Answering The Call
Have you every wrestled with discerning God’s call on your life? Have you ever wondered if he’s called and the connection was dropped?
In the Bible, it’s clear that God called specific people to specific tasks. He called Abram to pick up his family and move to a foreign land. He called Moses to deliver the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. He called Paul to take the gospel and plant churches among the Gentiles. There’s no question that God has called people to serve him in specific ways. The question Christians oftentimes wrestle with today is: Does God still call people in this way and if so, what has he called me to do?
At Passion for Planting we believe God continues to call people to serve him in unique ways. He doesn’t always call people through an audible voice or messages written in the clouds, but he does call people to specific ministry endeavors.
One arena of ministry that God calls people to is church planting, which is a unique call. It’s different than being called into vocational ministry. It’s different because it takes a unique person to start a new church that leads people to trust and follow Jesus.
We love how the Summit Network defines the church planting call. They define it as:
A passionate and persistent desire, to leverage the entirety of one’s life, to take the gospel to those who have never heard it, accompanied by appropriate spiritual gifts, recognized by mature church leadership, and characterized by an urgency that leads one to bypass other worthy endeavors so as to accomplish the goal.
Church planting is not for everyone. It’s for a rare breed of leaders. That’s why we’ve filled this newsletter with resources to help you and the leaders around you discern if God’s calling you to start a church. We hope you find it helpful.
-Dale Spaulding, Director
July 2018 – Contents
- Assessment – Clarifying Your Call
- Poor Church Planting Motivations
- Hero Maker: Leaving A Legacy
- Discover Your Personal Calling
Assessment – Affirming Your Call
One step in the church planting journey that every network and denomination recognize as an essential towards planting a healthy new church is assessment. The assessment process helps leaders discern whether or not God’s called them to plant a church, discover how God’s gifted them to serve his church, and determine next steps for them to take in order to prepare themselves to answer their church planting call.
Assessment is not about passing or failing a test. It’s about exploring your gifts, passions, and experiences to help you clarify what God’s calling you to do. To learn how Passion for Planting’s Assessment Center can help you or one of your leaders clarify and affirm their calling click here.
Poor Church Planting Motivations
All too often young church leaders sense a call to start a new church, but what they’re sensing is not God’s call, but a call from their own self-interests. They’re frustrated working within the established church and consciously or subconsciously believe starting a new church will release them from these frustrations. In their minds, church planting is the land of opportunity beckoning them to loose the chain of an oppressive elder board and escape to the land of church planting autonomy where they reign as king.
That might be a slight exaggeration, but you get the point. Some church leaders feel called to church planting for the wrong reasons. If you or someone you know are exploring the call to plant a church, take a few minutes to read Ron Edmonson’s 5 Really Bad Reasons to Plant a Church and examine your motivation for starting a new church.
Hero Maker: Leaving A Legacy
One of the most tragic verses in the Bible is Judges 2:10 which acknowledges the depressing reality that after Joshua died, the next generation of Israelites grew up without knowing the Lord or what he had done for Israel. How crazy is that? Their parents walked through the Jordan on dry land and witnessed God demolish the walls of Jericho. God did the impossible among Joshua and company and yet their children choose to worship other gods. Why? Because their parents’ generation neglected to pass on the baton of faith and spiritual leadership. They were focused on being heroes, not Hero Makers.
Perhaps your church is growing and impacting your community today, but will its ministry still be reaching people long after you’re gone? It will if you focus on being a Hero Maker and invest into the future leaders God places around you.
Church leaders like Francis Chan, Matt Chandler, Larry Osborne, Louie Giglio, Amy Bloye, and John Ortberg are all in ministry today because of the investment and support of a Hero Maker. They all had someone in their life who wasn’t focused on being a hero, but on helping future leaders lead beyond them. Their stories along with many other prominent church leaders have been recorded, so we can see how God can uses Hero Makers to build his Kingdom. Watch Here.
Will you be a Hero Maker? To learn more about what you can do to be a Hero Maker, explore the free tips, techniques, and tools offered by Exponential.
Discover Your Personal Calling
Author Frederick Buechner once wrote, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” God’s put you on this earth for a reason. Like the Apostle Paul said, “He’s created you in Christ Jesus to do the good works God has prepared in advance for you to do.”
Have you ever wonder what those good works for you are? Have you ever questioned whether or not you’re serving God in your “sweet spot?” If you are wrestling with figuring out what God’s called you to do with your life we recommend you read the book More by Todd Wilson.
Read the book by yourself or with a small group of people to help you and your friends gain clarity on what God’s calling you to do with the gifts and passions he’s given to you. To read more about the book or order your copy visit: More-book.com.
Photos by Daria Nepriakhina, Jamie Street, and Michael Mroczek from Unsplash