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Church planting is inherently future-oriented, and planning is commended in God’s Word (Prov. 21:5). A church planter who doesn’t prepare for the future is a contradiction in terms.
And yet we must guard against being dominated by what’s to come. An unhealthy focus on the future can cause us to miss the God-given opportunities of today.
Focus - Future - God-given - Opportunities - Today
An unhealthy focus on the future can cause us to miss the God-given opportunities of today.
I can struggle with this temptation, though, focusing on the future to the detriment of the present. And this has affected our church plant in (at least) a few negative ways.
Plant - Disciple
Plant or Disciple?
In an effort to urgently plant churches, I’ve discovered how easy it is to pit church-planting against disciple-making.
Church - Plant - Church - People - Faith
Early in our church plant, I foolishly believed those who said, “Once the church is planted, your people will automatically begin sharing their faith, discipling one another, and engaging in mission.” I allowed that thinking to permeate our own plans, at least in part, because I was snowed under: working full-time, raising a family, and trying to plant a church. In retrospect, I wish I’d more diligently questioned such assumptions.
As church planters, we must guard against making the planting of a physical location more important than teaching and fostering a culture of discipleship in our churches. And of course, these two things need not be at odds.
Wife - Advocate - Friend - Part - Beginning—we
My wife is my greatest advocate and friend. She’s been part of this with me from the beginning—we’ve pushed one another, cried together, and encouraged one another. On more occasions than I can count, she’s reminded me of the liberating truth that God loves me on the basis of the finished work of his Son, not on how much I achieve in ministry.
Such reminders were crucial early in our plant, when we were just figuring things...
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