A Unique Calling
People ask us what we look for in potential church planters. It’s a great question to consider if you’re thinking about planting a church. Starting a church is not for everyone. Many church leaders are better suited pastoring existing churches than they are starting one from scratch. Planting a church requires a unique calling and gift set that not every leader possesses.
So what do we look for in potential church planters? We look for individuals who have been exhibiting the gifts and traits of church planters. We look for people who have been making disciples. We look for people who are entrepreneurial in nature. They have started something from scratch whether that be a business, a church ministry, a civic organization – something they envisioned and built from the ground up.
We also look for leaders that are flexible, adaptable and resilient because we know every church planter will face obstacles they’ll have to maneuver around and, in some cases, plow through. Planting a church is not for everyone, but it is for some.
God’s made every one of us unique. Why? Because he has a unique calling and purpose for our lives. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us, “We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do the good works God prepared in advance for us to do.” No matter who you are, God has a special purpose he wants you to pursue. For some it’s planting a church, for others it’s making disciples in the workplace. The key is determining what God’s calling you to do, and how to do it.
Our mission as follows of Christ is clear: glorify God through making disciples of Jesus. How we do that will be different for each of us. You may not have the character traits of a church planter, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be involved with helping start new churches. We know of many leaders who have had a vision for starting a new church, but didn’t have the gift set. Did they walk away from their vision? No! They recruited those who had the gifting/calling and then joined them on the planting journey.
What unique role is God calling you to? If you’re wrestling with that question, keep wrestling. The key is discovering how God has uniquely gifted and positioned you to help more people trust and follow Jesus. That’s why we’ve filled this month’s newsletter with resources to help you explore how God has wired you and how that affects the part you play in making disciples and starting new churches. Enjoy!
-Dale Spaulding, Director
August 2020 – Contents
- Am I Called To Plant A Church?
- Personal Calling Clarity
- Church Planter Assessment
You were made for a specific purpose. God has given you specific gifts and passions. He’s called you to use those gifts and passions to bring him glory. As Frederick Buechner once put it, “The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s great hunger meet.” Where is that place for you?
If you could use some help unpacking who God has created you to be, where he’s called you to go, and what he’s called you to do, check out Todd Wilson’s book More. Todd wrote the book for all Christians, for leaders and for laity, to equip them to explore and discover their unique gifts, passions, and personal calling. Read the book and start uncovering how God has uniquely designed you to serve him and the world around you.
Am I Called To Plant A Church?
Before ascending to heaven, Jesus made it crystal clear what his disciples were to do with the rest of their lives. He commanded them to go into all of the world and make disciples. How did they respond? They pursued this mission by starting new churches because churches provide the environment where people can come to faith in Jesus and grow in that faith. They didn’t just preach the good news; they planted churches because they knew churches were essential to making fully devoted followers of Jesus.
What this tells us is that every Christian and every church should be about church planting. It’s a part of our calling as followers of Jesus. The question we all need to answer is what role do I play in planting new churches? To help you and others you’re discipling answer that question, watch this short video that Daniel Im from newchurches.com created. He highlights several insights related to this question. What he shares is encouraging, challenging and biblical. Thanks, Daniel, for this resource!
Personal Calling Clarity
One tool we use to help church planters develop and articulate a clear vision for their church plant is the Vision Frame, developed by Will Mancini and his team at Auxano. Countless church leaders have used this tool to help them clarify where God is leading their church, and then to develop a strategy for getting there. Now you can use this same framework to develop a clear vision for your life.
If you’re interested in learning how this tool can help you create a map for where God is leading you, listen to this podcast by David Rhodes, a member of the Auxano team. Through it you’ll catch a glimpse of how this exercise can help you gain clarity about what God has called you to be and do. If what David shares resonates with you, check out the Younique resources by Auxano to press deeper into uncovering your personal calling.
Church Planter Assessment
Healthy, growing church plants are most often led by healthy, growing leaders. Church planting is not for the faint of heart. It’s demanding work – work that requires a clear calling to pursue it even when it seems like all the odds are stacked against you.
Are you sensing a call from God to plant a church? Wrestle with this calling before jumping into the planting endeavor with both feet. You’ll want to make sure you’re certain that this is what God is calling you to do. That will instill in you the confidence you’ll need to keep moving forward once you put your hand to the plow.
One resource we offer church planters to help them assess and affirm their calling is our Church Planter Assessment. Our assessment process helps you gain a clearer understanding of your calling, gifts, passions, weak spots, and offers clear next steps to take in pursuing the calling God has placed on your life. Our next assessment is scheduled for October 26 – 28, 2020. Visit our Assessment webpage for more information and how to register.
If you’re sensing God’s call to plant a church, we’d love to talk with you about what next steps you should be taking to assess your calling and prepare to answer that call. Contact us now.