Friday, December 7, 2012

The Labor Pains of Church Planting


Nobody for a moment gets into church planting because it is easy, nor because it promises riches, or do they?  Funny how our perspective of matters is so in the moment.  Ultimately quitting is the inability of a person to see and believe in the lasting value of something, for which sacrifices need to be made and then continuing therein.  Why is anyone so crazy to think a new church is necessary?  Why so many sleepless nights?  Why be willingly subjected to the pains of all the uncertainty?  

It is that it is hard to think of doing anything else.  It is impossible to be convinced of anything else.  Call us stupid, call us foolish, but for those God ultimately calls to do such extreme things (and you need not look far in Scripture or around us now), these need be out of their minds.  So in spite of how difficult it is it remains that it is would be far more difficult a task to decline the conviction and calling God places from within and confirms both within and without.  So in that regard, it is easy.  And yet it is not easy.  Right now Redemption needs space to meet, people to partner, and finances for essential needs.  We labor in prayer, knocking on doors, driving around town, and searching answers to these many questions.  Ah, but God we believe has already determined all this.  His purpose in withholding such from us right now is for our own growth.  And so it is not easy to wait, look, labor over it all, but the needfulness for us to do so is essential.  Our growth depends upon it.  So it is easy, knowing the purposes of God, but it is hard, indeed impossible, if we should ever forget God's purposes. 

And we plant in hope that God is going to use us, yes, even us.  His aim, we believe, is to use us to transform lives and see the community transformed as a result.  Oh and we find motivation behind the fact that these transformed lives are a part of the promised riches.  We value greatly being a part of God's ultimate work to save and grow people.  Our joy only grows as a result of seeing that, and being a part of that.  So for the sake of the riches of joy, we continue in this labor.  And too, in the hope of the  coming of Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom, we labor.  These are just a glimpse of the riches we seek.  Ultimately it is Christ's glory that we aim to make a concerted effort to put on display.  It is impossible for us not to do this.  So in that regard it is easy.  And in doing so we know there will be an unrivaled joy as we see Him use us to do what only He can, namely transform lives.  Only eternity will fully and finally reveal the greatness of His work in, around, and through us...and so we labor.   

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