Sunday, August 17, 2008

Perseverance in Church Planting

It has been very inspiring to follow the story of Michael Phelps in the Olympics this month. He is a great testimony of perseverance. In fact, all of the athletes that are competing have stories of perseverance - without it, they would not be in the Olympics.

As church planters, we must be examples of perseverance as well. Church planting does not come easy. It takes enormous work, devoted (sometimes desperate) prayer, and perseverance to succeed.

This morning I was preaching at a 6 month old church that is doing very well. My text was James 5:7-12, "Be patient, then, brothers until the Lord's coming." James was encouraging these believers to persevere in difficult times, and I wanted to encourage this new church to persevere as well. He gives 3 examples that would be worth all of us considering, the farmer, the prophets, and Job.

From the farmer we learn that we need to persevere through the difficult seasons of life. From the prophets we learn that we need to persevere even when others attack us. From Job we learn that we need to persevere in the midst of spiritual battle.

We can also observe from this passage that our perseverance should be with a good attitude (v.9), with worship (v.11b), and with integrity (v.12). The mark of a great church planter is perseverance!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Benefits of Trusting

Many of us have difficulty trusting others. Some of us were trained to not trust. Some suffered greatly during their childhood and decided that they could not really trust anyone. All of us have experienced relationships where trust was broken. So why trust at all?

In his excellent book The Compassionate Samuri, author Brian Klemmer identifies five benefits that motivate us to trust.

1. It's the only way to access the synergistic power of teamwork.
2. It builds relationship and intimacy.
3. It releases time freedom and efficiency.
4. It's the primary tool for making a difference and being of service.
5. It gives you a feeling of exhilaration.

As church leaders, we must be looking for people who are trustworthy to partner with in ministry. The average person plays not to lose by not trusting. Extraordinary leaders learn when and who to trust and seek to build trusting relationships.