That sounds like an oxymoron or a crazy man. Planting a church is an exciting journey. Definitely not for the faint of heart, the “nine to fiver” or those who come completely unglued by extended periods of no income. People find it a most exciting prospect to dream about creating something that’s bigger than you. A planter gets an adrenalin rush from the comment “I am 100% behind you man.” I haven’t met a church planter who hasn’t turned around one day and wondered “how far behind me are you?”
Father’s business has some similarities to conventional business. It takes a uniquely different skill set to see and start something that doesn’t exist yet, as opposed to the skill set to continue something that already has momentum. There is the main vision and purpose for which you’re taking the risks. But there is a host of ancillary ingredients that are usually much less enjoyable.
Unlike conventional business, the product in ministry is unquestionably excellent and pre-chosen by God. The dissimilar component in ministry, is reaching a continuously changing people group who may decide they don’t want what you have to offer, even though they need it, and it’s the best option available to them.
A church planter must be a focused visionary. Jesus set His face towards the cross, and would not be dissuaded by the crowds or those closest to Him. A planter has a sense of urgency others just don’t get. “Give it time, it will happen.” To a church planter, that sounds the same as a mother who just gave birth to a baby deciding to spend a few months at the gym getting back in shape before she’s ready to consistently care for that baby. You can’t neglect a baby for a day.
A clue from the master; Jesus said in John 1712 “And not one of them got away, Except for the rebel bent on destruction (the exception that proved the rule of Scripture).” The obvious reference is to Judas the betrayer of Jesus. The reference that speaks loudest to me is captured in the word “except”.
There are scores of mechanical insights available to church planters. To my church planter friends I would like to share something less tangible I found vital to remaining focused. Know who God has called along side you to carry the vision. Recognize that people may traverse in and out of your life. Love them, but devote yourself to care for those evidently called to your side. You will consume valuable prayer time and emotional energy that will be much more fruitfully spent advancing the kingdom with the people genuinely called to help you. Pour yourself into those who faithfully help you fulfill the assignment you have been given, like Aaron and Hur to Moses.