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So you want to plant a church? That’s great! If you read my last post, then you know that I am big fan of planting prevailing, life-giving local churches. But before you plant, make sure you ask yourself this question:
Do I know a fully as certainly as humanly possible that I am CALLED to plant a church and to be a senior pastor?
I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but I think this is a true statement: If you are not certain that planting and pastoring a church is your life’s calling, it is very likely you will not succeed.
The demands that ministry places on you, your family, your finances, your health and your own personal faith will swallow you whole if you are not fully convinced that it is your God-given calling and destiny in Christ. Of course there will be moments of doubt and discouragement. Everyone has those moments – I have had them, too. But no matter what is gong on, I can never deny the moment God called me to ministry. Paul wrote in Phil. 3:12b “…I press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me.” Pastoring Celebration Church is the purpose for which Christ took hold of me and I am compelled by Him to keep pressing forward in that calling even in times of trial.
In a time when planting a church has a near science behind it, it’s important to remember that still it takes a LOT more than a hot venue, cool lights, and clever marketing to birth and sustain a prevailing church. Planting a church is not merely an entrepreneurial endeavor, like opening a business franchise. Even in the 21st Century, church planting and pastoring are still sacred callings from God. It will take tremendous sacrifice, relentless prayer, and what I call “Kingdom sweat.” If you are considering planting a church, make sure you aren’t looking at it like a career option. If you are looking at it as just a career option, you already don’t have what it takes. God’s true churches are birthed by His Spirit through those whom He has truly called.
“This was the first Friday they had attended, and Paul asked Phil to share his dream, his vision with those others who were there. In the future most would probably forget what he said – until the things of which he spoke began to happen. Some there that evening had only recently become Christians, and found the experience quite mindblowing. It was something which went beyond their previous expectations of what Christianity was all about.
One, a thin, dark-haired teenager of nearly twenty years had a sales background, and heard Phil speaking in much the same way as his own sales manager at the weekly meeting. It was almost the identical hyped-up, super confidence and ego boosting phrases used in the sales meetings to generate the enthusiasm to get out and sell.” – John Barclay, Arise, 1987, pg. 27-31.