by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser
Image by Bruce Gerencser
Lots of snark and sarcasm ahead!
John “Jesus Lover” Baptiste recently graduated from an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) college. After three or four years of superficially studying the Bible, John received his unaccredited degree in Jesus-Loving, Devil-Chasing, Sin-Hating Pastoral Ministry. Now what?
Graduates are encouraged to go into all the world — well mainly the United States — and win souls for Jesus. The best way to do this is to start a new church.
Here is what John “Jesus Lover” Baptiste needs to do to start a brand spanking new Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church.
First, find a town where there are churches on every corner and convince yourself that ALL of those churches are liberal, apostate, using the wrong Bible translation, or using worldly music.
Second, confuse your own desire and ambition with the Holy Spirit leading you and God calling you to start a new church.
Third, rent a meeting place or building. Make sure get the building as cheaply as possible. If the building owner is a Christian, lay a spiritual guilt trip on him to get him to lower the rent and then invite him and his family to the first service.
Fourth, put a puff piece in the newspaper telling locals why you are starting a new church in their community. DON’T tell them that you think ALL the other churches in town are liberal, apostate, using the wrong Bible translation, or using worldly music. You want to be able to poach members from other churches later, so it is important no one knows what you really think of every other church in town.
Fifth, every day pray that God will bless your endeavor. Convince yourself that God put you in the community to win everyone to Jesus and that without you they will all go to hell.
Sixth, tell your wife and children that you love them, but they are going to have to understand that Jesus comes first and that you will have to neglect them in order for a GREAT church to be built. Also, tell them that they will have to mow the church yard, clean the church, play the piano, work in the nursery, teach Sunday School, and anything else you demand ask them to do. Try to explain to them that, Yes God called YOU, but he expects you to bring luggage.
Seventh, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses before you, knock on every door in town and witness to everyone who dares to answer. Lie to them by saying, I am not here to take you from your church home. All that is important is that you know Jesus as your Savior. Don’t let them know that if they get saved you will expect them to come to the church that cared enough to lead them to Jesus.
Eighth, run some ads in the local newspaper and put up flyers on every public bulletin board. Church-hopping members from nearby Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches will notice the ads and see this as “God leading them” to leave their church. This is the quickest way to start a new church. And just remember, when they leave your new church a few years later for another newer church, that you were willing to sacrifice your integrity for numerical gain.
You are now ready for your first service. Remember one thing: most new church plants fail, especially new Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches. Perhaps, it would be better if you join up with one of the other churches in town and help them. Silly me, you will never do that. You are a God-called, Holy-Spirit-powered, Independent Fundamentalist Baptist pastor, and such a calling deserves its own church, and a BIG sign that says, in BIG type, JOHN BAPTISTE, PASTOR.
Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network member, Bruce Gerencser blogs at The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser He writes from the unique perspective of having been a pastor for many years and having seen it all in churches. His journey out of being a true believer and pastor has been an interesting and informative one.
Bruce Gerencser spent 25 years pastoring Independent Fundamental Baptist, Southern Baptist, and Christian Union churches in Ohio, Michigan, and Texas. Bruce attended Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan. He is a writer and operates The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser blog. Bruce lives in NW Ohio with his wife of 35 years. They have six children, and eleven grandchildren.
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