I just read an excellent post from Steve Sjogren entitled “12 Lies Church Planters Tell Themselves” on the Churchplanting.com blog http://tinyurl.com/d6kd8d8. I always love Sjogren’s honesty and deep spirituality. Here are a few of those lies (in bold) with my own commentary on each:
If God blesses this plant, we’ll be up and running in no time flat. Steve uses the analogy of growing asparagus to emphasize the unpredictability of these things. I agree. God’s timing is not our timing. There are ways to speed up the process of building momentum in a plant, but ultimately God causes the growth. That’s in his time, not ours. I don’t think this means the planter ought to sit passively waiting for God to move. I’ve always believed the “work like it all depends on you/pray like it all depends on God” philosophy.
Since great preaching is vital from the beginning, I’ll spend quite a bit of time in message prep from the beginning of the plant. Preachers love to preach – I get that! But I have seen way too many planters launch too soon and focus too much on their speaking ability. I’d say the number one reason planters launch too soon is that they want to be “in the pulpit”. They can’t wait to be preaching regularly. The reality is that during the pre-launch phase you have the freedom to put all of your time and energy on things you will never have enough time and energy for once you are doing weekly services. Use that time wisely!
We’ll figure out how to take care of our money accounting details as soon as we have real money coming in. If you are even thinking about planting a church, go immediately to www.startchurch.com and sign up for their regular emails. These people are experts on all things financial and legal in the church. They will scare the mess out of you with their stories of church plants who didn’t handle these things well. To quote the great Mr. T, “I pity the fool” who doesn’t do this right from the beginning.
These are just a few of Sjogrens Lies. I encourage you to read his full article with his own commentary on these points.