On January 15th, I moved from pastoring an established church to church planting. For the first time in over twenty years, I'm not pastoring a congregation. My new church simply doesn't exist yet.
Here are some things that I'm learning again:
- I really miss being part of a church community. I mean this. I've been speaking in a lot of churches, and we've attended quite a few, but there's nothing like being part of a church community.
- There's a big difference between being pastor and a guest preacher. When I show up to speak somewhere, I am the guest. It's a totally different experience from being the pastor, speaking to your own people. I still enjoy it, but it's a completely different experience.
- It's exciting to start with a blank slate. I love people who are called to existing churches. It is an important ministry, and I've been part of existing churches my entire life. But it's really exciting to make a fresh start and to work through what a church can look like from the earliest stages.
- Transitions expose idols. Want to find out what your functional idols are? Really shake up your life, and your idols will show themselves. They were always there. The transition just reveals what they are.
- I need Jesus. I find myself growing in my hunger for him. For all the advice on how to plant a church, I like what I heard from a church planter last week: "Focus on Jesus. That's the most important thing. If you have an infectious love for Jesus, people will see Jesus in you."