We are living in an exciting time where God is raising up a new generation of church planters who have a bold vision and a sincere passion to plant culturally relevant and Gospel-centered churches. Many planters are stepping out in faith to answer the call of God on their life to plant a church. Some are planting in the city, some in the suburbs and some in rural and small towns.
There are new churches waiting to be started by those who dare to step outside of the box. We need to encourage and equip this new generation of church planters to pursue the call of God on their lives to plant Gospel-entered churches that will reach this world for Christ.
I would like to offer several points for young church planters who are answering the call to plant a church.
Be faithful in a local church before you step out to plant. Faithfulness results in fruitfulness. When we are faithful over the small things, God will entrust us with greater things. Despise not small beginnings. Serve somewhere and someone else first before you try to do it yourself.
Make the most of every opportunity. You never know where a ministry connection will come from or when you will learn something you can use later. Remember God always rewards our faithfulness.
As a new church planter, you will have to do things that might seem insignificant—like washing dishes, cleaning bathrooms or setting up chairs—but God will reward your faithfulness.
One of the biggest problems in the church-planting world right now is pride. There are guys who think they are rock stars or have elite status because they are in ministry. Baloney! See what the Bible says about pride. God hates it. Enough said.
Find a Coach
Everybody needs a coach. Even the big guys have ministry coaches. There are a lot of seasoned ministers who would love to share their ministry experiences with a young church planter who is beginning his ministry journey. One of the greatest benefits of being a part of a network like Acts 29 is the coaching and mentoring. Don’t be discouraged if you have to look for a while because not all pastors have the heart to be a coach.
Be willing to communicate your desire to sit under the ministry of an experienced pastor. You’d be surprised how many pastors would love to mentor a young minister. I can think of many men who have taken the time to help instruct and direct me as I have sought direction for my life and ministry.
Don’t try to be something or someone you are not. Some people think they need to act, dress or preach a certain way in order to make it in ministry. This is a false perception that leads many people down the wrong road. I see guys all the time who try to look or act like certain big-name preachers and it’s just embarrassing. Don’t do it.
Nobody likes it when a person is trying to be somebody or something they are not, especially God. The Lord wants to use your unique gifts, talents and personality to minister to others.
No two people are the same; therefore, no two ministries are the same. There is a unique ministry God has created just for you. Only when we are whom God has created us to be can we truly make a difference for Him. I believe when we are real, others will perceive the genuineness of the call of God on our lives and doors of ministry will begin to open. Be yourself.
Step Out in Faith
There comes a time in every planter’s life where he has to step out in faith and let God use him. We need to rise above our circumstances and realize if God has called us, He will make a way for us. We need to dare to dream big dreams for God. The Bible tells us with man it might be impossible, but with God all things are possible. He can make a way where there seems to be no way.
Put your life in His hands and be willing to step out in faith to pursue the call of God on your life. Just like Abraham we need to step out in faith and go where He has called us to go. There is a Promised Land for every believer, but you need to be willing to go in and possess it.
Don’t Give Up
Finally, whatever you do, don’t give up. If God has really called you to plant a church, He will make a way for you. You can’t escape the call of God. Hold on to the call of the Lord and know He is with you and will never leave you or forsake you. Hang in there, and your time of ministry will come. Remember to always be faithful no matter what you’re doing.
Take advantage of every opportunity. Seek more experienced ministers who can help give you direction and guidance as you pursue the call of God. Consider the possibilities of ministry education. Always be real; never try to be somebody you are not. Finally, dare to step out and let the Lord use you. There is a place for you among this exciting new world of church planting.