- Jim Townsley
- May 28, 2014
Every preacher should uphold the highest standard of ethics. A pastor with poor ethics will foster a poor reputation in the community that may be difficult to reverse. In addition, he can make it difficult for any future church planters to reach the community and Satan can seize this opportunity to keep a community in darkness. Compromising integrity is never part of God's plan to start and build a church. God’s plan has no shortcuts. The Bible warns us of some things church planters should not do. The following list is intended to provide some guidelines to maintain high standards of ministry.
Don't build on another man's foundation.
"Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:" - Romans 15:20.The purpose of the church is to reach the lost with the gospel. The Great Commission clearly commands the church to win the lost, baptize new converts, and disciple every new believer. There may be some transfers in the course of starting a new church; however this should not be the main emphasis. Try to work closely with all area pastors. If members from a neighboring church show an interest in coming contact the pastor and ask him for advice on how to handle them. Be careful. Troublemakers in one church will eventually become troublemakers in your church. The Apostle Paul sought cities where no church existed. There are many needy places to start a church. Locate a city where a church is needed. Winning and discipling new converts is a slow process and unevangelized communities may prove to be difficult. However, it will be rewarding to know God has used you to make a difference in people's lives.
Don't build the church upon yourself.
"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."- l Corinthians 3:11. "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."- Matthew 16:18. The Bible is clear; the church is to be built upon the Lord Jesus Christ. A godly leader that is well respected will always be held in high esteem; however the church should not be built upon an outward conformity to a man but built upon the lasting work of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God explicitly states Christ will build His church upon Himself. Members should follow the leadership of their pastor, but never with blind commitment. Paul said. "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." - 1 Corinthians 11:1. John the Baptist set an example for us when he stated, "He must increase, but I must decrease." - John 3:30.Work hard to build God's church not your church. A church that is built upon Christ will be long lasting like the man who built his house upon a rock, while the man who builds the church upon himself is comparable to the man who built his house upon the sand. Beware! Great will be the fall of it.
Don’t limit your vision.
The magnitude of your ministry should reach far beyond your church building. God’s blueprint to spread the gospel is for churches to start churches. Your church’s influence should expand as God blesses your ministry. The early church in Jerusalem was initially disobedient to the great commission, but eventually it was persecution that forced believers to disperse to the regions beyond. Sending out laborers is a vital aspect of the church’s mission. Therefore, a mission program should be developed that enables the church to send laborers into neighboring cities and around the world. World-wide missions and church planting should continually be emphasized and kept before the church family, especially the young people. It can be a temptation to keep your best workers in your own church, but the Bible’s way is to train and send out your best workers into the mission field to reach the untold millions.
Don't waste your youth.
Youthful energy is but for a time. While you are young is the time to bear the yoke of responsibility. The time will come when your energy level will diminish. Take advantage of your youthful years to serve God. You will never regret starting while young, but many a preacher has regretted wasting valuable years of his life when he could have been serving the Lord. "Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." - Matthew 9:37-38