Song of the week: If We are the Body: By Casting Crowns
From time to time I come across starry eyed young men and woman who are sure they are called to church plant. I love it. I love to see the enthusiasm and excitement for the lost of this generation. The burden they feel for their peer group is evident in every part of their lifestyle. They will sell everything, live in their R.V. and travel across America screaming, “To gen-Yers and beyond.” They will live off of beans and toast if they have to and eat spam with a smile.
Then I see the other kind of starry eyed church planter’s. The ones who say they are waiting till their savings gets a bit built up, their core team solidifies, and their dream building opens up for them. These dear souls do honestly have a heart for the Lord and for church planting. But the one thing that will hinder their ability to church plant, is their over reliance on human resources and outfitting.
Thinking over the successful as well as the unsuccessful church plants I’ve seen in my twenty odd years in ministry, I thought I’d put together one of my lists…we all love lists don’t we? Now this list is based on what I consider a Successful church plant…and…I’m not God. My list’s not based on the size of the church plant or its lack of problems. It’s based on what I see to be the early church requirements as read about in the New Testament. I especially like the church in Thessaloniki, but any of the New Testament examples will do.
Are there unreached in our communities? Community= Where we live, work, eat, sleep and interact. First century church plants pulled and built from their non believing community. They served in faith that the Lord would build his house no matter their resources. They prayed continually and sent out more to build God’s kingdom, not their own denomination. The key in all the successful church plants I’ve seen is FAITH and a commitment to get the good news to those NOT IN A CHURCH. Their faith is in the fact that God will build His church with or without them, but they want to be on the ride.
“For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.” (1Thessalonians 1:8)
Top ten reasons you know you’re NOT a church planter…
1. If you have to start your church with 50 people or more.
2. If your primary growth initiative is transfer growth.
3. If you envision your church as a means to promote one person’s preaching style. ie. Your people come and watch Satellite T.V…Give me my slippers and popcorn please!
4. If you’re worried someone will take the church plant from you.
5. If you need X amount of dollars before you can begin.
6. If you can’t stand your neighbors and/or have never brought a neighbor to church.
7. If you have a hard time making and keeping friends. ie: You don’t play well with others or pee in the pool.
8. If you have had one or more failed marriages…or if you’ve ever killed a spouse.
9. If you like to sleep well and a lot.
10. If you want to have money and a simple life.
Bonus #11. If you didn’t catch the error of it being called your church…ouch.
Church planters don’t give up. Just give it up to Him.