There is so much pressure to deal with in church planting. Pressure to get you target audience down, pressure to meet assessment guidelines, pressure to prove your call, pressure to win people to Christ, pressure to raise money, pressure to grow the church well, pressure to preach like a celebrity, pressure to serve your family, pressure to stay on top of culture, pressure to cultivate communion with God, and oh, the pressure of dealing with your own sin and inadequacy. Add to those items the weighty demands of shepherding eternal souls and the warlike attacks from Satan, and it is evident that church planters are faced with an incredibly diverse and inordinate sense of pressure. What to do?
Well, I am learning that I have to sort out my sources of pressure, the good from the bad. Some pressures must be rejected. “Grow your church” for example. I will never grow our church. Only God in Christ through the Spirit can do that. Yes, I am joyfully responsible for sharing, discussing, preaching, teaching, living the gospel, but I am not sovereign over the hearts of men. Only God can give new, believing hearts to old, broken, sin-encrusted men. So, while I should not bear the weight of regeneration, I am to carry the pressure of responsible, joyful witness. I must cast out negative, ungodly, christian cultural pressures and invite positive, godly, biblical ones. This requires prayerful reflection, cutting off my impulse to relieve the pressure through immediate action. Instead, I pray, confess, and receive grace to do what God has called me to do and repent from doing what God has not called me to do, like grow his Church.