So You Want to Be a Church Planter

Church planting is one of the most exhilarating, satisfying, burdens you will ever face. Who would’ve thought a pursuit so noble and so sought after would be so humbling and disheartening.

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Two years ago my wife and I set out on this journey, this mission of God, to plant a life giving church in an area so desperate for the unfiltered Gospel. We truly believed and still believe in the call that God invited us to join him at work.

I find it funny, how I get so many compliments about what people see on Facebook.

People reach out to me to ask how we’ve been able to have such a “thriving” and “racially diverse” church. People congratulate me on my drive and share how they are so proud of me. I chuckle.

At the same time I get to hear from individuals who are thinking about planting a church. They are so passionate, so innocent, so driven and forgive me but so naive–much like I was.

We see so many successful church plants that we believe it’s really that easy.

We hear about the sexy stories of the planter who landed in a town and 3 years later is running multiple services, a multi staff church and is preparing for their first satellite campus. We read all the books, attend all the conferences and get charged up–convinced that that narrative is the rule.

But we don’t hear about the the guy who planted 8 years ago and is still running 50 people. Or the guy who left a lucrative corporate job to plant a church that fizzled away during the core group phase.

We’ve been only at this thing a little over 18 months and God has been incredibly faithful and his blessings on our small church plant have been absolutely evident.

But with that said, this is what I want to share with every wide-eyed, bushy-tailed church planter willing to embark on one of the most difficult things he will face in his life:

So you really want to be a church planter?

Let me tell you what you may experience:

  • speaking to a crowd of 20 a year and a half in
  • feeling like a fraud and constantly second guessing yourself
  • being told by someone you love that you’re negligent and selfish
  • having people who were once committed drop you like a dirty penny
  • being called a false teacher and accused of manipulation because you held people accountable
  • preaching hope when you can’t find the faith to pray for it
  • paying the rent for your church when you’ve just received an eviction notice for your home
  • wishing God would take the call of ministry away so you can get on with life
  • watching everyone enjoy their Saturday while you’re stuck at Starbucks until midnight wrapping up your sermon
  • being under the microscope that anything you say or do is picked apart and used against you in the court of public opinion
  • borrowing from Peter to pay Paul while Philip is calling for his money too
  • have people say you’re an incredible blessing while your kids ask why you’re never home
  • sleepless nights filled with anxiety induced insomnia
  • living on grace because that’s all you can afford

I wish the best for you. I just wanted to tell you what’s on the other side of those nice pictures you see on Facebook.

If God has called you to it, he will bring you through it. If not, good luck.