As I think back to some of those most important lessons I've learned, here are 3 things I would say to every single church planter out there.
#1: You will greatly overestimate what you can accomplish in the short term and greatly underestimate what you can accomplish in the long term. I have a great friend and mentor who reminds me of this truth often. In his words, "Church planting is a marathon. Not a sprint."
#2: Church planting is hard...but it is worth it. Planting a church will be far harder than you can ever imagine. It will require sacrifices from you, your spouse, and your family. It will mean facing criticism, making difficult decisions, and challenging yourself in ways you've never imagined. It's hard. But Jesus will change lives...and that is so worth it.
#3: God's love for you isn't based on your growth or success as a church planter. Probably the most significant lesson I've learned in planting a church is this: Before we were ever called to the ministry, before we were ever called to plant a church, we were called to Jesus. That is our most important calling. And the love of Jesus has absolutely nothing to do with our performance - even in church planting.
(If you are interested in church planting, but don't know where to get started, please contact me at nic at timberridgechurch dot com. We love to help church planters!)