The Disillusioned Planter:
A Guide on What to Do When The Church Doesn’t Take Off After You Launch
You guys are probably like, “Great, here she is again to talk about how reality and expectations haven’t lined up, how she is worn out, or something like that.”
Nope. Curveball. I’m breaking punctuation rules this time to share a WIN.
That’s right, even the disillusioned planter has a win from time to time. What do you think keeps me in it? It’s not my sheer willpower and awesomeness (sorry to disappoint if you thought it was).
Paying bills is generally a rollercoaster experience. My husband and I decide we are the worst leadership ever because it doesn’t look like there will be enough money to cover the church expenses; then we ride high on relief when, somehow, God provides just enough to pay the next bill.
This past month was no different. Jon recently started a full-time job outside the church to help alleviate the strain on the church budget, and we were hoping this would leave us some wiggle room for building beautification, new print materials, and maybe even some marketing.
As I balanced our account numbers and wrote checks to pay bills, I noted that even after cutting the pastoral salary in half, we were $500 short for rent, which was due at the end of the week. In a somewhat rare faith moment, I decided to write the check and address the envelope. I figured the money has always come in. I’d just drop the check in the mail on Friday after the funds arrived.
I opened the lease to copy the bank address onto the envelope, and I realized that it was our last month of rent on the current lease. Churches had burned the landlord before, so he had required a deposit, first month’s rent, and last month’s rent at the time of signing. The month was already covered!
We went from being a $500 short to having enough money to pay back some of the money we had borrowed from a parent church and to put some aside in case things are tight again next month. In the same week, we also had a member offer to pay for the supplies to paint the exterior of the building and a new sign.
Finances are my biggest faith stretcher. I want to throw in the towel every time the numbers are scary. However, my faith is increased as God provides again and again.
Yes, we had to cut our salary, but God provided our family with a beautiful, well soon to be beautiful, foreclosed house to renovate when our the lease of our home came to an end. Jon was able to find a job that allowed me to switch to part-time at the school in order to take care of the office work at the church. I’ve also been blessed to take on some consistent, paid writing gigs.
God is faithful.
We don’t always understand the process, but the result is unchanging. God provides all we need. I guess I’ll do this whole church planting thing one more day.
This is part of my new church planting book. I am posting as I go, so please feel free to follow along. Click the section titles below to read along: