Folks let me be honest. Church planting is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life! The ups are way up and the downs are way down. But God has taught me some real important lessons. So in this post, I want to share how this journey has really impacted me. How it has impacted me personally; grown me, and is still growing who I am.
Church planting has caused me to realize that no matter how hard I work, I am still ultimately, not in control. When you start this church planting journey you have all the plans laid out. You’ve got your 1-3 year plan. You’ve got your financial and growth forecasts. Then you realize that some things go beyond your wildest expectation and some things fall way short of what you ambitiously planned for.
Church planting has caused me to realize some things will only come through prayer and fasting. I guess this is a continuation of the first point. This past weekend I was able to spend some time being refreshed and refueled at a church planters conference. One theme stuck out to me. As you get into such an intense journey like church planting, it’s easy to get caught up in the deadlines, the weekly sermon prep, and the creative ideas for growth and sustainability (among other things). However, I’ve seen more fruit when I spent more time on my knees than on the “work of ministry”.
Church planting has caused me to realize the importance of being surrounded by the right people. I don’t know if I could have got this far without the team God has put together. His grace has been evident in His bringing some amazing people to the team. I am so grateful that God has not allowed me or my family to go through this alone. He's brought some of the most gracious, godly individuals, who weather the storms of unpredictability and sometimes dysfunctional times of church planting.
Church planting has caused me to realize that, without humility, cannot be able to handle the tensions that come with the weight of responsibility. This is a daily lesson. At the end of the day, the church is only as effective as the leader that leads it. I heard one of the most impactful but gut wrenching quotes at the conference recently from James MacDonald: “Stop blaming your lack of fruit on something outside of yourself.” Need I say more?
All in all, this so far has been an incredible journey but we are still in the early stages. I know there’s been many more lessons but these are some that have been at the top of my mind.
The bottom line is, God has shown incredible favor on Freedom and we are blessed with an incredible team that loves Jesus and are committed to leading people to freedom in Jesus. These individuals have answered like Isaiah “Here I am! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8 ESV)
Getting to learn these lessons and walking alongside these awesome individuals. This is Freedom.