Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, “This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.” ~ Luke 14:28
READING: Luke 14:25-35
I was heartsick to learn about an enthusiastic would-be church planter who impulsively leased a store front to start public services right away. It sounded perfect to him – the previous tenant (also a church plant) had already built out the space to conduct services.
Our visionary (but unassessed) young man had no core group, no converts, no track record and no financial backing. He was too excited to heed the mentor his denomination tried to connect him with, who would have asked an obvious question: “If that property is all that perfect, then why exactly is it vacant?” Hint: The previous church didn’t outgrow it.
There are wiser ways to plant a church.
But, admit it. It’s dull and boring to fill out time lines, or think through the task list that DCPI recommends and methodically whittle through “To Do” lists. Like one humble brick on another, there’s nothing flashy about demographic research, building core groups, gathering resources and filling out municipal paperwork. It just takes time to find receptive people in our community and discover, for instance, whether they’d prefer meeting in someone’s home or in a ramshackle store front.
Those behind-the-scene tasks are the stuff of solid craftsmanship. Do them well. Do them to God’s glory – because, eventually, poor planning and wise planning both tend to become obvious, even to the most casual observer.
Dear Lord, Give me wisdom to lay a solid foundation and holy craftsmanship to finish well. Amen.
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