that church should make all final decisions.

 

This philosophy is wonderful to believe, but how does it stand the test of the Word of God? It is important to examine this philosophy in light of the Scriptures.

 

I. THE CHURCH IS A LIVING ORGANISM

Ephesians 5:28-32

First of all, we believe our initial premise that churches should reproduce churches is biblical because the church is a living organism, not an organization. Ephesians 5:28-32 makes it clear that the relationship between Christ and the church is compared to the relationship between a husband and wife. In 1 Corinthians 12, the church is mentioned as a body. Revelation 22: 17, the church is called the “bride.” These verses clearly indicate the church is a living organism.

 

II. ORGANISMS REPRODUCE AFTER THEIR KIND

Genesis 1

Secondly, we believe our initial premise that churches should reproduce churches is biblical because every living organism reproduces “after its kind.” Since the church is a living organism, churches should reproduce churches. In Genesis 1, we find verse after verse talking about living organisms reproducing after their kind. Should the church be exempt from reproducing “after their kind”? We do not think so. Some have tried to say that churches reproduce churches when they send out a missionary to plant a new church. How many organisms reproduce without the active involvement of the parent? Some will say that this eliminates “pioneer church planting,” but we do not believe it does. We believe there are times when a pioneer work needs to be done, but much of the church planting today does not need to be done independently of local churches in the area. The main reason it is done is because the church planter or some other organization wants the control and final authority rather than allowing the local church to fulfill her role in reproducing the new church.

 

When a new church is reproduced, it should be similar to the reproducing church. It does not mean that it will be exactly like the reproducing church. No child is exactly like his parents. He is similar or “after their kind,” but is distinctively different from the parents in many ways. New churches take on the personality of the pastor and the people that attend the new church. Some may give the new church the same name as the reproducing church. This happens in homes as well. We all know children that are named after the father, but it does not mean that it must be so.

 

III. THE GREAT COMMISSION IS GIVEN TO THE LOCAL CHURCH

Matthew 28:16-20

We believe our initial premise that churches should reproduce churches is biblical because the Great Commission is given to the local church to fulfill. In Matthew 28:16-20, it is true that Jesus was talking with His disciples when He gave the commandment to reach this world with the gospel. If He were just giving this to the disciples, then we would not be responsible for the fulfilling of the Great Commission. The disciples are long gone, but we still have the responsibility of reaching this world with the gospel. Some will conclude it is given to individuals to fulfill. We do not believe that individuals have the right to baptize outside the local church. It is an ordinance of the local church and therefore baptism should take place within the confines of the local church. The Great Commission was given to the local church and therefore it is the responsibility of the local church to fulfill it. The Great Commission is not given to church planters, to mission boards, or to any other organization. It is given to the local church.

 

IV. THE GREAT COMMISSION IS CHURCH PLANTING

Matthew 28:18- 20

We believe our initial premise that churches should reproduce churches is biblical because the Great Commission is church planting. We have said many times that the Great Commission is not soul-winning and it is not. Soul-winning is only one third of the Great Commission. According to Matthew 28: 19-20, the Great Commission is evangelize, “teach all nations,” baptize, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” and mobilize, “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” This is church planting and nothing short of it. The Great Commission is given to the local church to carry out and implement in reaching this world for Christ.

 

Many churches believe that they can effectively minister a great distance from their local church. They run bus routes as much as thirty miles and more from the local church to bring people to the services. It is wonderful to evangelize these people and win them to Christ. Many of these are also baptized in the local church. This too is commendable, but is still short of fulfilling the Great Commission. We are to “teach them to observer all things” and this can only be done as people are faithful to the local church every time the door is open. When someone lives too far from the local church, they cannot be as faithful as they should be. Therefore, the third part of the Great Commission cannot be fulfilled. The only way to fulfill the Great Commission is to plant a church in the community where these people live so they can attend every service and grow.

 

V. CHRIST TOLD THE LOCAL CHURCH WHERE THEY SHOULD PLANT CHURCHES

Acts 1:8

We believe our initial premise that churches should reproduce churches is biblical because Christ gave the local church the area to reach with the Great Commission when we are told in Acts 1:8 that we are to go into Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth. The Jerusalem church fulfilled this, even though God had to bring about persecution to the church in Jerusalem to carry it out. In Acts 1:8, God scattered the believers in the Jerusalem church into Judea and Samaria by persecution that was brought upon the church. Please notice that only the believers were scattered, not the apostles. In Acts 8:4, they went everywhere preaching the Word. The result of this preaching and dispersion was the reproducing of churches throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria as we see in Acts 9:31. You will also note that the churches were multiplied. This clearly indicates that many churches were reproduced by laymen from the Jerusalem church.

 

In Acts 11: 19, we find these same believers traveling to Phenice, Cyprus, and Antioch where they were now able to preach to the Gentiles. This indicates that the church in Jerusalem developed a philosophy of ministry that included the reproducing of local churches. These laymen were now going out on purpose to reproduce churches. You will also note that the first pastor of this church was Barnabas and he was sent to pastor this church from Jerusalem and by the leadership of the Jerusalem church (Acts 11:22). Thus, the Jerusalem church was responsible for the pastor of the church. He then found Paul and the two of them pastored this church for more than a year prior to their first missionary journey (Acts 11:26). From this church, we have the great mission outreach of the Apostle Paul bringing the gospel to the regions beyond. This clearly indicates that the church at Jerusalem took an active role in reproducing churches.

 

CONCLUSION

Some have suggested that we place too much emphasis on the local church when we get involved in reproducing a new church. We will allow you to draw your own conclusion on this matter. However, we believe just the opposite. We do not think one can give enough emphasis to the

local church in this matter of reproducing churches. It is not the responsibility of the church planter to plant a church. It is not the responsibility of mission boards to plant churches. It is the responsibility of local churches to reproduce churches, and BCPM will do all we can to help the local church fulfill her responsibility in reproducing churches. We believe the Bible backs up our philosophy of churches reproducing churches.


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