Starting A Church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gershom, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. Gershom

    Gershom
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    Any testimonies from those who have started a church? How did you start? In a home? Rented building? How many were in number? Did you file any kind of paperwork? Did you have the blessings of your former church?
     
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    You looking for American situations or foreign churches as well?
     
  3. Gershom

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    Either one.
     
  4. Gershom

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    No one? :sleeping_2:
     
  5. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I'll try to get back with you. We started a church in our home and have moved to a hired facility.
     
  6. Shiloh

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    I have started a Baptist few churches. One in PA. one in VA. and one in ME. We started from another Baptist church in every case. I would always have a few families meet together (in a home) that have a desire to start a work and then we go from there. In every case we would rent facilities until we were able to purchase our own. I know there are a ton of questions, so if you can be more precise I will try to help you.
     
  7. pinoybaptist

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    If the Philippines and the Filipinos count, then I did,.
    We started off as a Bible study class of two believers (myself and a teacher at an ACE school in the church), and five male adults, all unbelievers, all heavy drinkers, all heavy smokers, all heavy gamblers, all wife-beaters, all known "bad boys" in their community, and who were attending because one of them happened to be the husband of the teacher, the recognized leader of their group, and the other the eldest son.

    That was the group.

    Now, the environment:

    In a house where the first thing that greeted you was a half life-sized statue of this woman with a bleeding heart, beside a man with a full beard and a bleeding heart, same size, surrounded by small statues of different kinds of icons and idols.

    The house was in a heavily Roman Catholic area, the attendees, except for the teacher, all Roman Catholics.
    We sat on the floor, and the two family dogs would sometimes come over and sniff at the Bible I was holding, nibble at the chalks we had in cups, and topple the black board I would use to illustrate points, while wagging their tails in your face.

    The attendees were almost always half-drunk, half naked from the waist up, smelled of armpit sweat, smelled of liquor, and smelled of stale tobacco, with swear words coming out of their mouths every other sentence as they talked about the events of the day, the coming events of the next day, and all the while pointedly ignoring the "traitorous" pastor who turned away from his nation's and blood's "faith", while the devout Roman Catholic old woman of the house prayed the Rosary at an adjacent room.

    But Jeremiah 23:29 says "is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces ?" and before the month was over (we met every Friday afternoon), the group started coming with shirts on, less alcohol and tobacco on their breaths (I actually smelled toothpaste), and have begun asking questions. The family dogs were kept out, and best of all, the icons and idols on the altar were covered with cloth, and the ladies of the house were sitting around us, listening and taking notes.

    The second month saw these men coming to my home church Sunday mornings, some evenings, and pretty soon they were "baptized" in a swimming pool during a church outing.

    Five months after the first Bible Study, we had our first service in a lot adjacent to the house of one of the men (who is now pastoring that church), which he donated for that purpose, in open air, except for six tarpaulins the men tied together and threw over some posts they put up.

    We had eight attendees, plus the children, and our first offering was the equivalent of five dollars in Philippine money, and we had our first services under the leering, sneering eyes of surrounding neighbors who were devout Catholics.

    A year to the day of that first Bible study we had an organized church of ninety original members with only one family having transferred from another church. The rest of the organizing members were converts from that place. We had a small building put up with a small room where I can stay, the building coming mainly from the funds of those members, plus assistance from a couple of churches, and were put up through the labors of those first five men who attended the original Bible Study.

    I very seldom gave out "altar calls", but mostly during Wednesday night meetings some of those original members would come to me after services and talk with me and we would pray, and I would let them pray, in their own way, their own words, and they came every Sunday, with new people in tow.

    I do not know how that church now fares, but I trust that if they are God's people then He knows what He will do with them, to them, and for them.
     
    #7 pinoybaptist, Apr 11, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2007
  8. Joseph M. Smith

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    I have been involved indirectly in a church start. When the church I served as pastor received as a new member a man who had been the pastor of a church for French-speaking Africans in London, England, we determined that we should enable him to do the same thing here in Washington, DC. We supported the work with facilities, volunteers, and some funds, as well as connecting it with our state convention. Ultimately the nature of the group he gathered -- widely scattered -- dictated that the new church become four cell groups in different locations. That strategy is continuing, and the new start no longer needs a relationship to its mother church.

    May I tell a quick story about its recent history? Dr. Ngudiankama was on his way to the Baltimore, MD, cell on Sunday, March 18, when he found that the streets he normally uses to get to the meeting site were blocked because of St. Patrick's parades. Having to digress in a city he does not know well, he got lost, and so decided to pull over and ask a young couple who were walking along the road how to find his way. The young man asked Dr. N, having heard him speak, "Do you speak French? Where are you from?" To the answers to those questions the young man went on to say, "I was born in Congo, where my parents were missionaries." That of course led Dr. N to explain what he was doing on that Sunday afternoon, and so the young couple asked if they could just get in the car with him and guide him to the right place. That was done ... they stayed for the service ... then asked, "Is there anything we can do to help?" Dr. N pointed out that there were now some children attending, and said, "We need Sunday School for these children". The couple agreed to lead that, and have been back each Sunday since to teach the children! I told Dr. N, "You were not 'lost'; you were GUIDED"!
     
