Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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Smell the Roses

  • Jim Townsley
  • Nov 1, 2018
The story is told of President Kennedy’s mother saying to him, “Stop and smell the roses.” Her intent was to remind the president to enjoy his presidential experience. Her statement reminds me of the importance of enjoying the early days of planting a church. Though there are many struggles in the early days there are certain blessings that will only be enjoyed then. Church planting should not be drudgery; it should be exciting. Being a part of birthing a new church is an amazing experience and experiencing the hand of God meet your needs and enabling you to build a church from nothing is amazing.
There can only be one first service so it should be a memorable event. The first Sunday school and the first service can never be duplicated and the church planter should enjoy the thrill of seeing those first people walk through the door.  The night before is always filled with nervous energy wondering of anyone will show up the next the day.  When people actually attend your weak faith is strengthened.
There is a joy and excitement that can only be found in a new church plant. The enthusiasm of new converts and new members is usually far greater than that found in an established church. At the conclusion of every service members tend to stay around and fellowship for hours and often will go out to a local eatery to fellowship even more. The condition of the meeting place is of little significance. It is the believers of this new work that really matter most.
New churches usually consist of new converts, baby Christians and recommitted believers. Since the church is young the church will often be made up of young families with teens and children. Sometimes the service may be less dignified than in an established church but joy and excitement permeates the fellowship. Nothing is stale and no one is in a rut. Though the people may be relatively poor they are excited about giving. No one cares about the budget or the protocol. They’re just happy they are saved and living for the Lord. The church planter can give much of his time to visiting and meeting people. Any pastor that has served a long tenure would love to be your shoes at this early stage of development. Unfortunately, after the church is established, the pastor can get bogged down with additional responsibilities. Counseling and church management take more of the pastor’s time. Enjoy this experience while it lasts. It will never get any better than the early days and years of the new church.  Stop and smell the roses.
Contemplate how immense is the task of planting a church and that God is using you to accomplish it. You are starting and building a church that hopefully will exist for many decades even after you have pass on to heaven. This new church will become a source of evangelizing hundreds of souls. Many men may be called into the ministry and additional churches planted out of your church. You have initiated a great work of God with lasting results for an eternity. Don’t lose sight of the great work you are called to do. What you are doing is equivalent to the missionary journeys found in the book the Acts. Stop and smell the roses.