We are fairly new in this city which means that we really didn’t know many people here, especially pastors, so what I did was pray to God to give us true friendships among the church leaders here. One story in particular that shaped my perspective was a pastor I met through “our servant girl” yes, this man is a blessing. Just like the Naaman met the prophet, Elisha, so I met this pastor, the only different part is that, I heard about him and what he was trying to do, I opened up to meet him and when that happened we found out that they had a need we could meet. The rest is history, we did help and our friendship begun.
As a church planter, one big miracle is meeting a man or woman of peace, these are insiders who are willing to lend you an insiders perspective to what you want to be part of. They help you find out more about the place God has called you to be a leader. A lot of people are privileged to lead where they have grown and lived, for some, it takes moving from one town to another, a city to another, one country to another. By divinely meeting my pastor friend, I have come to learn many things; foremost:
- What is the state and shape of the church in my city?
For the city I chose to go into, I had news that it was the deathbed of pastors. We relocated to this city when one pastor was moving out because it was difficult, another was lost in worldliness, and two had just been killed for apparently leading a Muslim to Jesus.
- What are physical and spiritual needs in your demographic spectrum?
- What fights do you need to be part of and what don’t you need to?
- How can you be a blessing to the people you are sent to.
- How do you celebrate the signs of life, without putting too many expectations carried from your former city or own?
To the last point, my friend opened up to me on what it means to be a pastor in our city, and how it was a picture of a death sentence in many ways. I looked at the privileges I had, I thought about how many times I complained and nearly quit, and God reminded me of how much life he had given me. That is when I came down a pleasant reality; it is time to celebrate the little signs of life, because it could have been worse, and someone else is trusting God for the salary you are taking home today. We were averaging 100 people in our second year, and I was busy trying every method to take it up, little did I know that the pastor I was now friends with had been pastoring for 7 years and faithfully leading 40 people. I don’t give up on numbers yet, this man of peace taught me to rejoice and be faithful in what God had entrusted to me.
What are the little signs of life that you can celebrate today?