By Phil Metzger: Church planters wear a lot of hats, by necessity. Pastor, Bible teacher, counselor, worship leader (regardless of skill), church set up and tear down coordinator, janitor. The list goes on. But in all my years of church planting it is my firm conclusion that the most important hat I wear is: giver of hope.
More than just setting up for a Sunday service or even the important role of counseling those in need, it is my responsibility and joy to hand out hope. Hope that, even when a marriage is in trouble, God can still restore. Hope that, even in times of loss and heartache, God can heal. And hope that, even when you feel alone, God is there.
The gospel is a message of great hope that we oftentimes wrap in a sense of guilt and expectation. For most, religion comes with a feeling of discouragement and thoughts of I’m not good enough.
Yet the gospel boldly proclaims there is hope because you are not good enough. Our sin separates us from God, but our sin does not keep us from access to God because of Jesus.
Jesus has dealt with our sin so that we can come boldly to His throne of grace. The proclamation of the New Testament is this: whom the Son has set free is free indeed!
If you are a church planter, then faithfully teach the Bible and be conscious of the need to infuse all your teaching with biblical hope. We can all counsel, but those early years of a church plant need to be covered in hope. Help the people believe what they have always wanted to believe but were too afraid to assume: there is hope.
Because He lives, we can help people face their tomorrow and the next day and the next!