Before You Plant a Church… An Introduction

Screenshot 2014-04-15 15.15.26A few months ago I was attending a workshop for pastors and was really intrigued by the stories being shared by the pastor who was leading.  He was a church planter whose plant has become a megachurch.  Like so many pastors I know who have grown a church plant in the 10s to several thousands, he had been sharing with us about a deep burn out and depression that he had been through.  This is a recurring theme from pastors that I have had the privilege to learn from over the years, and I began to wonder if this is the result of a high and costly calling, or the result of church planters, like myself, who are so driven that we miss out on some important graces along the way.  I asked the pastor if the mental, physical, familial, and spiritual prices that were commonly being experienced were the cost it takes to plant a ‘successful’ church, and he answered me honestly.  He said, “That’s a good question, and I have no idea.” Continue reading

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A ‘Yes’ is Also a ‘No’

Photo by Davide Ragusa

Photo by Davide Ragusa

A few weeks ago, a close friend of mine was treating me to a pork chop lunch at Perry’s.  If you haven’t tried it, you must.  It’s delicious and quite affordable.  This guy is also a pastor and one of my closest friends.  In many ways, he and I are alike, but we are also very different in other ways.  These differences make us stronger, and we complement each other well.

We got onto the subject of money as it pertains to family, ministry, and business (we both are both pastors, but also in businesses).  He is always very honest with me, so while I was sharing with him that we don’t currently have much in the way of savings, he looked at me and said, “Maybe you’re being too generous with your time and your services?”  At first I wanted to become defensive and call him a cheapskate, but he went on, “Whenever you discount prices or do things for free, you are saying ‘Yes’ to them, and ‘No’ to your family.”  WHAM!  That hit me in a way that I had never considered, and it made me sad. Continue reading

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Open Calling, Closed Doors: Waiting to Enter Vocational Ministry

Photo Credit: Namphuong Van

Photo Credit: Namphuong Van

In my last post, The Idolatry of Vocational MinistryI discussed the importance of a sober evaluation of one’s calling into vocational ministry.  One of the guys from the church I pastor asked if I was going to write an encouragement to guys who are indeed called, but don’t currently have an opportunity to serve in full-time ministry.  I must confess, I believe that my series on The Lost Art of Tentmaking would be encouraging, but I figured that since I’ve been blessed with several men at Christ Community Church who are called, but not yet able to serve full-time, I’d take the time to write an encouragement to the rest of you who are called, willing, and ready, but do not yet have a place to serve full-time. Continue reading

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