Friday, April 21, 2017

Don't Quit the Ministry

A lot of guys go out and start a church and then quit, and it’s a tragedy because we need more churches. If you are a young man who wants to become a pastor or missionary, you need to decide right now that you are going to finish what you start. When I started Faithful Word Baptist Church, it was hard. I had to knock a lot of doors to get visitors, and most of them didn’t stick.

We averaged around ten people the first year including my family of five. At one point about six months in, we were running in the 20’s, but then we lost almost everyone and it was down to my family and just two other people—Amanda and Virginia. My family and those two ladies were important, and I continued to preach as if I had a large crowd. Amanda has remained faithful since the second Sunday, and I don't know what we would have done without her since there were many services where it was just her and our family.

In those early days, I didn’t know how it was going to turn out, but I kept telling myself not to quit. My sister told me to think of myself as a missionary because I was winning a lot of souls out door-to-door even though the church was small. Pastor Jimenez and Pastor Berzins had similar experiences in that they started with very few people and experienced slow growth even though they were working hard.

Now that several of us like-minded pastors have a large following on YouTube, we have listeners all over the world who are looking for a good church to attend. People will hear about a new church starting up in their area and show up for the first service. That might make for a better turnout in the beginning, but if you’re going to be a pastor, you need to be willing to stick with it even if things don’t go as well as expected.

Trials still happen. People drop out of church or move away, and infiltrators creep in and try to cause trouble. Protestors might show up or worse. Persecution will come. Being in the ministry is more than just preaching and going soul winning. It is often a series of trials and disappointments, but if you stick with it, it can be very rewarding in the long run.

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said Pastor.

It was sad to see what happened with Soulwinning Baptist Nashville. I was looking at a playlist of their past sermons and I recalled one of your sermons where you mentioned Isaiah 58:1 (KJV) Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

Richard Miller preached some excellent sermons even back at FWBC ('Labor Not To Be Rich' was a classic in my mind). The problem that I saw throughout all his sermons, which I now believe to be a pointer to what happened in Nashville, is that he never did lift up his voice like a trumpet. He stuck out like a clarinet between Pastor Romero's piercing bugle and Pastor Manly's booming tuba. I'm not knocking Richard as a Christian, but I just think his voice style pointed to his ability (perhaps not his willingness) to stand up and fight the good fight.

I have more confidence in Brother Tyler's chances of success in Jacksonville because he does cry out loud indeed.