My wife Ari and I have been married for almost 4 years now. It wasn’t that long ago, so all the things leading up to our wedding are still fairly fresh in my mind. For the most part it was great, except for one thing. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why so many people wanted to tell me only about the difficult parts of marriage and why very few people wanted to share with me the joys of marriage. I am not making the case for one over the other, I am simply saying a little balance would of been nice.
What does this have to do with church planting? I think everything. It is difficult to come by an encouraging word on church planting. It seems to me that the heavy focus is on the difficulties.
I cannot tell you how many times well meaning people who find out I’m planting a church only want tot talk about the difficulties found in church planting. Honestly, it is a bit depressing after awhile. I truly believe that a deep holy fear must be in the heart of every church planter but there must also be a deep sense of joy that God almighty is letting you join Him in His mission to redeem the world. That is why I love to surround my self with great leaders. Leaders who are willing to share the difficulties of church planting and give the encouragement needed to overcome those difficulties.
There are many out there that are doing a great job of bringing both sides to church planters. For example, I have met many pastors in the Boulder area that have been extremely encouraging as well as willing to share the difficulties involved with it.
There are two men that stand out in my mind that have modeled this amazingly for me. One is the lead pastor of Fellowship Denver, Hunter Beaumont. Since day one of this church plant journey, he has been great at telling me how difficult this will be, but then following that up with a reminder that the Spirit of God will strengthen me and guide me as long as I stay true to His word. The second man is Steve Snider, President of Fellowship Associates. Steve is a coach and he may be one of the most gifted men I have ever met at telling you how hard something is going to be and then convincing you that you are exactly the right person to do it.
Church planters, find mentors that will share the difficulties of church planting with you as well as provide the encouragement needed to be successful. Mentors, keep making sure us young church planters have a holy fear about us but also make sure our fear does not become debilitating.
Like marriage this will be very difficult and trying at times but I would not trade if for the world.