Another example, I’ve observed many male planters with young children, while they are experiencing the thrill of a new calling, their spouse is changing diapers during the day. If the planter isn’t careful, totally unintentionally, he will appear to over-emphasize his role and diminish the wife’s role. (That could be vice-versa depending on the roles in the plant.) Don’t get so distracted by the plant that you aren’t equally excited when your 6 month old learns to roll over.
Church Planter Challenge #3 – Location
Many who feel called to church planting, can’t discern where they are supposed to plant. Some are looking for a location. A specific address. The exact right building, in a certain city, on the right side of town. I get that too. You want to know where God wants you to be.
Unless you have clear direction or clear indication not to go somewhere, my advise is simply to plant where you land. Seek opportunities that appear to be open doors, pray for clarity, but if God doesn’t intervene or interrupt, plant. Plant where you land, where you see a great need, where your heart seems to take you.
You can follow your gut if you’re following Jesus closely.
I learned this principle in a practical way. At one point, I felt that perhaps my “calling” was to plant a church in New York City. Cheryl and I love the city. We had heard the great need. We visited the city to pray. I walked the streets of the upper West Side of Manhattan and talked with God. I said, “God, if you want me to plant a church here, give me an overwhelming love for these people.”
In a rare time of hearing clearly from God, I sensed God say, “Ron, (I love that He knows my name) as long as you have a heart for me you will have a heart for people; wherever you are.” I believe God released me to plant – and pastor wherever there are people who need to be reached.
God may call you to an exact location.
He may even give you a clear address and have an exact building in mind. Many times, however, He may give you some latitude in your selection.
People seem to need Jesus everywhere I go.
We switched sides of town this way – in both plants. An opportunity for meeting space came available we didn’t expect. With this previous “New York” encouragement, as a planter, I felt free to follow opportunities as they came rather than wait for God to write something in the sky. We moved quickly. It changed our focus area, some of the church demographics, but both proved to be definite wise moves in the years that followed.
What challenges would you offer to future church planters?
This article on the challenges a church planter will face originally appeared here, and is used by permission.