Church planting is the spiritual equivalent of Boot Camp. You know why they have Boot Camp right? It’s to weed out the sissies. You’ve got to have grace, grit, and gumption to stay on and stick it out as a planter. You need stamina.
My biggest fear for the planters I coach is that they won’t have the stamina to endure the weight of planting. They can preach well, and think that’s all they need. A few months in, and reality hits like Mike Tyson. They realize it’s going to be a long grind, and they peter out.
And here they thought that all they needed was to be gifted.
One of my favorite sayings is “Hard work is better than talent, if talent isn’t working hard”
I’ve said it before but church planting is hard. Sometimes, it’ll wipe the floor with the most gifted of preachers, and eat him for breakfast if he’s not willing to roll up his sleeves and dig in.
For all of the glory stories about church planting, there’s a lot of stuff that planters have to do behind-the-scenes that they don’t want to. It’s usually stuff that they aren’t good at, never saw themselves doing, and quite frankly, don’t have time for. In the end however, these things must be done…or the church goes belly up. You see, it’s the behind-the-scenes stuff that determines the make-or-break.
For example, yesterday, I was setting up a bank account, getting signatures from a lawyer, picking up a check, and doing loads of admin in between discipling individuals, training a small core team and teaching a home study. Today, I’m calling people, looking at graphics, forward planning, examining and refining constitutions and bylaws, and dealing with the logistics of meeting at a school.
This is the stuff that nobody tells you about.
Nobody warns you that church planting is going to be about working. Not just working…but working hard. In church planting, you work hard or nothing hardly works. I don’t flaunt what I do in front of my congregation when I’m planting. I don’t tell them the hard stuff. But those that want to serve and plant churches of their own soon find out. I’m concerned about this generation of planters coming up. They’ve imbibed on iTunes sermons, Youtube vids, and testimonies of churches that exploded with thousands of people within a month or two of the launch. The fact is, that’s the exception to most church plants, not the rule. It definitely wasn’t the Apsotle Paul’s experience, and he was the best in the biz.
Church Planting is a man’s game; it’s not for little boys. You’re going to have to work, endure, and be patient according to Paul’s advice to Timothy…and if you can’t stomach doing stuff that is either hard, or not what you want to do…well…there’s a sign hanging on the door that reads:
Church Planting – Wimps Need Not Apply.
Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.