I wrote this post as an encouragement for church planters. As a church planter, I know first hand the challenges pastors face when starting a new church in any area. However, I know too that what God guides, He provides. He has called you to do His work, He will guard and support you (read Isaiah 42:6). He will help you get the job done and accomplish the tasks at hand.
When discouragement occurs within your camp
Yes! Discouragement can occur within your church planting camp, even from your launch team and family. Everyone will not be on the same wavelength as you especially if you are the visionary pastor or the one who received the mandate from God. Faith levels and pursuits of excellence differ. However, you should know the God whom you serve and know thyself too.
I love the Book of Nehemiah because church leaders, planters (and everyone) can learn a lot from it. Nehemiah had a burden from the Lord to do the things of God. He went forth, faced opposition, trials and tribulations but he was determined to not give up. He knew what he had to do for the Lord and the easy way out would have been for him to quit especially when his enemies in the form of Sanballat and Tobiah were determined to destroy them.
At one point, even the people of Judah (Nehemiah’s team members) who joined him in rebuilding the wall couldn’t take it anymore (Nehemiah 4:10). They sang a sorrowful song and wondered if they were ever going to finish building the wall. They complained that they were in over their heads and they felt they couldn’t rebuild the wall. Even the people who lived near their enemies came and told them again and again, ‘Everywhere you turn, the enemy will attack.’
Beloved, who is in your camp? Who are you listening to? You can’t quit now. You have to finish what you started. You can’t leave it half-way and even if you do, for whom? There’s only one voice you should be listening to right now – the voice of the Holy Spirit. God has given you this privileged work, a title of honor, armed you for it and He will strengthen you.
Recently I watched the sermon series by Bishop T.D. Jakes, “Don’t be afraid of the gift God gives“, and what a Word! He said, “God may bless you in an unlikely place. Don’t be afraid when He bypasses a hotel and takes you to the barn. God has a way of turning a barn into a penthouse suite.”
Beloved, press on!
My prayer for you: May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you now and forever, Amen (2 Cor 13:14).
Question: Are you planting a church or have you planted one already? Which challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
Photo Credit: cimmyt