Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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Things I Have Learned

  • Jim Townsley
  • Oct 11, 2008

That's the way it always is, except when it isn't

No two ministries are exactly the same. Problems are not always solved in the same way and some towns are more difficult than others. Some men will work hard and experience little fruit, while others work hard and reap great benefits. We should not compare ourselves to other men. We must recognize that God has a perfect plan for us and if we are in the will of God we should rejoice in that fact.

Winning souls requires God's intervention.

The salvation of every soul is a divine act of God whereby He justifies a sinner who exercises his faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. I have picked my share of green fruit, but I have learned the importance of prayer and dependence upon the Holy Spirit in the matter of soul-winning. Only God can save a soul.

When you are ready to give up is when God takes over

There have been many times in the ministry that it seemed the work would not grow. No matter how hard I tried the work seemed stagnant. It was always when I determined to keep going when I could see no means of significant accomplishment that God would undertake and great things would happen. Had I quit I would have missed the blessing of God. I believe the single most important ingredient to a strong church is the longevity of the pastor. A strong church cannot be built in a few years; it requires a lifetime of service.

Building a strong church requires more than a forty hour work week

Every new pastor must realize that most members work forty or fifty hours a week and then attend all of the services and possibly visitation or some other special ministry. A pastor must hold himself to a higher standard than his members. Someone has said, "You maintain a ministry from nine to five, but it becomes successful from five to nine."

Our greatest trials become our greatest victories

I have learned far more from struggles and failure than from victories and blessings. The most important changed in my life and ministry are a result of trials. God cannot use a man greatly until He wounds him deeply.

The measure of a man's success is determined by the extent of God's control in his life

Only in Heaven will it be revealed who are the greatest preachers. It may not be the pastor of the big city church or the one with a big attendance; it may be a simple preacher at a country crossroad who has remained faithful and never missed the mark.

We must not fear failure

Fear of failure will cause us to be timid and result in a lack boldness in our faith. Fear will result in laziness and pride. Boldness fears only failing our great God. Unbelief sees the obstacles, faith sees the opportunities.

Two things will surprise you in the ministry. The deep spirituality of some and the appalling immaturity of others

The majority of the Lord's work is done by a small minority of members. It has been observed that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. If you want something done find a busy person and they will find a way to accomplish the task.

Time is short

David Brainerd said, "Oh that I might not loiter on my heavenly journey." Time passes quickly and opportunities can soon be lost. If there is a job to do, let us do it! Psa 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Everything rises and falls on leadership

Pastor's are leaders and we must accept the fact that our church depends upon our leadership and sacrifice. A true leader will be a man whom God can use to accomplish His work with unfailing determination.

Spiritual Christians solve problems, carnal Christians create problems

When divisions and problems occur they can always be traced to a carnal Christian. The pastor's role is to help develop a church full of spiritual believers. The preacher must be a godly example that others can follow. The pastor cannot lead to people to emulate something that is absent in his own life.

Before we can build we must weep over the ruin

Nehemiah 1:4 explains the importance of a sincere burden for the work of God. Vision is born from a sense of the lost condition of people and the desire of God to work in their lives.

Make friends with town officials

The Town Hall or County Courthouse should be frequented often and friends should be made of every official. Fighting with City Hall is usually a losing proposition, therefore developing relationships with key people can avert any possible confrontation.

"I have found there are three stages in every great work of God: First it is impossible; then, it is difficult; then, it is done." - Hudson Taylor