Anything worth doing is not going to be easy.
That’s the truth in life, and that’s the truth in church planting.
As I coach other church planters, I’ve noticed that that are a lot of us that approach this without a lot of respect for the work it’s going to take to sustain a move of God.
Throughout history, all great moves of God have been a lot of work for the people involved. In the mid-19th century, the great preacher Charles Finney led revivals throughout the US in what became known as the Second Great Awakening. During that time whole communities would be converted into active believers.
Before Finney led revival meetings in towns, he oversaw massive efforts of prayer networks throughout the communities. This methodology would later be replicated by Billy Graham Ministries in his crusades.
Too often we’re caught looking at the harvest, and neglect to understand the work that it took to sow the seed and prepare the field.
Here are a few observations on the work of planting a church…
#1 – You must lay a foundation first.
We often marvel at the architecture of a structure, but the foundation must always be solid if there’s anything that can be built to last on top of it.
The foundation for a church plant is the relationship of the Church Planter with God, and nothing else can supplement that.
A Church Planter must first be fully submitted to Jesus, in every area of his life. He must be growing in his capacity to discipline himself by studying the Scriptures, listening to God’s voice, and be responsive to the direction of the Holy Spirit. He must also be working hard to cultivate the kind of internal life that allows his work to be healthy and sustainable.
If you’re in business or looking to strike out on your own in a new venture, these principles are applicable to you as well, because as a believer everything flows from our relationship with Jesus.
#2 – Don’t be afraid to work.
Far too many people sit back expecting God to do what He’s already given you the tools to accomplish.
I appreciate the heart that wants to wait on God because I understand the great respect that accompanies that perspective. Starting something new isn’t a patient endeavor. If you don’t have a “No!” from God, and it’s a good thing to be pouring your effort into… Go for it!
#3 – Don’t be afraid to rest.
If you’re going to work hard, you’ll need to rest too.
A lot of entrepreneurs struggle with rest, and later into their journey, they begin to fail in their creativity and production.
As a Church Planter, you must commit to a fast pace. Life will be a sprint. It can’t sustain at that level, though. So your rhythm is going to become, SPRINT… and rest. SPRINT… and rest. (repeat)
#4 – The work is culminating.
Planting a church is a lot like choosing to get healthy.
You don’t go to the gym and get upset because you don’t instantly have big muscles. No… you go the gym, week after week, often for years before you have major differences that are evident.
That’s what work that is culminating by nature looks like.
One thing I asked myself every day was, “What is one thing I can do today that will get me closer?” You can’t do it all every day, but if you do a little along the way, you’ll get there!
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How has your work ethic impacted the calling that God has on your life?