I remember realizing, a few months into planting a new church, that I was definitely not spiritually prepared for the work. Since then, I’ve become obsessed with the time I put into listening for and seeking after the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Here are the top ten things that Satan wants you to believe about starting a new church.
New churches tend to attract three kinds of people: those from other churches who respond out of a sense of call; those not currently engaged in a church, who are intrigued by the idea of something different; and those who are dissatisfied and looking for a reason to leave the church they now attend.
As I explore ways to “warm up” the way I relate to others as a pastor, I am discovering that the lists I keep are a way I can treasure people. In fact, I hear the Holy Spirit teaching me that lists are a key to both treasuring and mobilizing lay people.
Developing a preaching team might not be the first thing you do as a church planter, but it ought to be on your radar from the beginning. As God brings others into the fold who have the gift, ask Him to reveal them to you so you’ll be able to begin cultivating them.
I feel like the man who found a treasure buried in a field. And when he’d found it, he went and bought the whole field! In the formation of a preaching team, I have found a treasure and with it, a plethora of benefits.
In order to cultivate healthy leaders who can effectively plant, develop and sustain healthy congregations, we must be honest about the barriers that too often stand in the path of women. That said, from a ministry perspective, we have an opportunity to offer a voice and example that may be sorely lacking in many communities.
Money makes us nervous. Mention it in church and folks become quickly suspicious. Images of T.V. evangelists dance in their heads — white teeth and mascara-stained tears coercing us to send every extra penny to a P.O. box. As church planters, we need to find our own peace with the place of money in the Kingdom of God.
Joy flows from the same well as grace. And it begins with repentance and renewal. If I’m going to learn Christ and embrace the new life he offers, I have to let go of the old life, the lower existence. And a key piece in learning Christ is learning to walk in forgiveness. This is the difference between reacting and responding. To put it plainly, I have to learn to discipline my emotions, especially the emotion of anger, so it doesn’t create opportunity for sin in my life.
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.