I’ve got some advice for all aspiring church planters. Are you ready? Here goes: If you can do anything else, do that instead.
I was once told by an older, established pastor that if you can do anything else other than be a pastor, you shouldn’t enter the ministry. I must admit I was slightly offended by that statement at the time. I thought he was saying the ministry was only a place of last resort. It was only later that I finally understood what he really meant. What he was saying was the ministry is a high calling, but it’s also a hard calling. You shouldn’t enter into it without knowing it’s what you are called to do, and you’re willing to put your entire life into it. The ministry isn’t for freelancers. It’s a calling and a commitment.
Church planting demands even more from the minister. It is the extreme sport of ministry, and it should not be entered into lightly.
If you think you might want to be a church planter, my advice to you is this:
- Don’t do it because it’s cool.
- Don’t do it because it looks fun.
- Don’t do it because you’re entrepreneurial and a risk-taker by nature.
- Don’t do it because you can’t submit to the authority of others.
- Don’t do it because you can’t wait where you’re at.
- Don’t do it because you resent others or are trying to prove something to someone.
- Don’t do it because you like lights, sets, props and other creative elements.
- Don’t do it because you’ve just read a book that pumped you up.
- Don’t do it because you’ve got a cool name and logo in mind.
- Don’t do it because you’re God’s gift to the community.
Become a church planter only because you’re called. Do it only because God has told you to do it. (Ignoring what others have said for and against it.) Do it only if you can’t NOT do it.
If, however, you’re confident you’re called, and now is the time, do it with all your heart. Go for it and let nothing stop you.