Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


When the Honeymoon's Over

  • Jim Townsley
  • Jun 19, 2017
The Bible states we are to be “instant in season, out of season.” It does not take long in the ministry to realize some seasons are better than others. Everyone’s ministry will be comprised of lows and highs, but we must learn to be faithful no matter what the circumstances may be.  Usually, starting a church or assuming a new pastorate will begin with what is commonly called a honeymoon period similar to a new marriage. It is not difficult to be happy the first few months in a marriage. There is an infatuation with the newness of everything and though it may be hard work to build a marriage it is mostly enjoyable because the weight of future responsibilities has not yet transpired. The same is true for the first few months of a new work. There is a honeymoon period that makes the ministry enjoyable.
Eventually, the newness wears off and reality sets in. Just like in a marriage problems occur but it does not mean your ministry has gone awry; it just means you have entered a new stage. Trials, challenges and misunderstandings all present an opportunity to learn how to deal with problems successfully. The key to maturing as a pastor is to make a commitment that you will be faithful to work out differences and to struggle through trials. All of these trials are necessary for the maturing process to occur. In a marriage where two people work through the tough times, their struggles actually strengthen their marriage. So too in the ministry the struggles of a church will draw people closer together and develop a trust and loyalty to you as their pastor.
Imagine if you started a church and everything went smoothly and you never faced any trials. I am convinced you and I would be stunted in our personal growth and our leadership abilities would be sadly lacking. These trials and struggles are very necessary and they are integral to the maturity of the pastor and the church as a whole. Trials draw us close to God and make us more dependent upon Him. 
There will be ups and downs in the ministry and we must learn to be “instant in season out of season.” To be instant means we are ready to respond to whatever comes our way. The Bible makes it clear that the Christian life is characterized as warfare. We must be prepared to stand against the attacks of the world, the flesh and the devil which can occur at any time. 
A young married couple really has no idea what they must learn and how much they must learn about building their home. Also, in building the church a new pastor really has no idea all the work and all the steps necessary to build a strong ministry. One thing however is certain; it will take a long time. Without time it is impossible to build a strong church. 
The one main reason responsible for building a strong church is the longevity of the pastor. Tenure of the pastor is no guarantee the church will be strong, but it is certain without it the church cannot be what it ought to be. Struggling through the tough times provides lessons that cannot be taught in a traditional classroom. Regardless of the trials and struggles preachers must learn to be faithful to God’s calling and stick by the stuff when the honeymoon is over. Faithfulness will be rewarded in the end.