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5 Hard Truths for Planters: Be Resilient
5 Hard Truths for Planters series: Click | View Series Church planting is harder than you think. Church planters don't just say that—it actually is. Over the past five years, I have been disappointed, disillusioned and just plain dissed by various people and problems. However, by God's grace, here we stand as a church that is not just surviving, but thriving, and planting new churches. One of the keys? Resilience. Good, old fashioned, gospel-driven "sticktoitiveness." A quality that, in my experience, I have seen lacking in far too many church planters. Many men are interested in having a cool website, a Mac, and the latest Driscoll book in their messenger bag, but how many are willing to stay the course even when the going gets tough? Far fewer. In fact, I believe the absence of resilience is why so many church planters flame out, shame out, or tap out in the first five years and close down their churches. Acknowledging that resilience is a necessity for missional success, what can we do to grow it within us?
- Recognize that God commands it. In Paul's first letter to his apprentice Timothy, he writes "As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (2 Tim. 4:5). He says the same to us today. Be disciplined. Stay the course. Fulfill your ministry through the power of God at work within you.
- Learn to take a punch. It has been well said that wise men turn their critics into coaches. As we grow in the gospel as leaders, we are wise to look for the "diamonds in the rough," even among the most stinging criticism, and seek to learn from (and not repeat) our mistakes.
- Consider the examples of those who have gone before. The "Hall of Faith" in Hebrews 11 is such a great encouragement for church planters. To see that we share the same mission as Abraham, Moses, Joshua, and all of the other heroes is a great encouragement in times of trial. Suddenly, in the light of a man being asked to sacrifice his own son, being kicked out of your building doesn't seem so bad.