I remember like it was yesterday. I felt that I had been lied to. To make matters worse, I felt that I was still being lied to. The frustration built as I continued to contemplate that, what I had thought to be the truth was actually something else. I can remember exactly where I was when I, as a newly minted church planter came to the realization that all of the things that I had been told about church planting failed to come close to the reality that I was now living. That is also the moment I knew that I needed to begin writing about my experiences, thoughts, and feelings as a church planter and church leader.
The Crime: Whispering Sweet Nothings
What are the lies that were told? Some were promises of assistance, support, and aid. Those lies, though painful, were not the biggest to overcome. I believed, at the planting of the church, that I was fully dependent upon God for the resources needed to accomplish the mission. I knew it would be hard, but I was confident that God would make a way. The most difficult lies were those from those who had gone before me as church planters and those around me who were church planters. The over-romanticization of church planting was the biggest lie of all. I had to face the reality that I had been lied to and in my naivete I had believed the lie.
The Victim?: Maybe I Wanted to Believe the Fantasy
Admittedly, I wanted to believe what I heard and was hearing. In some ways it was better than my current reality. Listen, church planting is hard. Church leadership can be even harder. It pulls on a leader emotionally, physically, spiritually, and intellectually. It affects the leader and the leader’s family. Yet every conversation that I had with church planters, and many of the books that I read on the subject failed to mention any of these facts. Gatherings with the church planters that I knew always turned into boasting sessions about how “great” everything was going in the church. Often, my wife and I left feeling inadequate and asking what was wrong with what we were doing as church planters. It was only later that the truth was revealed. Church planting was hard for everyone. Church leadership could be hard for everyone. I wasn’t crazy, lazy, or out of the will of God. I was right where I was supposed to be and where many of my colleagues, whether they admitted it or not, were also. It was this realization that made me start writing and publishing online.
The Verdict: The Power of the Truth
Why am I writing what I am writing? Why am I writing the way that I am writing? Because I believe that there is power in the truth! I want church planters and leaders to know that they are not alone in what they are experiencing or feeling. I believe that honesty amongst church leaders about difficulties in leadership and the paths to overcome those difficulties can only make us all better leaders. So I began to write about what I saw as a church leader. Some of the writing in the beginning can only be described as rants. I may even rant from time to time now. But the ranting helped and helps me recognize that I wasn’t alone in what I was seeing, experiencing, or thinking.
The Aftermath: Maybe Its Just Me
So on this site I write about my experiences as a church planter, leader, husband, father, and son of God. I share the good, the bad, and the ugly. I share the things that help me and the things that I think should be avoided. Maybe it helps another church planter or leader, hearing the truth, to know they are not alone. Maybe it only helps me. Either way…I am glad I began the journey.
Question: Has there been a situation that has frustrated you so much that it prompted you to action? How did you handle it? If you didn’t do anything…why not? You can leave a comment by clicking here.