Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


Go

Some Day You Will Be Old

  • Jim Townsley
  • Apr 5, 2019

My grandfather once told me, “If you live long enough one day you too will be old.” A new church does not always stay a new church. If we remain faithful to our ministries for a long time, eventually the church and the pastor will no longer be young. Long term goals are seldom considered when starting a church. Typically a young preacher will focus on one week at a time. Each week he struggles with the ups and downs of daily life as a preacher. Though that is not abnormal it is dangerous if the long term ministry is not considered.

Many decisions and policies that are established early in the ministry will have long term consequences. Therefore it is important to establish policies for the long term. Among the many issues that every new pastor will face are what will your policy be concerning marriage, divorce and remarriage? What will be your policy concerning weddings? Will you insist that your leaders follow guidelines and protocols? Will you insist on the use of the KJV of the Bible? How will you deal with issues of dress and music? What requirements will you have for teachers? These and many other issues will have to be decided upon in the first weeks of the new church and whatever decisions are made will have long term consequences that are either good or bad.

Every church planter can and will change, but it is important to get a vision of what you want your church to be in forty years. This will help to determine policies that will support your long term plans. If you want your church to use conservative music then the short term plan should be to guard your position and not allow the wrong music from the beginning. If you want the church to be friendly it must be established from the beginning. If you want the church to be a soul-winning church you must establish it from the beginning. If you want the church to have a mission’s emphasis it must be established early.

A new church attracts many people that will have differing points of view that could easily pull the church in the wrong direction. In the process of guarding your philosophy of ministry you will lose some people when they realize they cannot change you. You must stand strong and recognize this is part of church planting. The first few years are formative years for new converts and they need time to mature but you must also determine to keep the church on course.

In addition to members that will try to pull the church in the wrong direction there will be new movements from preachers that have the newest and latest ideas that they think will make your ministry easier and more successful. You must guard against anything that strays from your rich heritage as a
Fundamental Baptist. Far too many new church plants succumb to the trends of the day. If you went out under the authority of a local church you must respect the stand of that local church by remaining the same as them. If you intend to change the church once you get it started you should never accept the support nor use the testimony of your sending church.

As generations come and go the drift and change is constant but often it is not always apparent immediately. Keep your eyes on Jesus and the goal with which you started. Determine what you want your church to be in forty years and do the necessary things to make it come to pass. If you live long enough and if you stay long enough someday you will be old and you will have the joy of experiencing the fruit of your years of labor. “The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.” - -Proverbs 20:29