Dead of night.
Superman turns up. No wait, make that Wonder Woman.
Aw heck, it doesn’t matter who turns up…the result is always the same.
Batman doesn’t like it.
Batman is notorious for saying, “Gotham is my city. Get out.”
Batman doesn’t want help. He thinks he can handle an entire metropolis of crime all by his lonesome.
The problem is, it’s not reality.
I’ve served in denominations where church planters are often met with the same cold reception.
Pastors feel that they’re ready to answer to God for an entire city. I shudder at that.
The reality is that like Batman, you eventually recognize your need for a Robin, or a Nightwing, or a Batgirl.
You need help.
My sending Pastor wasn’t sure about the need to plant churches years ago. We had a talk and came to the conclusion that we’d have to plant 28 more megachurches the size of my sending church to just reach ten percent of that city. That’s crazy!
Church attendance in San Diego county is 9% and believe it or not, that’s high…but it’s still less than 10% of the county! What do we do with the other 91%? Do we say “Go to hell…we don’t care?”
Well, we do if we ignore the call to plant churches.
Even Peter called over other boats when Jesus caused the miraculous catch of fishes.
After all of these years being sniped at, dodging “friendly fire” from other ministers, and trying to convince others of the legitimacy of reaching the unreached, I came into contact with a group of believers who saw the church planter as a hero rather than the villain.
That organization is called the North American Mission Board, and they invest more into church planting than any other group on the planet.
I’ve been working with them for a few years now and have been refreshed by their approach and care of planters.
They treat planters like the rockstars they are.
On a more personal note, I will never forget the day that I received a letter from them with a book on marriage, a 100 dollar gift card, and a note saying “thank you” for doing my part in expanding the kingdom of God through Church planting. I’d been church planting in Long Beach, California in a very dark neighborhood in the heart of the city.
As I read the letter at my kitchen counter, and broke down and wept. I wept because in all of my years as a church planter, I’d never heard ANYONE thank me for making the sacrifices that I’d made. I knew that Jesus appreciated it, but it was another thing to receive a letter of encouragement.
That day, my heart was knit to this movement.
Right now, they’re assessing, training, and coaching planters on a regular basis. They also fund them and invest into them and their families.
I’d strongly consider giving towards the Annie Armstrong Easter offering if I were you. They give an appeal every year and this money goes to fund church planting to spread the gospel throughout North America.
Here’s a link to the campaign if you feel so led to give.
It makes a big difference to planters on the ground. Planters like me, who’ve probably never heard anybody thank them.