What are the 2 key words that will empower people to keep pioneering and planting churches? And why are people hesitant about pioneering and planting churches?
In the past we prioritised the church (church plant) over family, finances, and relationships. Not purposely; it was mostly very subtle. So how about we church plant another way?
The reality is, if you are in a small town or village, or even a city, it may be a church that will be bi-vocational for many years. In fact it could be bi-vocational for decades. That’s absolutely fine. So get a great paying job so you have money and resources for your family, and good breaks away. Bills can be paid on time and you are able to bless others.
Don’t start programmes, meetings, courses out of need. Realise there will always be a need. Start every programme, course, or meeting out of strength. Not because you have to have them. Get others on board to lead them. Plant everything out of strength.
For example, if there is no one to run a youth group, don’t run one till the right person turns up. Pray a leader in. If you have few musos and singers, please don’t spend 1 hour singing and grinding through the song list inflicting out of tune musos and singers on people. That’s not sustainable and not glorifying to God. If music isn’t a strength use singing tracks or hire someone in, or use a guitar or a keyboardist and sing 1-2 worship songs. You do have options!
Don’t major on weaknesses, major on what you do well and build on the things the church does well. If you’re going to do something, do it well. Remember, a church plant (or church meeting) is not an isolated event, it’s a process in a very long and wonderful journey. And you want that journey to be exciting – joy not a drudgery. It may be exciting in the first month, but remember you are there for decades.
If your expectation is to reach 10% of the town and you have never led a small group or planted a small group, wisdom would suggest your expectations will be dashed. If you are planting a church with the expectation of a full time income, that’s a wrong motive to plant. Expectations again could be dashed. If your expectation is to have 100 people in your church in 2 years and you have never ever led 100 people in your life, expectations could be dashed. I know of leaders and churches whose expectations weren’t met and have moved from disappointment and are in the cul-de-sac of discouragement.
How is the sustainability of what you are doing?
Is what you are doing today sustainable in 5-10 years from now?
How are your expectations? Are they realistic? How do you know?