I've got a slobbering love affair with church planting. Not the conferences, books, and accouterments of American evangelical church planting culture, but church planting — the actual doing of it. I'm a bit of a purist. I love the start up riskiness, the way it forces the planter to trust God, and the way it creates new platforms from which to do it all again.
Like most purists, I don't care much for trends. Every season (here please read that Christian word we all use for an unknown period of time) there's a "new" idea that's really going to revolutionize everything about planting. It's
incarnational missional attractional monastic youth-oriented family-oriented purpose-driven seeker-sensitive ... well, you get the idea. Church planting isn't new, and it isn't easy. But if you're called by God to do it, it's still great. And I still love it for at least these 4 reasons:
Church Planting is still the best way to make disciples. Disciples are followers of Jesus and fishers of men, and nothing forces someone to live that rhythm like the planting of a new church. Like weight on the bar, you can't lift it and not get bigger. All the stresses of a start-up are the same pressures that make a great business leader. Church planting works very similarly, and it can produce some amazing disciples.
Church Planting is still hard work. I love the work of planting — the actual tasks involved. Heck, I even love teaching others how to do it. Any method that makes planting look easy, less costly, or overly simple is therefore wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. It takes a ton of work, and I love the work it takes.
Church Planting still takes great faith. Both in quantity and quality, church planting has increased my faith in God. The work is up to me, but the results are very much up to God. I love that.
Church Planting still shrinks me. I'm on my third plant (fourth if you count the new site of our current church, but I digress...). Every time something good happens — salvation, reconciliation, healing — I am struck with just how great God is. I decrease in those moments, because God gets bigger. That's a good thing.
So here's to church planting, and my deep love for it. If you feel inspired, maybe come on up and do some church planting with me.