I’ve been reading a bunch of articles lately about who is qualified to start a church. It’s been fun to read about it from this side of the fence. I’m not sure we thought through what we were doing 4 years ago as much as we should have…our journey was much more of a divine “accident” as much as a “calling”. We didn’t quite know the destination of our lives, so we decided to take a step. Our “calling” wasn’t holistically to church planting, but rather we heard, “Now step here” until we arrived.
Looking back, I see now that God’s favor was on us for this journey and He very much lead us to where we are at. I see now that the gift mix within our marriage is a good one for what we are currently being asked to do. I also see how grateful I am that God didn’t dump the whole picture out at one time. I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much because of my preconceived ideas about what church planting was.
And, my assessment of church planting now is this…I love it. I wouldn’t change our calling for the world. I enjoy the birthing process of this dream. I love the “out on a limb” feeling that we live with day in and day out. I’ve become an addict to risk and a gambler on God’s faithfulness. I think this is the greatest thing that we could have EVER been asked to do.
And I think very few people should do it.
Isn’t that ironic? My reasoning is because I’m not sure that there is anything more difficult that a pastor could ever take on. It shakes your foundations. It challenges your marriage. It exposes every weakness inside of you to the people that you desperately need to support you to be successful. It is truly brutal on all counts in ways that I’m not sure I could explain.
It is a life like none other…very similar to being strapped into a roller coaster that is thrilling, but every once in a while, you think, “GET ME OUT OF THIS THING!” But you can’t get out. It’s going too fast to get the strap unbuckled and even if you could, where are you going to go? And I can’t imagine being my husband and carrying the full weight of that on a daily basis! At least I get to hide behind him during the weak moments!
Basically, it’s the difference between people who like to swim and people who like to swim with sharks. Ministry is for people who like to swim. Church planting is for people who like to swim knowing that they might get eaten at any given moment.
So, you wanna start a church? Jump on in, the water’s fine…unless the sharks are hungry.