Sunday, April 26, 2015

Why Do I Want to Plant a Church?

I got a message from an old friend the other day who is a passionate leader and church planter.   He saw a post of mine about wanting to plant a church and wrote to encourage me. He also wrote to challenge me,  to check myself.   As a facilitator of church planting,  he saw lots of guys who planted out of a bad motive. Often guys who have been hurt in a church go and plant a church with an attitude of "I can do it better"  and he wanted to ensure I wasn't motivated by bitterness.   He knows that I have had some difficult times in the past in local church work,  and it was a fair challenge he gave me. I wanted to check my heart and part of the reason I have been out of ministry for a few years without jumping in and starting a new ministry is to check my heart and heal from some hurts.

It's been a few years,  and my heart continues to yearn to plant a church.   This desire started long before I knew anything about church planting.   In high school I was part of a small group of about 5 students who worked with a student teacher to start an FCA Huddle at our school.   As I went on to Junior College,  I worked with our Director of Missions to start a Baptist Student Union or BSU.   (They have some some name changes,  BSU in some places,  Baptist Collegiate Ministries or BCM in some places,  and Christian Challenge in other places).   When I got to the University,  I worked with our local BSU,  but got to know my first church planter.

When in Arizona,  I met a number of church planters and was introduced more to the house church model and some material by Charles Brock on house church planting. It was a great time of learning and I had the opportunity to help out with some house church plants. I started one of the first junior college BSUs in the state,  and I hoped to plant a church on that college campus,  but God had other plans.

While in Seminary,  a good friend and I started a coffee house church service,  it met on Saturday nights at first and later Sunday Nights.   It wasn't a church plant, it was a "church service plant"  I suppose.  We were able to reach new and different people,  and do some fun and exciting things in that atmosphere. I became a staff member at a very young church,  and it was exciting to be in the early stages.  

Once I got to Iowa,  I served again in a young church and saw the need and desire to plant churches grow.   I was blessed to go to the Exponental Conference in 07, and it added fuel to the fire of my desire to church plant.

God has put in me a desire to see new things,  new ideas and fresh starts.  A church plant is a dream I've had for many years,  and I get excited every time I think about the idea. It hasn't been the right time,  but it seems that doors are opening and I may have an opportunity.   I am not sure what the shape will be,  how it will work. It may be a church plant,  it may be a service,  God may lead me to start a ministry instead of a church. I would love if God called me to work with Church planters,  I don't know what is in the future. I am excited about the future and what God is going to call me to do.

I have shared some of my vision for what my church plant would look like, using house church models and some other ideas I've had.  I hope to share more in the future,  and I invite your input and ideas.   Thanks for your prayers and encouragement.

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