Honest confessions of a church planter

Today I am a bit overwhelmed for multiple reasons. Today I want to rest in green pastures beside peaceful streams… but the ground is covered with ice and the grass is brown. A metaphor? Yes, but it is highly indicative of current reality.

Today I look back at the days when I was senior pastor of a church of over 800 people… in a brand new building… leading an all-star team… teaching regularly… leading, loving, pastoring… doing what I love!

Today I am lonely. Today I am even a bit scared. Today I am frustrated. Today I am disappointed. Today I am walking through what seems like the “valley of the shadow of death.”

BUT I’m not done. I’m not quitting. I’m not discouraged beyond repair! “Why’s that?” you ask… here’s why…

Several years ago I hit a point in ministry where I was ready to quit. I had been verbally and emotionally raped by God’s people and was disappointed, discouraged, and just flat out pissed off.

I was ready to walk away from ministry with my middle finger in the air. I didn’t. I didn’t quit because I knew two things:

  1. If I quit now, I’ll never be able to teach about perseverance with any sense of integrity.
  2. If I quit now, I’ll have to go through this lesson again so I might as well get it over with now.

I stuck it out. I stayed in ministry even when the “suck factor” was off the charts. Today I’m glad I did. I’m glad I stayed in when the pressure was unbearable. I’m glad I did because today I’m strong. Today I’m able to endure this stress because I stayed in the game in the past.

If you’re under pressure, don’t bail. Don’t walk away. Don’t stop. The pressure of today will give you muscle for tomorrow!

9 thoughts on “Honest confessions of a church planter

  1. Hey Paul…I found I could relate to way too much of your post!
    ha, ha…
    I’m encouraged by that thought…today’s pressure=tomorrow’s muscle


  2. Thanks for your honesty Paul. I thought I was the only one that felt this way. I have fought the temptation to quit way too often but I, like you, have stuck it out. Keep up the good work! Eternity is what counts in ministry.

  3. I appreciate your honesty…just when you think you’re going to be walking *alone* with your middle finger up, you find there are others like you.

    I so appreciate you, brother.

  4. Paul, I am proud of you!! It sounds like the temptation to quit is coming on hard because you are about to make a huge difference in your area for Christ. As Ed Young says “you have change (new church plant) then you have conflict (feeling like you want to give up, disappointments, and frustrations), then comes the growth… change, conflict, growth”. Ed also says “another level a whole new devil”. Paul, I pray blessing and perseverance over you and your team. This type of church is what America needs!!

  5. Paul, I’m so glad you didn’t leave ministry!

    I’m so glad that one day you’ll look back and write a blog about today and how great it is on the other side of today 🙂

    I’m absolutely tickled that you use the phrase “suck factor”.

    Hang in there brother!

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