Sometimes the foster care problem feels really big (because it is!), and our people feel really small. There are over 425,000 kids currently in the United States foster care system. No doubt thousands of those are right there in your own state...and perhaps in the very city you sit in while reading this. It's no surprise people in our churches can sometimes feel small.
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We began meeting as a core group in a north Houston suburb in the spring of 2008. I was 28 years old at the time with almost 10 years of ministry experience and a clear yet uncomfortable call to do something I never thought I would - plant a church. I recently turned 38 and often find myself thinking...
There's an old pastor's one-liner that goes something like this: Ministry would be much easier if it weren't for people. Of course there would be no ministry without people, but this cheeky statement is a "half-joking" way of saying something serious - ministry can be difficult because people can be difficult.
Being a pastor's wife is a great honor that often comes at a high cost. While it can be incredibly rewarding it can also be very, very hard. I've obviously never been a pastor's wife but I have been married to one for almost 12 years. Much of what I will say has been learned by watching her handle the role with dignity, strength and grace.
Jesus was the ultimate Church planter. He gathered a core group of followers, navigated the nuances of leadership and effectively started a movement of the Gospel that continues to thrive today. While He didn't plant a "church" per say, He did plant THE Church by planting the Kingdom into the hearts and lives of people.
Many think, "If I preach it, they will come". Yes, some will come, but some will leave as well. There is in inherent offensive to the Gospel, in particular its implications for life, mission, ministry, values and sacrifice. Many will be attracted by the freshness and purity of the message of Jesus, and many will be detracted by the implications of what it means to truly follow Him.
Inherent in all church plants, and church planters, are certain liabilities that will actively work against their vision and ultimate success. Perhaps it’s personality issues, a lack of gifting in certain areas, organizational ineptness or more seriously, chronic sin issues.
Defining clear vision is essential in church planting. In most cases planters are starting something from nothing. You may not have people, money, a name for your church or a clue what you are doing, but you do have vision. The most basic, fundamental resource you have at your disposal is vision. Upon it everything is formed.