Church Planter, Redefine Success and Seek Emotional Health

The Gospel Coalition | 1/10/2019 | Staff
cv2angels (Posted by) Level 3
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“Can you brothers pray for me? I’m mentally, physically, and emotionally depleted from pushing all week despite being sick. I’m so discouraged I don’t even want to go to our gathering today, let alone preach.”

This was a text I sent a few dear brothers several weeks ago. Gripped by anxiety and physically zapped, I sat in my car and sobbed uncontrollably an hour before our worship gathering began. I’d hit a wall. Most church-planting training doesn’t prepare you for these moments.

Training - Church - Challenges - Toll - Wellbeing

Don’t get me wrong: Most training I know about is solid and robust. But as I’ve planted a church, I’ve been faced with challenges that have taken a toll on my emotional wellbeing. How do I process the pain of betrayal or having my trust broken? Whom do I confide in about pastoral issues? Who will shepherd my soul amid stress and difficulties while I’m learning to lead?

As I’ve planted a church, I’ve been faced with challenging issues that have taken a toll on my emotional wellbeing.

Lack - Attention - Health - Church - Planting

I believe the lack of attention given to emotional health in church planting has yielded a culture where we ignore or downplay certain issues—until a brother falls into sin, when we’re all forced to step back and ask: Why?

We mustn’t underestimate the emotional costs involved in planting a church. Whether it be the constant change, pervasive uncertainty, isolation, support raising and recruiting, leadership development, frenetic pace, or unrealistic expectations—church planters need to manage all of these, not to mention the daily responsibility to lead people in the truth.

Look - Size - Scale - Number - Services

Many look at the size, scale, and number of services to evaluate “success.” Perhaps one of the main reasons many church planters crumble inwardly is because they’ve bought into these false assessments of true success. Some (myself included) observe the ministries or gifts God has given to...
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