2 ways a Church Planter’s Job is Different

download fast paced

Yesterday at our monthly Church Planting Network meeting in Atlanta, the-one-and-only Dr. Bob Burns led our training on Resilient Ministry. If you are a church planter (or go to a church plant) and there is a desire to survive and flourish in ministry, this book has some great data and insight. And as a church planter coach, I have a suggestion.

It makes the case for gospel coaching for church planters with just two insights.

1. Church planting is non-stop. Being a pastor is “taxing, fast-paced and unrelenting” according to Dr. Bob and his research. ¬†Unrelenting resonates. I’ve been in pastoral ministry for over 25 years in a variety of roles. As a pastor, your “job” is never done. As a planter? There is always more to do. Times ten.

More. To. Do. Now. Faster.

It’s a job without any boundaries. Unlike other jobs, where you get to go home, life and ministry blur together and overlap and go really fast.

2. Church planters live in “GO” mode. The research showed that pastors “rarely re-charge and reflect”. Dr. Bob said that pastors do less self-care than every single profession except one. I’ll let you guess which one is worse.

As a planter, I was ON all the time. All the time. If I hadn’t had a coach who pointed me to Christ and challenged me kindly and firmly, I would have run myself ragged, ignored my wife and sacrificed my children to succeed in planting a church.

Care about a church planter? Encourage him to talk to one of our gospel coaches at CMM who can help him learn how to manage and thrive in a non-stop calling.

Then offer to pay. It will multiply benefits to his soul, his family and the church.

unrelenting image

Mr. Church Planter: Front Seat on the Roller Coaster

Over the years, when people ask me what it’s like to be a church planter, I’ve said often,

“Like being in the front seat of a roller coaster! God’s doing amazing and terrifying things and I’ve got a front row seat!”

Not sure why, but this picture resonates. Mr. Church Planter, ever felt this way?

sad clown on a rollercoaster

Thankful for God’s patience when I was not enjoying the ride…. The ride is long and hard. There is a huge temptation toward cynicism. It’s easy to loose joy along the way. I’m still unpacking baggage, taking off the masks and learning to rest in the ups and downs.

If you want help learning to enjoy the ride God has you on, let me know. Maybe we could learn together.