18 Starters For The Pioneer Pastor
By Bill Burkett
LET US ARISE AND EVANGELIZE
Do we, our churches and Bible Colleges of holiness persuasion have the original vision the Holy Spirit gave our fathers? The greatest single need that looms before us is the spiritual famine in this land for churches with a solid Bible message. The vision of such men as Milton T. Wells, D.C. Branham, W. H. Kessler , David Beam and K. A. Smith was for an army of young men trained in the holiness way to perpetuate the Biblical holiness message. The vision God Gave these men has provided much needed leaders for the next (and possibly the last) generation of full gospel churches.
Now we enter the second phase of God’s will for these who have been trained in the truth; The planting of new churches! The holiness movement will stagnate and fragment from isolation and lack of vision…a deadly sedentary condition that causes spiritual rot and disintegration from within…if we do not capture the vision to ARISE AND EVANGELIZE! Pioneering churches (Practical Theology) should be a required subject for students in their graduating year of Bible School.
WHEN PENTECOST WAS YOUNG AND PURE IT MULTIPLIED CHURCHES BY PIONEERING THEM. WHEN PENTECOST BECOMES SELF CENTERED IT MULTIPLIES CHURCHES BY SPLITTING THEM
Thousands of cities across America are without a sound Full Gospel Holiness Church. People often call the office Telling us they are traveling or moving to a new city wanting a holiness church in that area…and there are none.
A new need to answer the pioneer call – The significance of the rise of a massive new liberal pentecostalism is that we now have a whole generation of Pentecost…or a whole generation of mankind that has had virtually no exposure to the message of Biblical holiness. Holiness is a strange new message to this generation. Apostates actually see it as an evil and legalistic form of Christianity. There are large metropolitan cities where fundamental churches abound but not a single church that teaches the doctrine of sanctification as essential to salvation! Fundamentalism has become doctrinally illiterate! Though fundamental churches abound that preach the cross of Christ there are virtually none left that declare the message of the Christian’s cross! Scarce are the churches that declare God’s perfect hatred of sin; that worldliness is an abomination to God; that teaches the doctrines of separation, mortification, moral perfection or sanctification. Where is the church that teaches obedience to the moral laws of God or the fear of God?
Pioneering is a special calling – When I left Bible Institute I was chomping on the bits to pioneer a church! I felt led to go on the evangelistic field until I received more direction from God. I was voted into a good a church on the East coast. But our vision to pioneer was so strong that a church with parsonage and salary did not quench the desire that was planted in us to pioneer. The predominantly Catholic town God later led us to was in upper New York state. The last Pentecostal preacher to come there had his tent burned and was literally chased down the highway by a rock throwing mob of youth. It will take no less dedication to pioneer a church of pure doctrine today as it did then.
Many capable young Bible College graduates, young men and young married couples, are sitting in churches feeling an unrest not knowing what they can do with their lives. While the harvest fields waste and some saint is groaning in intercession in distant city for a church that preaches the old paths…some young man is groaning for the will of God to be revealed in his life. Have you thought of pioneering a church in a barren place?!? Share your burden with your pastor, pray till God puts the go in you!
May God speak to the hearts of young men of holiness persuasion to take this tremendous need before God as Jefferie Hough has done in Altamont, Illinois. Another young man sat in my office the other day and said he had a burden to start a pioneer work in Idaho or Oregon where there are so few full gospel churches and virtually no churches with a holiness message! Oh, Jesus, when you suddenly return, find us at the the glorious work of establishing your Kingdom in the earth!
A PIONEER PROCEDURE
But, how would I start a church? – I want to share with you 18 simple steps to starting that new church for God:
1. Pray and…find the target town where you feel God’s message is needed. The key word is NEED.
2. Pray and find a job in the city or area near the church as possible. And remember, your family comes first! The key word is PRIORITIES.
3. Find adequate housing for your family. You may get a pastor (or pastors) of an established church with a pioneering vision to help support you. If this doesn’t happen don’t let it affect you…get a job and support yourself. Most of the churches that exist today were raised up just this way by faith and sacrifice until the work supported itself. Key word is RESPONSIBILITY.
4. Print up calling cards, always carry them with you and hand them out by the thousands. Have a photo of yourself or the family imprinted on front or back. This makes the card much more personal and has nothing to do with being vain. Acquaintances can remember a face instantly and hardly ever remember a name. The key word is CONTACT.
