People ask me all the time what I would do differently if I could do it all over again (Build a church). What changes would I make in church planting?
Let me start by saying that I made so many mistakes because I started at the age of 20 but let me pinpoint a few glaring ones.
#1 I WOULD NOT WORRY SO MUCH ABOUT INSTANT SUCCESS.
I hurt myself badly 17 years ago, even developing stomach ulcers, worrying if my plan was unfolding quickly enough.
Honestly, it almost took me out very early. I really wish I would have taken the time to enjoy the LITTLE SUCCESSES along the journey.
I would avoid this needless tragedy of panicking as though I had to change the world the first day.
#2 I WOULD DO A FEW THINGS AND DO THEM WELL.
Eagerly flying out of the gate, I had so many ministries I wanted to get started. I would handpick people to do things they weren’t qualified to do because I wanted to do everything right away.
Today, I let God dream in my heart for a certain area of ministry and never let it go. Every single time, at some point, God sends the perfect person to execute that ministry goal. Keep the ministry idea in your heart and never let it go. In due season, God will send the expert in that area.
#3 I WOULD HAVE MORE FUN
Today, I have a blast. I’ve learned that God, just allowing me to just be on His team, is enough to bring me so much joy.
Back then, at times, it was painful. I let the dream get ahead of the progress of my own personal growth and I took everything personally. Lack of growth, criticism, and even things that were out of my control that simply just needed time to grow caused me much pain and grief.
I wish I would have laughed more instead of crying all those nights, feeling like a failure, when in reality I wasn’t. I was wrapped up in a very hurting place where laughter seemed like a distraction towards the destination.
#4 I WOULD HAVE PRAYED MORE
This is really a sad confession. A pastor saying he should have prayed more but it’s true. I valued my human effort more than what the Holy Spirit could do through me. All of the other three points made were a direct result of not praying more.
More prayer would have made me more patient in choosing staff, allowed me to have more fun, and put my proper view of success in perspective.
Despite all these faults God chose to use me. Sometimes I wonder if He loves the community I serve so much that He decided to have patience with me. Either way, I’m glad God didn’t give up on me. If you are planting a church or starting anything new I hope these helped a bit.