Wanted: Church Planters with Guts and Passion

Tomorrow I am meeting with a church planter looking for a mentor. He contacted me last week and tomorrow I will get my first chance to assess him, his plan, his vision, and, most of all, his guts and passion. I don’t know what I will find.

But before I go any further let me tell you some of this week’s thought-shapers for my time with this potential church planter.

Dave CrowFirst, for a good chunk of my spare time this week, I have been reading the autobiography of a college friend from the University of Maryland. Dave Crow and I were fraternity brothers and teammates on the University Track team. He was raised as a Cherokee Indian, by a brutal father and a mentally unstable mother in a desperately poor and mostly-Navajo Indian reservation in Arizona and New Mexico. The story of his childhood is one of the most disfunctional and horrible stories I have EVER read. David’s book is called, THE PALE-FACED LIE: A TRUE STORY (Boulder, CO: Sandra Jonas Publishing, 2019).

Second, today I received a phone call from one of my college roommates, and another fraternity brother, telling me that a mutual friend and yet another frat brother, was in a bike accident with a parked car yesterday (10-9-20) and is paralyzed from the shoulders down. He was asking for prayer for the family and now I am trying to arrange a visit to the hospital next week where he is recovering.

Moon in a Night SkyThird, early this week I ran across the Jon Bloom article from the DesiringGod.org website from back in May of this year. The article is titled, “Satan Will Sing You to Sleep.” and begins with this haunting sentence from a friend of Jon’s who lives and works among Muslims. Said he to Jon, . . .

“You don’t tell people about Jesus, because you don’t care about their eternal state.”

I dare you to read it. But only if you really want to stop being a fan of Jesus and become his follower in spirit and truth.

These three things, a book, a phone call, and an article, the Spirit of God has used to get my attention. Like a man who is driving down the road and suddenly realizes he can’t remember much of the last five miles, my attention has been arrested and refocused on fundamental gospel verities, inescapable truths that every Christian knows but somehow, under the relentlessness of the siren-song of the culture around us, we forget, or submerge so deep in our consciousness that it has NO impact on how we live. Do you want to know what it is? Really? Okay. Here it is in four simple bullet points.

  • People, your neighbors and myriads around the world, are going to hell.
  • People, all of them, need Jesus.
  • Without Jesus, they have no hope.
  • Today, might be their last day before standing before Jesus unforgiven and unclothed in His righteousness.

So tomorrow when I meet with a potential church planter, I am not so much interested in his plan, or his education, or his preparation, or his resources, or his vision, or his finances, or his teammates, or his denominational affiliation, or his gifts, or his experience. All of those things are important and valuable to know, if I am going to mentor him in any way. But they aren’t of first importance.

No. What I want to know is does he have the guts and passion to trust Jesus and go to the lost with life-transforming message of the Kingdom of God, and call people to repent and believe the gospel? 

Do you? Do I? Let’s prove it together.


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