Family fuels my tank, so the holiday season that included a trip from Durham to DC, to Hamilton, to Drayton, to Grand Rapids, to Columbus, to home was a huge boost in energy. However, I encountered a nasty cough and cold earlier this week as I was eager to enter into 2014 strong. So I will keep this blog short. This blog answers a question I get asked often by folks near and far. The question is simple: How do you get a church just started? The answer is a little more complicated, especially because we do not have people gathered together as of yet.
First and foremost, it obviously starts with prayer; by the church planter/entrepreneur, by family and friends, by supporters, and by churches. Prayer has been at the forefront of this mission.
Second, it start with staying connected with God’s Word.
It starts with reading the Bible and praying everyday.
Starting a church takes significant investment on the front end from people believing in the cause.
It takes a church entrepreneur studying church planting and focusing on the model that may fit best within a particular context.
It takes discerning where the Spirit is leading and what context He is sending the sent.
It takes knowing the narrative of that particular context and discovering what God is already doing in that community.
It takes a church planter willing to learn over and over who he is in order to lead effectively.
It takes a wise wife who is able and willing to live with ambiguity and risk.
It takes the wisdom from church entrepreneurs who have been there done that.
It takes building a foundation for what the church will be and look like. This includes building a Spirit-inspired and God-given vision (a description of a preferred destination) and a Biblically rooted mission statement (what the journey to that destination looks like).
It takes a broad community of Christians who can financially support a project like this.
It takes networking with all sorts of people. It takes networking with individuals and institutions and/or individuals who represent institutions. Without people connecting the church entrepreneur with people, a cluster of people gathered together will never happen. It takes friends and family, encouragers, resource people, life-coaches, mentors, and peer-mentors.
It takes technology that compute demographic studies. It takes cell phones, email, software, Facebook, ‘the cloud’, LinkedIn, Google, a website, and stats about the website. For example, last month there were 215 new visitors to www.reslifenc.org. Fifty-two pages were viewed by people living in Romania. (Hello to our Romania readers! Want to join a church?) One-hundred and fifteen pages were viewed by people living in Israel. Obviously, most hits came from the United States and Canada, but technology can serve as an incredible encouragement knowing that people are visiting the website from all over the world.
I said that I would keep this blog short, so I better end soon as I probably have not honored that statement. But for those who continue to read this blog through the technology of the internet, know that you remain an encouragement to this ministry. You play a role in getting this church started, and for that I am extremely grateful. As we begin 2014, please stick with us as we see Resurrection Life Church sprout and grow!