“Church planting? What even is church planting?” I remember speaking these very words to my husband shortly after we both sensed God was calling us to it. We laugh at it now, because this was just the naivety God knew we needed to have to agree to His plan!
We were 24 and 26 years old, had 2 years of marriage under our belts, living in our, cozy house in a great community, had great jobs, and a wonderful church family. Both of us loved where we were and what we were doing! As God began to speak to us about a change, we knew we had to give Him our “yes!”
As we learned more about church planting, the doubts and concerns started filling our thoughts. “We’re too young.”
“We don’t have the money to fund this.”
“Who will even come to this church?”
“What if it doesn’t work out?”
I could write a book of excuses we had as to why I thought this wasn’t the best idea. Thankfully, we gave God our “yes.” If we waited until we had all the answers to our questions, we wouldn’t have to rely on Him as much. After saying yes to God's direction, the pieces began falling into place, one step of faith at a time.
Another step of faith, another provision.
The journey of church planting for us has been like having the best seats in the house to watch your favorite team play - the price is high, but you can see everything! One man on our launch team described it this way, “It’s like living in a Bible story every day!”
If you and your husband are sensing God calling you to church planting, here’s some advice:
Know your Calling
Write down exactly how God spoke to you and as much as you know about what He is calling you to do. You probably don’t have all the answers yet, but a clear calling is a must. If I could sit down with you right now, face to face, I’d try to talk you and your husband out of planting a church - because I know if I can talk you out of it, then you’re probably not called to it. My husband and I often say that church planting is the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. In those low moments, that calling will be what you hang on to with all of your might!
Give God your Yes!
If you know God has called you, then do it! Don’t wait until you have all the answers. The most exciting part of the journey is watching God fill in the blanks at just the right time as you continue to move forward in faith!
Go through Assessment
Connect with a network of church planters and leaders and go through an assessment process. One of the best things we did in the beginning stage was attend an assessment. I cannot tell you how many valuable things we learned there that we still lean on today!
The 242 Network does two church planter assessments each year. For more info, click here.
Write down everything you see God do
At the beginning of our journey, someone gave me this advice. When God would provide, or answer a prayer, I would write about it in a journal. Pretty soon, I was having to simply bullet my journal pages because we were watching God do so many amazing things right before our eyes!
The things you will see God do are so incredible, you will think you will never forget them, but you will. I love to pull out those journals and remember all that God has done!
Hang on for the ride of your life!
Church planting is the most rewarding thing you will ever do. Period. - Heather
Heather is a disciple of Jesus Christ, disciple-maker, pastor’s wife, mom, sister, church planter, creative thinker, writer, choreographer, tennis player, sour candy fanatic, and procrastinator being transformed into the image of Christ through the chaos of life.
She and her husband, Bryant, planted The Exchange in Pearl, MS. Check it out!