Church Planter (church plan-ter) n. a courageous pioneer, visionary leader, and dreamer who uses entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation as a means to reach the unchurched and de-churched
The call of a church planter is both broad and wide. Like anything started from the ground up, it is filled with seasons of growth and excitement, as well as challenge and testing. It requires an always-ever leaning in to God, finding the people who will surround you in the vision, an understanding that it takes much sacrifice and the willingness to do it.
Apostle = TO see what IS AND what COULD be.
JUSTIN DAVIS // Hope City Church // I attended a church planting boot camp when I was 28 years old because we were planting our first church and I had no clue what I was doing. I’d spent the first seven years in ministry with a sense of discontentment and frustration. During that weekend boot camp, I was introduced to the term “apostle.” An apostle is someone who is a pioneer; who sees not just what is but what could be; who has a desire to not just be a part of the future, but to create it. For the first time in my life, I felt permission to be myself. To embrace the apostolic gifts God has given me through the adventure of church planting and multiplication.
I found out that courage isn’t the absence of fear; it is the belief that God will show up in the midst of your fear as you live out the calling he’s placed on your heart. As a church planter, you must embrace the fact that things will not go as planned; people will let you down; resources will be scarce and the vision you have for your church will not come to fruition as fast as you think it should. These struggles will bring humility. At the exact same time, you must cast vision, raise funds, recruit new people and share the heart you have for the city to which God has called you. This is boldness. Both humility and boldness are necessary and often work hand-in-hand in the process of planting a church.
A partner like Multiply Indiana has helped us go further, faster. The collective wisdom, experience and relationships have served me personally and our church in so many ways. Each Multiply Indiana meeting is a declaration that we are not just growing individual churches; we are partnering together to grow the kingdom of God. We are a part of a multiplying movement of hope that is spreading across our state.
It’s worth it.
JON OWENS // City of Lights Church // One of my past mentors said, “Jon, people are going to tell you that church planting is hard, they’re lying to you. Church planting is a near-death experience!” We have seen that the reward has far outweighed the cost, but there is a cost. I think it’s important for people to know that anything that is worth it is work.
The vision for our church came while reading Matthew 5, where it talks about how we are “the salt of the earth” and we are “the light of the world.” God was speaking to me saying this is what it means to have a city of lights, where people regardless of ethnicity, regardless of socioeconomic status or education, and every sphere of influence from athletics to education to politics, that each person filled with his light would shine in the Earth. God called us too, as a church, not to just encourage everybody to come into the church, but actually help people of all backgrounds and different experience levels, in areas of influence in the city to connect to His truth, connect to His light, and become alive in that truth, and then go out and shine.
I think particularly for a church planter, the word that God spoke to me, and that I’ve been reminded of was when God said “there is a people for you.” I think if you can get a vision for the people that God’s called you to reach, even when it’s hard, it will motivate you and drive you. Get a vision that is bigger than just a year past your launch.
Watch Jon’s full story here.