I think about the ministry of church planting, and its many and varied aspects, during a large number of my waking hours. While there is a good bit that encourages me, I must confess that there are some things that are just downright frustrating. When I think about those frustrating things, they cause me to want to think about anything else but church planting. For example, “Why is it that acknowledgement of the importance of church planting … nay the necessity of it … and the verbal assurances of personal agreement with, and support for, the effort does not translate into a significant increase in church planting efforts and actual churches being planted across the board in our nation?”
And another: “How does one explain the fact that hundreds of our churches where spiritual and gifted men preach and teach the Bible, and the pews are populated with Spirit-filled, gifted people show meager growth and have a minimal impact on the thousands of lost people around them … and beyond that, they are devoid of a fervent vision for nearby communities where a Gospel witness is lacking?”
Or: “How can we pontificate about how scandalized we are by a Hollywood Movie named “NOAH” and the false message it sends about God, the Bible, and many things we hold dear as believers, while at the same time our lack of zeal in reaching the people of our community and our failure in extending the ministry of the Gospel to the next community through church planting suggests less concern for the faithful proclamation of the truth than we have for criticizing those who do not proclaim it … from Hollywood of all places … because they do not know it!
How about this one: “Why is it so much easier to fill the vacant pulpit of an established local church by selecting from among scores of candidates than it is to find even a single candidate to fill the pulpit of a new church plant?” Put it another way, “Why are there a significantly higher number of men looking for a church than there are churches looking for men, while at the same time there are a significantly greater number of church plants looking for church plant leaders than there are men looking to lead a church plant?”
And, while I rejoice in the such a response and would not begrudge a single penny of it, “How is it that when the call goes out, we can collectively produce awe-inspiring amounts of money for disaster relief and a tremendous army of people for search and rescue efforts in response to mudslides, earthquakes, flooding, fires, and other such disasters at home and abroad while as the Body of Christ, in general, we are unable to muster much more than relative pittance in money or men in order to address the spiritual disaster areas at home, or in the next community?”
I don’t know the answers to those questions and others like them, and that’s what frustrates me. Perhaps you are a pastor or a church leader and you have discovered answers to such questions and they no longer frustrate you. More than answers, however, we need solutions! I’m most interested in what your thoughts are as to how you personally … and your church … can be a part of the solution!