Key Relationships in the Life of a Church Planter

Church planters are characteristically people who are driven. The drive to be effective and successful as well as the desire to continue to learn and grow in church planting is important to have, but it can be a daunting task. Honestly, I used to let the drive to succeed steal my joy. Thankfully, I now have leaders, role models, and people who speak Biblical truth into me and hold me accountable. 

In my early days a church planter, I saw my identity and worth in the success of the church plant itself. Very quickly I found myself wanting to give up, quit, and choose a different career because of the emotional strain it put on my life. The mental struggle of not being as successful as I thought I could be or should be skewed my view of how I saw my worth and value as a leader. 

If it were not for a few guys who are closely involved in my life, especially my leadership coach, then I honestly believe I would have crashed and burned. Those experiences, as tough and difficult as they were taught me a valuable lesson. They taught me that it is essential for all leaders to have relationships in life that challenge and encourage us. 

I’m no longer in the early stages of our church plant, but I still desperately need those relationships. My leadership coach and I talk regularly as well as other men who challenge and listen to me. These men pointed me to the scriptures and encouraged me to find the strength in Jesus to press on, continue the good fight, and continue to move forward. They showed me how to truly depend on Christ to meet my needs spiritually and emotionally.

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
— Ecclesiastes 4:12

This truth from Ecclesiastes is so relevant in my life. I know that I couldn’t keep going without these key relationships. Now, let me encourage and challenge you by asking who are you allowing to truly speak into your life? Who is coaching you? Who is helping you to stay grounded spiritually and emotionally? 

Find people who you know you can trust and who live a life that lines up with the scriptures. Remember what Ecclesiastes says, 3 are better than 2! 

- Eric Smith