Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


A Family Affair

  • Jim Townsley
  • Feb 4, 2008

During a recent missionary presentation the eight year old church planter's son stated he was a church planter. It was a cute inclusion for what is usually a predictable presentation. However, I believe every member of a church planter's family is indeed a church planter. Just as the young man stated that he was a church planter, so is every member of the family. What preacher could effectively start a church without the aid of his wife? Or what if his children were disorderly and uninterested in the work? Every member of the preacher's family must understand that they are all working together to start the new church.

The family's testimony is of utmost importance and even one member who is not supportive could hinder the whole process. But starting a church requires more than a family image. There are numerous functions that each member can perform. The wife has many vital roles she must fill. She is to be a help to her husband in whatever way is needed. She must have the same vision as her husband to start a church and she must demonstrate a willing spirit to work as needed to start this new church.

A pastor's wife is as important to the new church as the pastor. Her testimony of a holy life and of a servant's heart will set godly standards for all the other ladies of the church. She may be called upon to counsel women who need a godly woman with whom to speak. The pastor very often gets the majority of the credit, but without a godly wife his ministry would be greatly diminished. Very often she works in seclusion with little credit, but without her service and sacrifice a new church could not properly be established.

The pastor's wife may become the secretary and perform functions such as: record prospects, maintain correspondence, execute desktop publishing, and prepare design work. Special guests may frequent the church and on a moment's notice and the pastor's wife will find herself preparing meals and entertaining guests. In addition, she may be able to go soul-winning with her husband or perhaps with another lady. Sunday school curriculum needs to purchased or prepared. Most men know very little about children's Sunday school materials. She may have flannelgraph to prepare, pictures to file, and visual songs and stories to find. Hopefully the pastor's wife has some musical ability. It is never too late to take piano lessons and begin a daily practice schedule. An average piano player who can only play a few hymns is better than no piano player. Numerous vital tasks performed by the pastor's wife will enable the pastor to accomplish far more.

But what about the children? What can they do? It depends upon their age, but children can do more than most people recognize. Small children can and should be included in the church plant. These little ones can stuff John and Romans into plastic bags. They can help serve meals for guests and help prepare materials for visitation. Children can even go with their dad or another adult in door to door visitation. Children want to help and including them will greatly impress upon them the possibility of starting a church some day. Children can and should help set up the meeting place. Each child could have specific responsibilities. One could lay out the hymn books, another could set up the folding chairs, and another could set up a welcome table. There are many other responsibilities that could be completed by children. The importance of including the children in this new ministry cannot be overstated.

Teens and older children could perform the same functions as their younger counterparts, but in addition they may be able to work in junior church or the nursery. A teen could lead the singing, play the piano, or become an usher. Children could help with computer work and phone calling. Cleaning and preparing the auditorium for the services is a vital function in which children can help.

Children should not be seen as a hindrance to the new work, but rather an asset. New members will be impressed with a preacher's children and family who are as dedicated as he. Children will have an impact upon this new work and some day church planting may be in their blood so much that they just may continue this great work of church planting.