5. Get a phone installed. The key word is AVAILABILITY.
6. Drive around the city, get a city map and learn it well. The key word is FAMILIARITY.
7. Find a hall or meeting place. The key word is LOCATION.
8. Set an opening date. Set it far enough ahead to properly prepare. The key word is BEGINNING.
9. Print up mailing handbills and go to the phone book with pen. Be sure to send the mayor, the chief of police and the city editor a personal invitation. The key word ANNOUNCEMENT.
10. Call any brethren nearby to come opening night with any of their people. The key word is SUPPORT.
11. Contact and visit with the brethren of like precious faith in cities nearby the new church where you are locating and show yourself friendly to them in any way you can. Become a part of them. We need each other! The key word is FELLOWSHIP.
12. Go to the local newspaper and announce your opening to them with schedule of weekly meetings in hand. Most newspapers have a Saturday church directory. Use this service and announce your subject if you have it in advance. The key word is EXPOSURE.
13. Also place a paid announcement in the local paper expressing your special concern for a church of old time holiness religion as the central concern of the new church. Word it carefully. Don’t be afraid of the word holiness as some are among us. There may be good people praying for a holiness church in their town or city. You may want to place the paid add first and establish a paying relationship with the local newspaper. (See PRACTICAL OBJECTIVES Number 2 below) The key word is VISIBILITY.
14. At the opening rally have an evangelist lined up for special meetings to announce. You may have several events planned to announce such as a special message or series of messages. The key word is PLAN.
15. After doing all of this be prepared to preach to an empty room but be there early, have good music on tape, CD or someone to come early and sing…and start ON TIME!…even if you’re the only one present. Put into practice immediately the things you want to see instilled in the church of your ideals. If you have seen the disorder and confusion that unbiblical church constitutions cause then have a constitution without that carnal clause that calls for an annual vote on the pastor! You are the Father of this work! The key word is ORDER.
16. Three areas of spiritual development that will be vital to the entire span of your ministry; (a) A secret prayer life and serious study of God’s Word, not merely necessary but essential to the church! (b) A love for people and (c) a godly life and reputation. These will always be your three biggest assets as a minister of the gospel! Achieve these and nothing else will matter! The key word is HOLINESS.
17. Select an elder brother to be your peer and adviser. Perhaps your home pastor or a seasoned preacher that you have personal confidence in. You must have a peer you can go to or in turn he to you if need be. The key word is COUNSEL.
18 Preach Biblical holiness which includes visible evidence of separation. But remember that holiness is more than externals and that Biblical externals are spiritual qualities that reside in the heart of the inner man. You will not achieve holy faith by preaching from the outside in but from the inside out! Preach truth and teach prayer. prayer! Prayer! Prayer! and do a lot of it yourself. The key word is ANOINTING!
Number 1. To have a spiritual church not a religious social club! The depth of preaching determines the depth of the conversions at the alter. Build your church around the pulpit. Remember that the a pure gospel does not appeal to one certain class of people but to all classes. Prayer and purity of heart are the two highest goals to be sought. To have power and miracles, teach it! Do not be distracted by the success of others who are not building on Biblical principles!
Number 2. To establish a church that cannot look at the world through dry eyes! The suffering of Christ and the suffering of the world demands we be true to the only redemptive message that can satisfy them both! Start early to make missions a normal part of your evangelistic outreach. Have missions conventions, missions speakers and start supporting a missionary before you are fully supported yourself!
Number 1 – The first objective of the pioneer pastor is to be supported full time so that he is able to put all of his time and energies into prayer and study and caring for the flock. Also in this process you are establish the importance of stewardship, evangelism, faithfulness and commitment to the local church. Have a good bookkeeping system, appoint the work of the church to capable people when possible and be accountable to someone. The last person in the world to trust is yourself!
Number 2. Reach the community with your message. There are three good possibilities; 1. A radio ministry, 2. Dial a prayer on a separate line with an answering machine giving a one minute message changed each evening late. 3. A small paid column in the local newspaper with a daily or weekly (Saturday) thought from the Bible.
THE PIONEERS SOURCE OF LIFE AND JOY
Pray long, bleed, bend and beller till birth is given. Oh, the joy, the glorious sense of fulfillment that comes from giving birth to a church! It will give you the heart of a lion, the spirit of a dove and the skin of a rhinoceros! It will unconsciously form a man of God in you.
10,000 holiness churches stretched across this land preaching the same gospel the apostles preached would change the history of this nation and stay God’s judgment. We will have all eternity to regret it if we do not RISE AND EVANGELIZE!