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I’ve planted several churches and I know how hard it can be. I’ve never “closed” a plant, but I’ve sat with several others that have. It is painful– but sometimes it is helpful.
I think that doing an “autopsy” is a helpful part of the learning experience, and something which is not done often enough. Here is one such reflection from John Thomas, a former planter.
Aside - Documents - References - Viral - Churches
As an aside, one of the more fascinating documents we references in Viral Churches was an autopsy report by Todd Hunter. At the time, Todd was director of church planting for the Vineyard… and later the head of the Vineyard. Now, he is an Anglican Bishop (and we shared a pulpit and some fellowship time last week with the Anglican Church in America). You can download that report– from 1986 (an eternity in church planting years) here.
Of course, I had heard the stats about church planting failures. Regardless, I went for it knowing the Lord was leading me to start a new church for His glory. I read all the books, attended the conferences, took church planting classes in college and seminary, planned, prayed, pleaded with and persuaded others to join the team, raised money, developed a killer logo; even my wife was onboard! How could I fail?
Failure - Harder - Life - Hundreds - Hours
But failure did not come easily. I have never worked harder in my life. Hundreds of hours, thousands of dollars, a myriad of spent dreams, and 18 short months later: she was gone!
That took place just over 6 years ago. Sure, there were tons of things that happened along the way which could be blamed for my failure…yada, yada, yada. Yet, after much reflection, evaluation–and ultimately repentance–I realized that I am to blame. I confess: I am responsible.
Major–and - Painful–confessions
There are five major–and painful–confessions that I am ready to own up...
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