Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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Pure Religion

  • Jim Townsley
  • Jun 23, 2014
The mind set of every church planter is to work  hard to produce church growth. The desire for growth is, and should be, at the heart of church planting, because without growth the church will never be established or become autonomous. Soul-winning, discipling, and every aspect of church building requires tireless effort. Starting and building a new church requires raising financial support from outside the church and teaching new members to tithe and give sacrificially from within the church.  The music program, the children's program, the bus ministry, as well as all the administrative aspects of the church requires a single-minded purpose to help the church grow. Reaching new people is the key to building a church. Without people there are no offerings and if there are no offerings there is no salary for the preacher and if there is no salary for the preacher the church plant will fail.
Need is a great motivator. If every aspect of starting a church was provided on a silver platter many young men would not work and pray as they should. So, the preacher must work hard to reach new people and remain focused on what produces the best results. However, it is important to keep the proper spiritual focus.The desire for growth, as important as it is, can sometimes cloud the real purpose of church planting. A man's motives can be impure in trying to reach a goal. Getting a crowd at any cost should not be the objective of the preacher. In addition, the pastor must guard himself against selfishness and jealousy. Trying to build the largest congregation or to pastor the largest church in the community can cause a man's vision to be clouded and perhaps lead to compromise. Everyone wants to see souls saved and new converts baptized, however at the heart of church planting is the primary motive of honoring God and building His kingdom, not necessarily one's ownkingdom. There is a fine line between the two.
There are some aspects of pastoring that produce no visible results, attain no public honor, and produce no funds in the coffer or people in the pews. "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."-- James 1:27 . Visiting widows seldom produces new people in the pews and no additional funds in the offering. However, it is the right and godly thing for a preacher to visit the sick, forsaken, and forgotten. Attending a funeral and visiting in the hospital both are honorable things to do even if no visible result is derived from it. No one may ever know you helped your neighbor or supported a needy teen to attend camp, but God knows. We must remember that some things must be done because they are honorable. There are some aspects of the ministry that are unseen and produce nothing in terms of building a church, but they are godly things to do.
When a man's desire is without godly motivation he will eventually compromise or disqualify himself from the ministry. Every church planter wants to build a strong church and there is nothing wrong with that. However, the proper attitude of a man of God should be to relinquish one's own goals and achievements for the sake of doing the right thing. Doing the right thing may lead a man to a forsaken village to preach the gospel to a handful of primitive people. Doing the right thing may lead you to cast aside all your plans to stay in the hospital with a dying saint. Doing the right thing may lead you to spend time with a bus kid because he has no father. Some aspects of the ministry cannot be measured by numbers but by obedience to the Spirit of God. Pure religion should never be sacrificed for the sake of building your own reputation. Paul summarized this spiritual truth in his writing to the Corinthian church when he states, "And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."  --1 Corinthians 13:2.