Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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Five to Nine

  • Jim Townsley
  • May 26, 2015
Nine to five are the typical work hours of the average American. Which means, assuming one is paid for lunch time, they would work a forty hour week. At times there may be additional hours of overtime, either mandatory or volunteer, which would increase the work week slightly. Also, some occupations require second or third shift hours, but this nine to five schedule is universally considered the norm.
In the ministry there are no traditional work hours. The ministry is similar to a business owner or an entrepreneur where often a forty hour work week is not typical. Starting a business requires greater sacrifice, longer hours, and harder work.  Although one can make a living from nine to five, a person becomes a success from five to nine. A pastor can lead his flock in a forty hour work week, but to build a church much more is required. Starting a church will require total sacrifice for several months and perhaps a few years. A successful church planter may spend eighty to one hundred hours a week for the initial start-up of a new church. The hours of five to nine will be an important time period for a new pastor.
Many aspects of the ministry require evening hours. First there is church which is normally on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. In addition, there may be an evening visitation program. Most people are only home in the evening and cannot be reached during the day. If small children are in the home this requires a godly wife who is equally committed to this new church plant. It is absolutely necessary for the preacher to be out visiting in the evening, especially in the first weeks of the new church.
Church activities often are held in the evening as well as children’s meetings. After the day is done for most people and the children are in bed, the preacher will do his planning and studying. A pastor that tries to lead a church from nine to five Monday through Friday will greatly reduce his possibility of success.
Very limited personal time will be available to the preacher during this church start.  A pastor cannot waste his time playing video games, watching television, or enjoying hobbies. Great effort and sacrifice is needed to experience the miracle of the birth of a new church. What you do before nine in the morning as well as what you do after five in the evening will determine the success you have or don’t have.
Athletes that compete in the Olympics will train for several years before competing. These men and women will watch what they eat, follow a rigid schedule, and basically exclude themselves from the rest of the world while they concentrate on their main goal of winning a gold medal. Young pastors must realize that hard work and sacrifice is required to start and build a strong church.
Are you willing to work five to nine and not just nine to five? If you make the sacrifice you will see God's blessings on your work.