As we finished our three-month training with eight planters, the Lord reminded me that everyone had a “God story” and call. From a planter who is in rural Alabama and works as a private pilot to pay the bills to a retired prison chaplain who is planting in his community, God is calling out leaders to begin new works.
Every church planter must have two calls in his life. The first is a call to put his faith in Christ and follow Him. Outside of a relationship with Christ, there is no foundation for faith. Remember, you cannot take someone where you have not gone. Depth in the walk of the planter is critical and essential for a lasting impact.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me” (John 15:5, CSB).
The church planter must remain connected to his only lifeline. Fruit will only come as he remains desperately connected to the vine.
The second call in the lives of distinct and diverse planters is a clear Holy Spirit push to engage a community with the good news of Jesus with an intention of planting a body of believers in that community. The church is not a building but a body of born-again disciples committing under grace to be a community of faith in a locale and from there fulfill the Great Commission of Christ.
The church planter’s call to a community is like Paul’s declaration in 1 Thessalonians 2:8 (CSB): “We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.” The Gospel planted in word and deed is a life-on-life commitment.
These two calls have been touching the lives of many during this chaotic time of COVID-19. Men from all walks of life, many bivocational, are stepping forward in obedience to the Lord.
Pray to our Lord for laborers. The harvest is now!