SEVEN THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT CHURCH PLANTING
After being involved in several church plants at various levels, I still feel the urge to go plant another one. I am not sure If I still have the stamina that I had during my earlier years, but the desire is still there. Every time I talk to a church planter, my heart is ignited. I am excited to see how God works in a fresh way each time in every new setting.
Confirm your calling
Because of the challenging nature of church planting, it is vital that you solidify your calling. The entire family needs to be on the same page with your committment to being a church planter. If one person is unsure, that becomes the weak link that you struggle with for the entire church plant.
Have a clear vision
There needs to be a clear view of what you want the church to be like. What are the most important values that you have? How will those values be worked out in the ministry that you do? Allow your values to impact your outreach, caring, and leadership.
Money follows vision
I heard this great and empowering statement from Steve Nicholson: “Money follows vision”. People respond to a clear and definitive vision. When others detect a compelling vision in you and in your team, they respond with open hearts and open hands. I believe God is just like that. If you are planting without a vision and just setting up an “organization” just for the sake of it, people are not impressed, and God certainly is not. Therefore I affirm that “money follows vision.”
Learn to embrace loneliness
Even with a strong church planting team with you, the life of a planter is a lonely task. You have a team, share the vision, and develop leaders, but ultimately, you are responsible for the entire process. The risk is high, and that certainly leads to a sense of lonliness that others will not understand. Nevertheless, learn to embrace loneliness in your journey.
Don’t fear the uncertain future; God is already there.
I like to work from the perspective that God has already seen the beginning to the end. The future is clearly in God’s view. Although our view is limited, we can lean heavily on him knowing that he sees much further ahead. So relax. God has already seen the future, and He is with you.
Be a team player
Always develop a church planting team. The best option is to have a team go with you from the church you are being sent out of. But if for some reason that is not possible, develop a new team whever you are. Share your vision with every person you meet. Share it clearly and with a passion. Repeat your vision so often that you are mumbling it in your sleep. As you repeat your vision, God will draw the hearts of some who will come alongside you and share your vision.
Spend your time for the broken and needy
Jesus came for those whose world is simply broken or shattered. Spend your time and efforts for such people. The broken are not only the poor. In every social and economic strata of socitey, brokenness is rampant. When you step into the lives of people, you begin to see how intense and how broad that brokenness is.
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