Encouragement for Church Planters.
In the early days (which was 9 years ago) I remember feeling alone at times. Like no one knew what I was going through. Almost as if I even wondered if God was in what I was doing. Now don’t get me wrong I know God called Mary and I to launch Church Unleashed– but there were days of doubt. I am sure if you planted a church you have had moments like those.
Church planting is a
marathon, not a sprint!
Too often we can find ourselves looking at the success of those around us and think, “What am I doing wrong?” Here’s the deal if you are doing what God has called you to than no matter what size or significance you find in this world you are exactly where God has placed you. Especially, if you are like me, and you are committed long-term to the place God has called you.
Church planting happens daily, not in a day. It’s a process. Let God work in you first! Then let God work through you. Embrace the process. The highs, the lows. Embrace the good and the difficult.
Zephaniah has 3 principles for church planting:
- GOD IS IN YOUR CITY! “But the Lord is still there in the city …” (Zeph. 3:3) He is with you! Never lose sight of the fact that God is your source and your strength. He will never abandon you … ever! You can feel alone, but understand you are never alone. Church planting has challenges – but refuse to let the challenges steal your faith or joy.
- GOD IS IN YOUR CHURCH! “For the Lord your God is living among you” (Zeph 3:17) – Don’t let your circumstances override your cause. The circumstances in Zephaniah were not good, but we can’t look at what is going wrong we must look at what God is doing right. God is living among your vision and mission – after all He has called you to it! Keep pursuing the call God has placed on you.
- GOD IS IN YOUR CALLING! “I will bring you home-give you a good name-and will restore your fortunes before their eyes” (Zeph 3:20) – God is in the business of rebuilding! Now this may not mean you will get rich – especially in church planting – but the principle best seen in this verse is that God rebuilds. Work hard in your city and the city will come to know and love your church! Don’t give up too early. Hang in there!
Church planting has so many seasons, but never ever give up! God has called you to reach your city – He will enable and equip you with all the tools necessary.
Run from the trap of comparison!
I have discovered that too many young leaders get stuck comparing themselves to others. I found myself in that prison many times in the first 4 years of church planting. I wasted a lot of time replicating instead of creating. Don’t get stuck running to a conference and hearing what “so-and-so” did and just do what they did. Get alone with God. Find your vision. Discover your voice. You are unique and so is your calling. Use things that others do, but never expect the same results that others have experienced.
Whether you have 10, 100, 500, 1000 or 20,000 people attending your church never forget, “some, plant, some water, but God gives the increase.” God gives the increase. Remember that. Run your race and you will experience God’s destiny for your life.
Praying for my church planter friends today. Need Prayer – email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I promise to pray for whatever your need is.