There is no question that every ministry has its challenges. Sometimes the success of the ministry is recognizing those challenges and being prepared to work through each and every one. The following list highlights some, but definitely not all, of the challenges of church planting. Although each point has a short description – an article could be written on each.
One of the most evident challenges facing any plant (and any ministry, as far as that goes), is the recognition and engaging of the enemy in battle. Sharing the gospel is a declaration of war and there will be resistance. A planter has to realize the warfare is with the enemy and not the people.
Oftentimes, the only people on the team are the planter and his family. Planters are encouraged to recruit a team who can help with the start of the church, but that team often-times only consists of one or two other families. The church is prayerfully birthed out of the harvest field as new believers are saved, discipled, and then eventually join the team, which at some point becomes a church.
This topic is a reality – there are costs associated with almost everything.
This is definitely an article in itself. Planting a church is work and lots of it. Here is a “short” list of the work required to plant a church.
There are only so many hours in a day so a planter has to be a good steward of his time. A planter has to constantly evaluate what is the best use of the team’s time and individual time.
This is only a start to the challenges facing a church planter and a church plant. So, why do people do it? A planter believes that God called them to a community to pastor it, love it, witness to the people, and totally trust on God for the outcome. In summary, it’s described as “the call.” Discouragement will come but the “call” will help a planter persevere.
Pray for our Montana planters. Just recently I was talking with two planters. One told me that his team had had over 100 gospel conversations and had seen just one convert. I asked the second planter if that was true for him; he nodded in agreement. This is the work that is to be done if Montana is going to be reached with the gospel and churches planted from the harvest.