A Personal Update on Church Planting

personalupdatecp

How are things going?

I am asked that a lot right now. We are in a unique time right now as we prepare to start New City Church. There is a lot to prepare for; things that are exciting and things that make you anxious. You feel pretty much every emotion when planting a church.

I have been hesitant to write about how I have been feeling and how things have been going because I fear how it may come across. There have been times in the past where I read posts by others planting churches, and though I know they didn’t mean it, to me they came across as either one or two ways.

One, that they are really holy and spiritual for following “God’s call” to plant a church, making it seemingly like those not working in ministry were somehow not as faithful with their lives. Or two, with a “woe is me” type of attitude. That what they are doing is so hard, and most people can’t understand what it is like unless you have actually planted a church.

I know these planters didn’t write with those goals in mind, but it is often how I have felt after reading things like this. Another reason I have been hesitant to write is simply because a lot of the frustration and discouragement comes from things you can’t share publicly.

So when I say there are certain this that are hard, it doesn’t help that I can’t exactly share what some of those hard things are. Generally speaking, as you can guess, dealing with people can be hard. And when planting a church, you deal with a lot of people in various capacities and for various different reasons. But giving specific examples simply isn’t an appropriate thing to do.

As I share how things have been going and how I have been feeling, let me be very clear. Christina and I chose to go this route, we do not need nor deserve anyone’s sympathy. But even more than that, our workforce needs more faithful followers of Jesus who do their jobs and love their coworkers well.

Ministry isn’t some thing reserved for the most holy and faithful. In fact, I have the most amount of respect for people who love Jesus, are faithful in their workplaces, and are committed to their local church. Why? Because you are busy with everything going on in your life, yet you still faithfully serve, give, and follow Jesus right where he has you. These are the true heroes of the faith to me.

Here’s how I am feeling:

Tired. Emotionally and sometimes spiritually, and these things lead to by physically tired as well. Church planting is full of unknowns, and that can take a toll sometimes.

Anxious. I am not a details person. However, at this stage, there a lot of details to be figured out and systems to be created. Buying equipment, legal documents, planning events, etc. These are not the type of things that I personally enjoy. Thankfully it won’t always be like this (for me), but for now I’ve got to live with it.

It depends on the day. It’s interesting how different each day can feel. It can be really discouraging or overwhelming at times, to really encouraging and thankful at times. How I am feeling overall really does depend on the day you ask.

This is hard. It really takes being faithful in the midst of all the unknowns. I think that is what makes it the most difficult. Not to let how everything is going control how I am living life. What happens if this fails? What happens if we don’t raise enough money? What happens if everyone decides to leave? The “what ifs” is what makes it so hard.

Thankful. I feel thankful for people on our team who are working to make this possible. I feel unbelievably grateful for everyone’s generosity. I am so humbled by the prayers, encouragement, and from those that are financially making this possible.

Unworthy. That God would allow me to do this, in spite of how much he doesn’t need me. When I look at how broken I am, and the forgiveness, love, and patience God gives me, I know I do not deserve it.

Excited. I’m excited because even though there is a lot that needs to and will happen this Fall, I am confident God will use New City to do great things. And I can say this with all sincerity, I truly believe it will have little to do with me.

I know that when people faithfully come together, and are generous with their time and their resources, that those are the people that God will use. I’m excited to see how God uses those on our team and those not yet on our team.

It’s always people, not a person, that makes something truly great. I have no reservation in saying that if you live in the Raleigh area and want to be a part of something special, you should join us. You can see a list of things we have coming up here.

Please pray for us as we continue this journey of planting New City Church. Great things are ahead!

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