One of the most frequent questions I receive is, “If you could tell a church planter one thing, what would it be?”
I’ve thought about that question and, honestly, I can’t come up with just one thing because the world of church planting is complex. So I made a list of several things:
1. You are going to have to take huge steps of faith to see the dream God has placed inside of you become a reality. Church planters that pray but refuse to take action never actually do what God has called them do to. They wind up bitter at God because they prayed for things that God was more than willing to do if they had just acted on what they were praying for!
2. You are going to have lots of doubters when you share your vision with people – especially people in the church! They typically are used to “by faith we believe God can raise enough money to pave the parking lot” vision and not “we are called to reach the entire world” vision!
3. One of the biggest doubters you will encounter from time to time is yourself! Read Isaiah 61:1 when in doubt.
4. People who you thought were great friends and would always be by your side will leave you – and many times it won’t be pretty.
5. People you don’t even know right now will one day come alongside you and be unbelievable friends and partners in the ministry God has given you.
6. You will always feel significant financial pressure when you are pursuing the vision God has given you. The question you must constantly wrestle to the ground is, “Is THIS what God wants” and not, “Can we afford it?” Remember, if it is God’s will then it is God’s bill! What the King wants, the King pays for!
7. You are going to see God in ways that many do not get to see Him.
8. You are going to have to be WAY more passionate about what you are for rather than what you are against!
9. You are going to have to choose whether or not you want to please insiders or reach outsiders – you cannot do both.
10. You are going to want to quit—don’t! He who called you is with you and will sustain you! (See Philippians 1:6)
11. You are going to experience a whole new level of spiritual warfare. Just remember, the only reason the enemy is attacking you is because he sees you as a threat! Take up the promise in Isaiah 54:17.
12. You are going to be tempted to copy the success you see in the church world rather than believe the vision God gave you. God called you because He knew He could trust you with what He has given you. So be who HE has called you to be.
13. You are going to change your mind about things you are pretty set on right now. What you think is innovative and cutting edge will one day be considered “traditional.” You can’t allow the pride behind the fact that your idea is no longer the best idea to bring your church to a place where people meet and talk about what God used to do!