It was a great weekend for ARC and the New York Giants. Several ARC churches had record attendance (C3, Matt Fry's church broke 3300) and Eli and his Giants team beat the unbeatables. I was amazed at the NY Giants' determination to win under such pressure. The odds against them were huge and the media darlings, New England Patriots, were the by and large the favorites. But that didn't play out in the end. Pure determination and guts won at the end of the day.
Sometimes I think that pure determination and guts wins in church planting situations. When we get tired and depressed that our church isn't growing like we had hoped it would we start to give in to the status quo and accept the idea that we will remain a small average church. We learn very quickly how to buy into the idea that our city is a church "graveyard" and we are one on those statistics. We begin to agree with all the other pastors in the area that "religous" spirits and demons have our city by the throat and if we can just "hold on to the rope" for a few years maybe we will grow enough to eventually buy a building and carve out a niche in the city for our struggling church.
Take a lesson from Eli Manning....break loose from the enemy and chunk your best effort down the field...maybe someone will do something extraordinary to keep you in the game. Maybe that individual will be the Holy Spirit. God has great plans for you and wants to celebrate with you on a victory that only the determined and overcomers will participate in. It's nice to have wins along the way and even necessary, but we must win the "big one." In the case of the church planter, that big one is the conviction and belief that God wants to win many souls in your city through your church (and others) and that your purpose is not to just get in the game, but to accomplish what He sent you there for.
Enough football? Not yet.
During the game I paid attention to the coaches and how they interacted with the players. It was amazing to see how each coach was constantly consulting with the players, both individually and in groups. No team can win without a coach! Question: Who is your coach? Who do you call for new plays? Who is mentoring you and guiding you through the next phase of your church plant? Who do you call each week to go over your situation with? Who is listening to your messages and giving you feedback? Who is watching you play and helping you make adjustments? For many of you the answer is, "No one." That is the basic problem that most church planters have. ARC has coaches available to help you make weekly adjustments if necessary....call one. It could be a church planter that is a year ahead of you or it could be the weekly teleconference with ARC leaders that we offer. These pastors are innovative, creative and successful and willing to share what they have with you. Just call in and listen or contact ARC for the name of one of our pastors who would be willing to coach you.
Pure determination and guts......Just do it!