Pray for Our Leaders
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.
Colossians 1:9-10 NIV
This is going to be tough
Everything that I’ve ever read about church planting suggests that it’s one of the hardest things a pastor can do. I was listening to a pastor speak once about his life and ministry. He was a pastor of a rather large church that was, at one time, a new church start. He said once that he would do anything for God yet, he hopes that God never asks him to plant another church. He said that he barely survived the first three years of the church start, and this is not an uncommon story amongst people who launch new churches.
Here are a couple of reasons why this is so:
First, new church starts are, in a lot of ways, like any other start-up. It’s a challenge just like any entrepreneurial experience. You are expected to do a lot with few resources. You are building things from the ground up. There’s a lot of work and money that goes into something that is not necessarily guaranteed to succeed.
But second, it’s also a spiritual endeavor. Whatever you believe about the nature of spiritual warfare and however it works, church planting is clearly on the front lines. So not only do church planters wrestle with all the stressors of a start-up, they also have an intense spiritual battle, wrestling with spirits of insecurity, doubt, fear, and a variety of other exhausting pressures.
In short, our leaders need your prayers.
Pray that God would protect them and give them an unexplainable confidence in God’s ability to provide. Pray that God fills them with hope as work is done to open the doors necessary to move forward. Pray that our leaders commit to making room for rest, that they would take a day off each week and find time to separate themselves from the pressure of starting a church. Pray that their identity and value as a person would not become wrapped up in the success or failure of the church plant.