The temptation for many church planters is to trust more in their vision, personality or communication ability than in the power of the gospel, prayer or equipping the saints. The result can often be a quick start with lots of energy but an equally quick plateau and shallow disciples more dependent on their shepherd (small “s”) than the Good Shepherd.
Numbers, excitement, energy, quality music, good communication, great skills, may obscure the fact that its not the Spirit but sociological factors masquerading as the blessing of God.
After training, mentoring, teaching over 250 church planters, planting a church that planted 7 churches in its first decade and teaching church planting at a seminary for a dozen years, I can tell you that the problem is more widespread than you really want to know.
- Get some “Nathan’s” around you. One or two people who will tell you the truth no matter what. Someone who will “interrogate your reality.” (A quote from my friend Sam Douglass)
- Take regular prayer retreats to hear from God.
- Be ruthless in rooting out any toleration of sin or breaches of integrity in your life. [On Tuesday, I will post an article to help you do this.]
- Refuse to be fake. Pretending spirituality when the soul is impoverished is deadly to the soul. Don’t go there.
- Get a mentor who has been where you want to go and can tell you the pitfalls you are likely to encounter.