Some day I’ll probably write a book. I don’t want to write a book so that I can make a name for myself, but becuase writing is how I process. You ask me a question, I’ll respond with a 10 page paper. It is what I do. So, in the next few weeks I am going to process online the goods and bads of church planting over the last three years. Who am I kidding, most of the “lessons” we learnthat actually stick are the hard ones. So, if no one reads this or if everyon reads this, I don’t really care…it’s cathartic for me.
LESSON #1: IF YOU CAN DO ANYTHING ELSE, DON”T PLANT A CHURCH.
Planting a church is the most horrible wonderful thing anyone could do. And I will take every opportunity to tell people NOT to do it. I used to think that planting a church would be “fun”. Fun is so superficial. Anything worth anything is never easy, rarely is it fun, and usually it is deeply pleasurable and painful all at the same time. If someone cannot say without blinking an eye that “I will be disobeying Jesus if I don’t plant a church” then they shouldn’t.
And then, if they really want to plant a church that makes much of Jesus…prepare to suffer like him. Before planting a church I knew what my next 10 years looked like. Before planting a church I knew I’d be able to pay my bills. Before planting a church I didn’t have to act like I was part of the church. Before planting a church I was never depressed. Before planting a church most everyone I talked with like me. Before planting a church I never thought about work outside of “work”. Before planting a church my family got every minute of my free time. Before planting a church I didn’t have too many people counting on me so that, if I screwed up, it impacted a lot less. Before planting a church people did not look to me for an example for much of anything.
At the same time, despite all the pains, confusions, fears, doubts, and criticims from me, my friends, my family, and my enemies, I have never found more joy in the glory of God in my life.