Pastor, Don’t Miss Today by Focusing on Tomorrow

The Gospel Coalition | 4/23/2019 | Staff
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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...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Gospel Coalition
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