I’m glad to be hearing about a lot of guys feeling the call to go and plant churches. So let me give you a quick word of advice in a language all of us understand. If church planting were a TV show, year 1 would could be classified as ABC’s "Lost". Why? Several reasons:
#1 – Wherever you go, you’re basically going to crash land – I don’t know why we call it planting. We should call it crashing!
#2 – You’re trying to figure out how many bodies survived the crash – You may not know what that means now, but all the people who swear they’ll be with you ’til death, may not last after the first month.
#3 – You’re figuring out who can do what – Like our friends on Lost, everyone’s got a skill. Get those with the skills into support roles so you don’t lose your mind and year 1 seem more like the Twilight Zone than it need to.
#4 – You don’t have much, and what you do have belonged to someone else – I’m amazed at how much junk we got. We didn’t get much good stuff. Some person I’ve never met sent us a sound system in the mail (If you’re reading this, thank you!) You’re never going to have an ideal situation. Just make it work. Be creative with your environment.
#5 – Weird stuff is going on all around you – New churches tend be bring out the weird in people. We’ve had people start asking questions in the middle of the service when there was about 50 of us. We’ve had a guy sitting on an inflatable that punctured and as the air was leaving it sounded like the guy was passing major pass in the service.
#6 – You meet amazing people that you never would have – I think about the amazing people that are part of our church and I think about how I would never known them and been enriched by their lives had Carey and I not moved to Miami.
#7 – Expect the Supernatural – God did some of the most amazing stuff in our first year. He showed up in such incredible ways. Expect God to do great things. He called you there not to leave you stranded, but to empower you and equip you. So expect that right person to show up at the right time. Expect God to provide a way when there is no way. That’s the fun of planting, I mean crashing!
Tomorrow I’ll tell you what Year 2 was like for me…