The apostle Paul was a bi-vocational church planter, so shouldn't everyone else interested in church planting today, also? In today's article, Rosario Picardo shares 3 pros and cons of this approach, with the hope that this helps us reflect on how mainline denominations in the United States can produce thriving, healthy churches once again.
It has been said that the only thing that fails more often than a new church plant is a new restaurant. Since 63% of statistics are made up on the spot I am not sure this statement is true. However, I am sure that church planting is a difficult calling. It can take a toll on your life.
Church planters need a healthy balance of sabbath and mission. As church planters, it is very important that we allow time during each day for spiritual rest and solitude from all of the busy distractions of our ministry. The multitude of distractions of ministry will drown out the quiet voice of God within our hearts.
Those of us who live as missionaries and plant new churches often come to a point in ministry where we feel cut down and abandoned. I don’t know a veteran church planter who hasn’t felt those feelings and even wondered if they weren’t cut out for the work God had called them to.
Every major figure in the Bible talked about the importance of Sabbath. Jesus himself was faithful to practice it. The Bible in both testaments claims it as the key to healthy living — spiritually, mentally and physically. And yet, ministry leaders seldom take it seriously and often dangerously neglect it in our own lives.
Before I graduated from seminary, I knew I wanted to plant a church. I wasn’t just called to it. I wanted it. When they finally set me free to live my dream and ambition, I set off like a person on fire. After about a month, I discovered that in my quest to build something great, I’d left God to the side.
The road to church planting is littered with pastors who burned out, committed moral failure, or simply walked away from the ministry. The good news is not all church planting ventures ends in disaster, failure, and frustration. Many church planters can and do thrive in various contexts.
Which group of Christians finds the highest approval rating in the US? It might just be that these warm-hearted people are in the best position to preach their warm-hearted gospel.
The scriptures mark out a path that guides and leads us to God’s future. In our day, as we sense acutely the new challenges presented to the work of the gospel, followers of Jesus must hold to the practice of faithfulness to God’s word as a key habit to cultivate and embody that life. Such a way of life will serve as the fuel for revitalizing existing communities of faith and for the launching of new ones.