Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


Every Place Is Not the Same

  • Jim Townsley
  • Apr 28, 2014
Every new church plant has its own challenges and differences. The results cannot be expected to be the same in each environment. There is a vast difference  between the inner city and the country, an upper class neighborhood and a blue collar neighborhood. There are regions of the country where the population is increasing while other regions are experiencing an exodus. Beyond the shores of America there are even greater differences. It has been said that in some third world countries the gospel runs a mile wide and an inch deep while in other countries the gospel runs an inch wide and a mile deep, suggesting that in one place many professions of faith are made with little effect in people's lives, while in other places, though with fewer decisions, decisions result in dramatic life changes. Both ministries are legitimate and may be equally successful, but they are vastly different.
It is important to acknowledge that the gospel is the same everywhere, the preaching and witnessing should be equally fervent, but the results can vary considerably. Noah, "that preacher of righteousness," preached for years with only seven converts which consisted of his own family, while Jonah reluctantly preached in Nineveh and a great revival ensued. John the Baptist preached with great results however he was beheaded for his pointed message and Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, was stoned for his preaching. Even the Apostle Paul saw different responses to the gospel message as he traveled throughout Asia. In Athens there was no immediate fruit from his preaching while in Ephesus a strong church was quickly established.
If the response is slower in your location it should not be an excuse to work less; the effort should remain a constant regardless of the visible results. Finger pointing, jealousy, excuses, or criticism will never build a church. Each man must be called to a place and realize this is his field of service. Trying to be someone else doesn't accomplish God's work. Trying to compete with the results of others will only lead to discouragement or compromise. Neither are good results. Your place of service should be, to you, the greatest ministry on the earth and you should recognize that it is a privilege to serve the Lord in this special place.
Each place of service will have its own uniqueness and opportunities. Building a church near a military base offers great opportunities of reaching young men. Often growth is quick, however these men usually remain for a short period of time and are then deployed. They are very transient, but they are often a very fruitful field of ministry. In cities where jobs are plentiful the offerings can be very good, yet the families may be so busy it may be difficult for them to be faithful to all the services and often these busy families have family problems related to their jobs and the stress of their environment. Believers in the inner city deal with numerous issues of crime, single parenting, and various moral issues. However in the inner city churches it is rewarding to see the hand of God work mightily and people delivered from bondage. Every area has its blessings as well as its challenges.
No two areas are the same. Yes, the gospel is the same, Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever, however communities have varied cultures and problems. Don't be guilty of comparing your church growth to another ministry.  The outward results will be different, but God knows if you have been faithful and done your best. The gospel still works and God's plan hasn't changed. Keep laboring in your field of service with joy and excitement. Don't become lazy, don't compare yourself to others, and don't compromise. "The measure of a man's success is determined by the extent of God's control in his life." You can be successful if you remain faithful. Fall in love with your community and your ministry. The one thing every preacher can do is to be faithful. "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." -1 Corinthians 4:2.