Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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Rainbows, Butterflies, and Fairy Tales

  • Jim Townsley
  • Aug 24, 2018

Rainbows and butterflies belong in a fairy tale book in which everyone lives in a make-believe world, where no one works a job and everyone is happy all the time. There is no stress and no sadness. Starting a church is nothing like a fairy tale. Some young men have a romantic idea of starting a church thinking that it will be easy and everyone will be happy all the time, not realizing there are spiritual battles that await with long hours of difficult labor which often is unappreciated.

There are some common misunderstandings about starting a church. Church planting requires a lot of hard work. Most young men do not understand the amount of effort necessary to start a church. There are no fairy tales here. A typical work week for most people is forty hours, but for a church planter to be successful it will be eighty hours or perhaps more. Not only will there be long hours but in addition, many people will have serious problems which will weigh on the shoulders of the pastor. The mental and physical strain with be greater than most young men expect. Someone said, “You make a living from nine to five, but you become a success from five to nine.” Every successful ministry requires long hours and great commitment, but a new church requires more. You must be on the street witnessing to people and knocking on their doors endeavoring to reach them with the gospel every day and often all day of every day. There is nothing fairy tale like that. 

A church cannot be built through social media. Philosophy does not build a church. Having the right standards does not build the church. Even biblical preaching, though extremely important, does not alone build a church. Sitting in an office designing a Facebook page and tweeting clever sayings does not put one person in the pew. Knocking on doors and doing it for many endless hours is still necessary. People must be met face to face and one by one.

Usually a new church doesn’t resemble a traditional church. New converts don’t know the old hymns and they often don’t know how to behave in the house of God. A new church closely resembles a bus route more than a traditional church service. Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox. - - Proverbs 14:4. New converts create special challenges and sometimes prove to be very difficult. Be prepared to help people with their problems. The fairy tale life doesn’t exist when it comes to church planting. Very often the new converts who are saved out of our culture are biblically illiterate. Much time must be given to discipleship.

Following the trends of the emerging church will not build a solid foundation. Adapting to the culture of the millennials will provide only temporary success. Listen to the old men who follow the old paths. The old men follow the old paths not because they are behind the times, but because through years of ministry they have concluded they are the only way to produce lasting fruit. Don’t allow the culture to dictate your ministry. Prayer, biblical preaching and soul-winning are still the real ingredients to starting and building a strong church. Don’t be tempted by rainbows, butterflies and fairy tales.