You haven’t seen a certain family in some time. They used to be faithful in their attendance on Sundays and during the week. Recently their attendance has waned, and now they are no longer attending. Every pastor has experienced or will experience this situation.
Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. ~ Habakkuk 2:2
It is possible that you are saying to yourself, “Yet another article on the importance of vision to the local church.” I get it. Trust me, I get it. I said the same thing aloud when I was prompted to write this article. Then I came to the realization that the reason there are so many things written about vision, and the reason that I am okay with adding yet another article to the pile, is that vision is vitally important. As local church leaders it is possible for us to underestimate the importance of vision until, due to a lack of vision, we’ve veered far off course. If that sounds right to you, then I encourage you to read on.
A couple begins attending the church you lead. They sit in the back, watching and listening attentively. They return more often over the next several months, but seem reluctant to engage any deeper. Finally, you are able to make a connection and find out that they have just begun attending church again. They share that they left the last church they attended after being wounded. They share all that they did at their former church, and how painful the circumstances were that led to them leaving the church. What are you to do? How should the church handle this family?
Church planting has been one of the most difficult and rewarding things that I have ever been blessed to do in my life. In the first post in this two-part series, I talked about the first four of the eight lessons that I have learned as a church planter. You can read the first post here. In this post I will cover lessons 5 through 8 that I have learned since planting Harvest Christian Fellowship in 2007.