Church Planting #15: What’s Next?

LESSON #15:  YOU’LL ALWAYS BE ASKING WHAT’S NEXT?

The “seven year itch” was the title of a 1955 play, made into a movie.  You know the one that made Marylin Monroe famous for walking over a vent that blew up her skirt.  It has been used by Psycho-babbling fools to describe what happens after seven years of marriage–namely, the relationship becomes stagnate and unexciting. As a church planter, I think it is fair to call my relationship with Jesus’ bride as unique.  Though it seems that church planting has become somewhat “sexy” in recent years, it is still probably not on many people’s bucket lists. We are only in year three, but I have felt the “itch” since year 1.  What will happen at year seven? 
The itch I am referring to is not one to go and sleep with some other “bride.”  Spiritually speaking, there is only one that I love (practically speaking as well…praise Jesus for almost 15 years).  The itch I refer to is also known as the “What’s next” syndrome.  I never stop asking the question.  This could be a condition of discontentment I guess, but I wonder if it is the result of church planter hard wiring.  It’s hard to discern between the two sometimes.  I am always looking ahead, always considering the next great adventure, always wanting to take the next risk, always asking “What’s next?”  Do we start a new service?  Do we change the bulletin? What book should we preach? How can we get more people on mission?  When can we plant a church?  Should we change our logo? Who can we develop as a leader?  How can we start a purity ministry?  Are the children growing in our Kid’s Ministry?  What can we add, remove, or adjust?  Is this building large enough?  How can we….where should we….now can we….why are we….

Without question, this can tire you out.  As someone who likes to gather, build, create, and charge the hill, you may not have a choice.  My fear, however, is that the “What’s Next” itch will overwhelm.  Without question, we need vision and leadership to get there.  But, I’m learning, that we musn’t ignore the people and mission God has given us RIGHT NOW as we focus on what God has NOT given us and may never.

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Author: Sam Ford

Sam Ford is a preacher, planter, and pastor from the Pacific Northwest. He is currently pastoring Restoration Road Church in Snohomish, WA.

1 thought on “Church Planting #15: What’s Next?”

  1. Those are wise words. Sometimes we can be looking so much into the future that we don't even see or let simmer what we've already accomplished. It's like a big pot of soup…sure, you can eat it after only 2 hours, but if you just let it cook for a LITTLE while longer, it will be much more pleasing to the palate as the ingredients become more a part of each other. My fear is that we would throw out things that we have tried because we didn't see exactly what WE planned to see in the timeframe WE planned for it to happen. Patience is never easy, but we are called to it as we watch God work in our midst.

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