  9. John of Japan

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    Wonderful post! Thank you! :thumbs: :thumbs:
     
  10. John of Japan

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    I've started two here in Japan. Our first was in Yokohama, a city of 3 million with something like one Protestant/Baptist church per 35,000 people.

    We were invited to Yokohama by a Japanese believer, who then abandoned us and never came to a single service because his wife didn't like the idea. So we started in our home with three people, just our family. I believe that according to Matt. 18:20 this was a church (v. 20 is in the context of church discipline): we met on Sunday in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we worshipped the Lord and I preached and taught the Word (if only to my own family), we tried to win folk to Christ and obey the Great Commission, we kept the ordinances.

    We began going house to house with tracts, and the Lord saved Mrs. Matsumoto, who then began coming with her little girl Megumi ("Grace"), who had a cute little way of saing "Ah-men" at the end of her prayers. I got out tracts through the entire area and began looking for a building to rent. I went to several realtors, but there was nothing that fit our budget. One realtor showed us a picture and then said, "But this (a more expensive place) would be much better." One day I was out on evangelism and came upon a building that looked like that picture, with two office spaces on the first floor and the owner's apartment on the second floor. I knocked on the door and found out it was the place. The owner was not pleased that the realtor had ignored her, so we were able to rent directly from the owner without paying the "key money" and deposit totaling 4-5 times the rent. Praise the Lord for how He guided!

    I believe a new church should be considered a church right from the start. It is started with the authority of the church planter (missionary) who is under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is how the Apostle Paul started all of his churches. There is no evidence at all that the church at Antioch or Jerusalem started the missionary's churches as "branch works."

    There may be a "mother" church helping the new one get started, but it should not have institutional control, for that would be denominationalism, not Baptistic or Biblical. I don't see any point in "organizing" the church later on, unless it be for legal issues. If there are two or three gathered, Jesus is already there according to Matt. 18! I have not "organized" either church I started, but our sister church here in town has just gotten legal recognition so that it can avoid the very expensive property tax. If a church doesn't own property, though, there is no need for that here in Japan. The government doesn't care what you do.

    As we won more folk to Christ, the church grew. I believe, in light of the above, there should be a membership roll right from the start. I found that out the hard way when years later I tried to institute membership. One family (good people) came from another Baptist church for a limited time, and insisted on watchcare rather than membership. That spread so that other good folk wanted the same and so we had no members, including folk I had led to Christ. (Japan is strange that way.) So after those folk moved away, and others were saved and I baptized them, or folk moved into our area, I urged them to be members from the start.

    My two yen! :type:
     
  11. Hope of Glory

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    How about a semi-second-hand story about the church that I attended when I lived in Tennessee?

    There was a church that I attended when I was a child, and when the pastor retired, they searched for a new one. One came and preached, but would not bow down to the dictations of the elders. (Things had changed. It wasn't always like that. But, part of their demands were that he would live where they said, drive the car they said, go where they said, when they said, etc.)

    Some of the families that had left because of the changes were interested, but the pastor who came was not, and rightly so.

    What happened is that he and two or three families that had left over the issues started meeting in a home, using folding chairs that could be stacked out of the way. When they grew beyond that, they rented a storefront in a strip mall. Then, they bought a vacant lot that was in the boonies because they had the cash for it, then they built the building.

    So, start a home church and see where the Lord leaves.
     
  12. Gershom

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    Awesome testimony, AMEN! :godisgood:
     
  13. Gershom

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    I am burdened to start a church with a strong vision for outreach and support of missions. For discipling and equipping that saints through Bible teaching and not so much routine and formula. I have yet to epxress this burden to my pastor, but I am sure he will be supportive.
     
  14. Gershom

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    A "divine appointment." :jesus:
     
  15. Gershom

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    Thank you, Brother John. Good testimony and great advice. Thanks again. We are in the very early stages and have not yet moved from our home church. I want to be a good steward and be discerning and patient.
     
  16. Gershom

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    Thank you for the advice. I have a few places that I'm currently considering. There is a small chapel next door to a church that I may ask to use at an earlier time on Sunday so as not to interfere with their service. There is also a chapel where I work a part time job on Saturdays that isn't being used for services on Sunday. Right now, we are looking to the Lord to provide as our funds are few.
     
  17. John of Japan

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    May God guide and empower you. :jesus:
     
  18. Hope of Glory

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    I am considering it as well. The church where I was preaching started inching toward and odd combination of KJVOnlyism and liberalism, here in town, one Baptist church is KJVO hardcore (they think the Greek is fake), the other is very, very liberal, and the next one is 15 miles away. (It's not Baptist any more. They were Baptist, but because the Baptists in general have abandoned the traditional Baptist doctrines, so they dropped it.)

    I have strong ties to the Baptist church (my entire life, basically), and even though so much of the Baptist world has abandoned doctrine in favor of filling the pews, I intend to remain Baptist.
     

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