The beginning stages of church planting come as an invitation that can feel like a longing or a burden for a people group or a city. Jesus knows the hopes and pains of our world better than we could ever imagine and that longing comes from him!
Church planters carry the beautiful role of partnering with what God is doing as he brings life. If you’re beginning to discern your part in that, I believe it’s critical to develop the following activities and relationships.
Daily Rhythms of Receiving Jesus’ Love
You need a completely submitted relationship with Jesus that is growing daily in its vitality, trust, security, identity, and passion. Unless our hearts and identity are rooted securely in Jesus’ love for us, it is difficult to hear his heart for a people or city.
Vulnerability with Jesus and Others
We must practice vulnerability by disclosing our desires to God and those around us. At the root of our ability to discern is our understanding of how our deepest desires get sorted out at the feet of Jesus. There he begins to show us how he meets us in our longings and connects them with his Kingdom plan.
An Honest Sounding Board
Discernment is a team sport. You’ll need a close friend or your spouse to be an honest sounding board. For married planters, God often uses spouses to help sort out how a church plant will be executed. For single people, a trusted and honest friend can be a safe place to call out your strengths and weaknesses. Unless those relationships are established, protected, and practiced, planters will be missing a critical piece in discerning God’s heart for a church plant.
The Support of a Trusted Pastor or Leader
Successful planters have a pastor or leader in their life that is willing to walk with them through times of discernment to ask hard questions about motives and timing. Those pastors also carry with them a relational authority to call out in confidence what God may be doing in the person and to release them to plant at the right time.
John Aureli (Church Planter, Mission Vineyard)
Our next Multiply Vineyard Event
If this has stirred you, and you are currently on the process of discerning what God may be inviting you into, we would love to invite you to our upcoming event ‘Leading, Planting & Pioneering: Formation For the Sake of Mission’ (Saturday 22nd May, 9:30am – 12:30pm) as we learn together and explore God’s call.