What I’ve learned in church planting this year! Proverbs 19:20 “Listen to advice and accept instruction…”

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It’s a Saturday night in December and I’ve been reflecting on many things as we bring our first official year as a church plant to a close. Here are some things I’ve noticed and learned in no certain order or priority…ready? I’m gonna keep it 100…Here goes!

Not everyone who says is for you, is really for you!

Not everyone who says they’re going to support you does!

Not everyone who says they will partner financially with you does!

Not everyone who says they will have your back does!

Out of sight out of mind is a real thing!

Church planting can be a lonely experience!

Church planting is a very scary experience!

Church planting makes you depend on God for everything…really!!!

The term “core team” should be replaced with the term “launch team” because they don’t look the same a year later.

There are also certain trends I’ve noticed…I’m noticing many churches that say they’re reformed, but really aren’t, or at least it’s not really evident

Some historic churches have pulled away from the “reformed” name and adopted more seeker friendly approaches to doing ministry and abandoned the richness and beauty of the reformed tradition. Others that are new to the “reformed” faith are extremely zealous and passionate about their discovery and can push people away, becoming legalistic, and impose crazy pietistic expectations of all those that claim to be followers of Christ.

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Some churches are coming up w/ some really hip names for their church, they focus on what kind of coffee they’re going to serve, coming up w/ cool schemes or hooks to get people to come to church, and preach watered down sermons w/ little to no clear Gospel message at all. Jesus is love and that’s about it!

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On the flip side other churches are so focused on expository preaching that it would seem that the whole goal of preaching is to exposit…they’ll even parse Greek and Hebrew words, give profound explanations, exegete the Scripture, yet never bring their message to the Cross… while others will just reiterate that Jesus is love and that He’s got a purpose for your life, and that we shouldn’t worry because the best is still yet to come.

Artists, pastors, and even seminary professors are more and more avoiding talking about difficult subjects, evading controversial questions, throwing it back on the person who asked a difficult question and afraid to speak the truth in love. Why?

Pastors, especially church planters, are not being supported sufficiently, they’re forced to focus more on fundraising at times and being bi-vocational, and less on discipleship, and leadership development. Some churches talk a lot about training up leaders, and will even pour time and resources into them, yet never let them lead. Decisions are made from fear, ministry has become competitive w/ other churches, and people and resources could be better used to plant more churches.

Some churches believe, or operate under the assumption that if people are being kept busy they are being discipled…wrong! Busyness doesn’t equal discipleship! Some churches have great vision, and mission, but no team to get it going. Others have a ton of people, but people that aren’t committed… some pastors are burning out because they have to do everything themselves… others don’t do much and are in it for the paycheck…it’s become a job and there’s no more passion driving them.

I’ve noticed some folks have been discipled for years now, and they’re still not being challenged to take things up a notch…I think that’s a horrible sin. Same people in the same groups doing the same thing but haven’t multiplied, haven’t grown, and have no desire to break out of the church social group model but because they go to the same church and are gathered in the name of “the church” they still consider it a small group, but it’s really more of a social group. Not much depth, no real accountability, nor are they being challenged to step up and step out to lead, to multiply, but instead remain stagnant…

Why am I saying this? Because we’re figuring a lot of this stuff out as we go. We’ve got our ideas, our mission statement, vision frame, and BIG God dreams… zero comfort! Zero chill! Zero compromise! Zero cage stage! Zero desire to fail God! We don’t have it all down, we don’t have it all together, but because of all the stuff I’ve written here, it makes us wanna do good! It makes us wanna step out of comfort zones, go the way of the Cross as we do ministry…

We think we’ve got great theology, but we’d rather do outreach, evangelism, and discipleship, than spend hours on social media arguing with someone we don’t know and will probably never meet! We think our doctrine is solid and our high view of Christ, confessions, creeds, and the Lord’s Supper demonstrates that…as the Lord’s Supper every Sunday is a pretty big deal…not just in remembrance of Him… but moreso that it’s actually spiritual nourishment. You see our baptism and identity is in being a part of God’s covenant family… and now that’s a big deal. #HoodGrace

 

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No shade…just observations…

No arrogance…just tryna figure it all out and share our experiences…

No attitude…just submission to Christ and wanting to help others succeed in their quest to serve the LORD and do it wisely… Grace & Peace!!!

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