This I know

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by John Chappell

People told me that church planting would be hard. They told be that it would be the hardest thing Jen and I have ever done.

I should have listened.

I remember sitting in meetings, listening to countless pastors talk about the ups and downs of church planting. I didn’t understand what they were talking about then. I do now.

This is a struggle that just doesn’t seem to have an end. In everything I have ever done, Jesus has met all of my needs. Why would this be any different? I know that I’m not particularly smart, or good looking, or even an extraordinary athlete. I still knew deep down that God had called my family and me to take the biggest leap of faith ever. I still do.

Just like any church I’ve ever been a part of, people come and go.

This time it’s more personal.

You can’t blame it on your senior pastor and his lack of understanding or vision. You can’t blame it on any particular person in fact. People leave because of YOU, they don’t like your preaching, they don’t like your vision, they ultimately feel you are not their pastor.

This hurts more than I ever thought possible.

I’ve given my life to Jesus. I want to see people know that God loves them and has a plan that is so much better than any path they think they blaze for themselves. I believe in the life transforming power of the Holy Spirit because I’ve seen it over and over. There is nothing better in this life than seeing someone coming from death to life.

I’ve never struggled with comparing myself to other pastors and people because deep down I know that I deserve to be here. I know that I’m not talented enough. I know that I’ll never look cool in “skinny jeans.” I know that I’ll never be a “Carl Lentz” (he’s pretty jacked). But, you see, that’s actually a wonderful place to be.

I’m free to be me.

I’m released to know that I am relying on God 100% to make this happen. Isn’t this what the bible is full of? People who other people thought never had a shot, changing the world. I like me and I’m confident and proud of me.

Recently I’ve been dealing with the blows of church planting and as we are preparing for services, volunteers and growth.

This question came to me “Do you want the church to be successful for you to feel validated or because you actually care about the people in this city?”

I think we all deal with wanting approval with God in different ways. Was this mine?

I’m taken back to the song that we learn as little kids in children’s church that goes “Jesus loves me this I know…” We are all in different places in our journey. Be encouraged in the fact that God isn’t done with any of us. Be encouraged that you breathe for a purpose and Jesus loves you more than we can ever comprehend. I was recently on the phone with a friend and I was sharing some of the stories from our church and struggles and he replied simply, “You got this.”

Taking leaps of faith in any area of our life isn’t the easiest but it’s then that we truly understand faith and how much of an honor it is to leap.

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