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MINISTRY AND BUSINESS
“Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:3-4.
I went to Bible College to learn the Bible and be a preacher. One comment by our homiletics professor stands out in my mind more than any other. He said, “Preaching is about 1/10 of the ministry. That comment offended me, nor did I believe it. I loved to preach, so he could not be correct in that statement.
Joyce and I started the Open Door Baptist Church in 1969. We had an empty building with about one hundred empty chairs. Everything was about soul winning and preaching. However, before the year was over, we had over a hundred in the morning service. Everyone was in the same room as I taught the Sunday school lesson and preached. We had a problem, and something had to change, and it had to be quick.
We had to get the nursery age out of the preaching service. So, I had to find a place and a worker for that problem. The girls’ bathroom became the place and my wife became the worker. However, that did not solve the problem. The six year olds through the eight year olds were bored with the sermons. Thus, they were restless and distracting. Something had be done, and quick.
There was an unfinished room in the back of the building. This room would work, but we needed a teacher. We found a faithful lady, so that problem was solved. However, it was time to move to a new location if we were to continue our growth.
We found a local school where we meet for about a year. However, we had to set up and take down all the chairs. someone must be appointed to care for this task. In addition, we now needed usher, money counters, book keeping and expenses paid. I had no idea that we needed to be incorporated in washing state. This was business that was required, and the Bible College forgot to tell about these things.
I was the song leader for the first three years, so it was my task to select songs everyone knew. In time, God gave us someone to play a piano. The problem, we did not have one. That became an order of business. I also directed our small choir and taught the teachers next Sunday’s lesson.
More and more I needed the help of others. In a very few years there where hundreds of ministries that must be attended to, and someone had to attend to them. I was learning that my professor was right.
There are many gifted preachers who can’t tie their own shoes. Thus, they can never build a growing church. Then, there are men gifted in management, who are not the best of preachers. Guess who builds a growing church? The one who learns how to manage the business side of the ministry. My advice to the novice pastor, is three things. Learn all you can about soul winning. (I mean getting them saved, baptized and in the church membership.) Learn how to recruit, delegate and manage the total ministry. Learn how to rightly divide the Bible and how to teach it. Bathe all this in prayer, depending on the Holy Spirit. You must learn to manage as well as preach. If management is a weakness of yours, then find someone in the church you can trust, and let them help you in this area. Pastoring takes both preaching and management.