The Fear Factor in Church Planting
As we begin this journey to launch a church multiplication movement, it would be irresponsible not to address some reason why this movement may struggle to take hold in many congregations.
In this post, we will examine barriers to creating a multiplication movement.
Black Bart was a professional thief whose very name struck fear as he terrorized the Wells Fargo stage line. From San Francisco to New York, his name became synonymous with the danger of the frontier. Between 1875 and 1883 he robbed 29 different stagecoach crews. Amazingly, Bart did it all without firing a shot. Because a hood hid his face, no victim ever saw his face. He never took a hostage and was never trailed by a sheriff. Instead, Black Bart used fear to paralyze his victims. His sinister presence was enough to overwhelm the toughest stagecoach guard. Today in the Word, August 8, 1992.
I can remember each time God placed on my heart the need to launch a new initiative on my leaders every one came with a healthy dose of fear. To create a new culture in your organization comes with risk. This movement could cause you to lose friends, lose financial supporters who don’t buy into this vision. Even if you get support and the financial backing, there is a chance this new direction may fail, at least in our eyes, based on our expectations. So, we may take the posture of Ready, set…ready, set… and struggle to “go.” Fear is a powerful deterrent. The above illustration reminds us that often our fears are internally generated, but that does not make them any less real or powerful.
At the end of that famous book Habakkuk. Habakkuk wants deliverance for his people and pleads with God to save them. But he closes the book encouraging God’s people to overcome their fears:
“Even if the fig tree does not bloom and the vines have no grapes,
even if the olive tree fails to produce
and the fields yield no food,
even if the sheep pen is empty
and the stalls have no cattle—
I will be happy with the Lord.
I will truly find joy in God, who saves me.
The Lord Almighty is my strength.
He makes my feet like those of a deer.
He makes me walk on the mountains.” (GW)
Before you jump out into the multiplication waters, avoid some of my previous mistakes. First, sit down with your leaders and engage in an extensive time of prayer and discernment. Seek God’s direction for your ministry. Is God leading you to be a church that plants churches? If God is leading you to take this leap of faith, then ask your leaders, are they willing to multiply themselves? If there is resistance, then maybe the time is not right, and fear is greater than faith at this moment in time. Pray for boldness for you and your leaders. Patiently wait for your group to gain a 2 Timothy 1:17 attitude, “God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled.”
“Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms his child.” Source Unknown.
The next post will address more barriers…
1) the perception of scarcity of resources
2) silo thinking,
3) being too church-centric and
4) we have enough churches attitude
…before we launch into the process in 2018. Stay tuned.
Other posts in this series on church planting: