Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. ~ Isaiah 43:1

READING: I Peter 3:12-17

Every church planter must learn to look fear in the eye and rebuke it. The Apostle Paul, the great church planter, reminded Timothy, the young lead pastor: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Tim. 1:7). When an older group of well-intentioned core group leaders calls a meeting to “discuss the direction of the new church,” the church planter must look fear in the eye, cling to his call, and not flinch. Being the “keeper of the vision” for a new church plant is sometimes a difficult task. It is amazing how many people have hidden agendas or have a wonderful plan for your new church.

When a “big giver” threatens to leave and take his offerings with him if he doesn’t get his way…don’t flinch or bat an eye. When a certain worship style is demanded…don’t blink! When a stubborn lady threatens to leave the church if her eight-year-old child cannot work in the nursery with her, against leadership policy, hold the back door open for her with a smile! When an off-key soloist wants to be the lead singer or else…choose the “or else.” Raising the bar high and striving for excellence is not easy!

In all of this “be gentle, respectful, and not malicious,” displaying the love of our Lord Jesus Christ who knew how to rebuke in love, yet died on the cross for sinners.

Loving Father, Help me to never compromise the vision you have given me for my church plant. In my firmness, demeanor, language and attitude, help me to always show the love of Christ without wavering. Amen.

Sam Douglass