Planting a church may sound like a pretty straightforward process, but in reality, it can be extremely challenging. That’s true here in the United States and also in countries around the world, both friendly and unfriendly to Christianity. Regardless of where a church is being planted, the person heading it up will probably be faced with a handful of trials like the ones below. Read on.
Challenge #1: Emotional Turmoil
No matter where they are, church planters go through a lot of emotional ups and downs. But the church planters we work with have additional concerns on their plates because often, their government is not friendly toward the Christian faith.
It’s hard enough to make all the decisions associated with a new church – where it will be located, how services will be constructed, who will be in leadership roles – but it gets even harder when there’s a threat of persecution hanging over your head. Generally, we don’t see this too much in the United States, but in some of the areas where we work (India, Cuba, and parts of Africa), indigenous leaders are taking a very real risk by planting a new church. The emotional toll of trying to keep your family, your congregation, and yourself safe can be extremely draining.
Challenge #2: Appointing the Right Leaders
When a church is planted, it can be tempting for the person in charge to let anyone help out with anything. That’s because the task is overwhelming and there are many roles to fill, and desperation sometimes outweighs patient logic.
In 1 Timothy chapter 5, Paul warns church leaders about appointing people to leadership too quickly – and it’s a perspective every church leader should have. Having the wrong person in a leadership role is actually worse than having no one in that role.
Challenge #3: The Temptation to Compromise
Whether it’s avoiding the discussion of a controversial topic or denying one’s faith for the purpose of safety, church planters often find themselves being tempted to compromise in one way or another.
But even in the New Testament church, leaders of the Christian faith were bold in their preaching – and they were facing some pretty hostile conditions. In the book of Acts, Paul preached that “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man” – and there sat the Parthenon, built for the goddess Athena. Paul fearlessly proclaimed that the real God did not live in any temple, and so Athena could not be a real goddess. Now that’s faith in the Lord’s protection!
Doulos Supports Church Planters
Here at Doulos, we believe in reaching the most people in the least amount of time in the most cost-effective way. Interested in learning more about the indigenous church planters we work with overseas? Contact us today!