There are a lot of things that could threaten your church plant. Threats are a real thing:
- Key funding falling through
- Key staff bailing or not being the right fit
- Divisive people on the launch team
- The vision going stale
- Lack of execution
- Venue falling through the week of launch
These are all threats but THE threat that tops them all is what you stare at in the mirror each morning. YOU.
The person in the mirror is your Church Plant’s greatest threat. As cited by Ed Stetzer, “the number one reason church plants fail are related to personal reasons.”
Originally published in 1941, Gordon MacDonald writes: “We must choose to keep the heart. Choose! Its health and productivity cannot be assumed; it must be constantly protected and maintained.”
Originally published in 1941, Gordon MacDonald coined the phrase Ordering Your Private World. This was one of the first books I read while on Staff at Willow Creek Community Church. In the book, MacDonald speaks of what he calls “The Sinkhole Syndrome” noting that no matter how impressive your outer world might be, if your inner world is not ordered, it is only a matter of time until you crumble.
He writes: “We must choose to keep the heart. Choose! Its health and productivity cannot be assumed; it must be constantly protected and maintained.” -Gordon MacDonald
- Even if you raise 1 million dollars between now and launch
- Even if you land the branding and it’s solid and compelling
- Even if you land the best facility in your context
- Even if you recruit a world class team
- Even if you deliver the most epic vision to your launch team
He’s saying…all of these “outer” things could be in order but if the lead planter’s private world is not in order, NONE of that matters.
Above raising money? Yes.
Above building a launch team? Yes.
Above crystallizing the why and above casting vision? Yes.
Let me ask you these very specific questions:
1. Do you know the single greatest lie you most often believe about yourself?
2. Do you have a Spiritual Director you regularly meet with?
3. Do you know the wounds of your past?
4. Do you know what your “shadow mission” is?
5. How often do you Sabbath?
6. With whom do you practice the discipline of confession?
7. If you were to have an affair this week, who would it be with?
8. What is your physical exercise regiment?
9. How often do you fast per quarter?
10. What Bible reading plan are you currently engaged in?
Show me a healthy church and I’ll show you a healthy Lead Planter who is leading it along side his or her healthy staff.
If you are planting a church, please plant one that is healthy and if you need help along the way, I’m here to help!