While I was looking for a book, I came across the church planter assessment that was done for Lora and I a few years back (before moving to Greenville to start Discovery). It got me thinking so I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learned from planting a church over the next couple of days.
I am not the most qualified.
I knew before we even moved here that I didn’t really have a clue. I’ve met guys who are way more gifted, resourced, skilled, and even passionate about starting a church than I was. My organizational are improving, my leadership skills are still developing and my administrative skills are still out there somewhere. On a scale of 1-5, I scored a 3.6 on my church planter assessment. That puts me somewhere in the top 70%. The good thing is, I like to learn. So even though I’m not the most qualified…I’m still trying to become qualified.
I need my wife.
Before someone gets all “spiritual” and says something stupid (yet theological sounding) like “Jesus is all you need,” let me acknowledge that I’d certainly need Him too. But what I’m talking about is that nobody really understands what a pastor goes through unless 1) you are one or 2) you are married to one. So when people or circumstances are beating me up, I had a supportive cheerleader to build me up. When I was struggling to make the right decision, I had someone to bounce ideas off of – unfiltered. When I had to put in an obnoxious amount of time on the front end, my wife made sure the kids, the pets and the pastor got fed. When I had a bad day, my wife was there to smile and tell me she still loved me. And unlike Jesus, I could hug her.
No, not everyone can plant a church (or should)
I had never heard of “church planting” before this. I didn’t know it existed….this extreme sport of church life. We’ve had staff come and go and while I want to believe the best about people, sometimes your best isn’t good enough. It’s not that they didn’t try, but they weren’t the right fit….they couldn’t work in a church plant environment. I’ve seen guys start churches and succeed, and I’ve seen guys have a dream of starting a church, begin the process, only to wake up and realize that no matter how hard they try, they can’t seem to do it. Heck, my kids might try their best to beat me in a race, at basketball or golf, but at this stage they will inevitably lose. Their best isn’t good enough. But, set me down with my sons, put an Xbox controller in my hand and ask me to beat them at Halo3 and I’d be in the same boat. My best wouldn’t be good enough. The point is, for some reason, I was made for this, but not everyone is.