I wrote this post several months ago but never published it. Over these past few months I’ve been contacted by many people exploring church planting. It seems that God is intensifying His call for new churches and new church planters. Since I think this post will be a benefit to those thinking about church planting, I’m knocking off the moth balls and publishing it. Hope it helps.
This post is for any church planter who might stumble across this blog.
The vision God gives you for your church is the most important thing you have in your church planting tool kit. When you get that vision from God, you better hold on to it, you better cherish it, you better share it, and, most importantly, you better defend it. That vision is what God wants to do through you and the church you’re planting. That’s His specific plan and purpose for your life at the moment. He doesn’t give vision as a general guideline. That’s exactly what He wants. You hold to it, you stick to it. That vision is your job description. It’s your responsibility. You won’t answer for other people’s vision, but you will be held accountable for what God has laid in your lap.
And you WILL have to defend it. It will come. Well meaning people will want to tweak it, they’ll want to modify it, they’ll want to “improve” it, and ultimately, they’ll want to replace it. They’ll put you in an always tightening, excruciating vise of deciding whether to bend or stand firm. You may have to choose between people staying with you or the vision God gave you. You may have to decide between income and God’s vision. It’s a control thing and you’ll have to make the decision over and over. What’s the controlling factor here? God’s vision, God’s blueprint for your church, or pleasing people, most very sincere?
Defending God’s vision for you and your church WILL BE gut-wrenching. It will hurt deeply. Hearing people you trust threaten to leave will kill you. People refusing to look you in the eye will stomp your heart. Having money hung over your head for refusing to give in will keep you up at night. It’s murder.
But, when it’s all said and done, it’s the vision that must drive you and guide you. You must decide, at the moment God crystallizes the vision in your mind, that you will pursue it with everything you’ve got.
You bend just a little and you’ll find it’s not enough. You’ll be asked to bend more and more. It won’t stop. Soon, God’s plan and vision for you and your church are distant memories. And you dropped the ball.
The church is all about people. It’s about a bunch of imperfect people God has called together for His glory and praise. But the vision is all about God. It’s what He specifically wants to do through you and your church. As harsh as it may sound, people will come and people will go. That’s the nature of imperfect people. But God never changes His mind.
You fight for God’s vision. Don’t drop the ball.