In starting a new church, one of the more difficult things for me is that I have to do Outreach and Evangelism.
Paul commanded Timothy:
2 Timothy 4:5
5 But as for you, keep a clear head about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. HCSB
Acknowledge Your Weaknesses
My natural tendency is introversion and this is something that must be overcome to grow a church. I envy those men of God who are naturally evangelistic. Just as they likely envy my desire and ability to develop deeper relationships with people or perhaps my skill at writing.
I am challenged in the area of evangelism and yet I hear the Spirit of God saying: “Advance!”
So far, I do not feel compelled to go door to door though I may before it is all over. I’ve done it before but it is not fun to me. I have to keep reminding myself “The righteous are bold as a lion!” each time I approach a new house. It is hard to remember that scripture while listening to the introvert inside me squeaking and squealing like a trapped mouse.
Focus on Your Strengths
I have written a letter to new residents. Once a month, I get a list of the new residents and send them a letter welcoming them to our community and inviting them to visit our church. I focus on WHY in my letter: Why we are here and why should they should visit us and give us a chance.
I have a weekly article in one local newspaper and have approached another newspaper. I had originally thought to just convert one of my daily personal devotions into an article for each week but it ended up being full of footnotes and references. I have decided to move to a Question and Answer format. That will require a lot of research but it will be incredibly rewarding too. I have listed six questions to start. All of the questions have been asked of me recently.
I am developing the church’s website. Yes, I do web design. No, we do not already have a church website (embarrassing). I need a church website to convert interest in the articles I write into visits and receive more questions to answer.
I am developing a separate ministry website to focus on my preaching and teaching ministry outside my local church and on my books. My “about the author” below my articles will include a reference to me being the author of “A Greater Reward: How the Father Deals with Us for Our Benefit; How Jesus Will Reward the Believer; And How We Can Increase Our Reward.” The Kindle version was release September 13, 2015 and the print version will be released November 1, 2015.
Guard Your Time
What I most have to guard is my time. I cannot allow myself to become overextended and overwhelmed. This is my most frequent challenge. When you start a church, you do everything and slowly are able to hand off parts of this to those who are willing to help. But if they do not do it, it falls back on the pastor.
While I have some help cleaning the building, if it doesn’t get done, I have to do it. I have to mow the grass. I have to prepare the meals for our dinner each Thursday evening (I’ve trained my daughter to help and she does a great job). I have to send out the visitor letters and the new resident letters. If money is tight, I have to develop the website on my own.
The apostles asked the church to appoint deacons so they could set aside doing all the administrative and maintenance duties and devote themselves to the Word of God and prayer.
In a church plant, the pastor does everything. He has no deacons. He must do everything.
That labor is in addition to the core duties of a pastor: First, prayer and personal Bible study to keep myself from faltering and failing or becoming discouraged (to keep a clear head about everything); Second, sermon preparation and ministry times; Third, personal outreach and evangelism. Fourth, my day job: writing and marketing articles and books to pay the bills and provide for my family. Plus, unlike St. Paul, I have a family that needs me as well.
So, if you think about it… pray for me. I cannot do this without a lot of help.