There are innumerable tasks that go into planting a new church. Our schedule can be so busy that we can easily get bogged down with the workload and become emotionally and spiritually unhealthy. Lance Witt, in his book Replenish, writes:
“Godly leadership is always inside out. God always has and always will choose to smile on men and women who are healthy, holy, and humble … a pastor’s greatest leadership tool is a healthy soul.”
It takes intentionality to become and remain emotionally and spiritually fit. As we plant Awakening Church in Washington, we have an opportunity to create the DNA of emotional and spiritual health. In doing so, we are intentional about prioritizing this as…
Our task of church planting is less of a 100-yard dash and more of a long-distance marathon. Relationships, helping people discover Jesus, and developing leaders all take time to bloom. But often we feel like we have been fired out of a cannon! If we don’t have a marathon pace, it can be tempting to run at a speed that isn’t healthy or sustainable — leading to emotional and spiritual burnout.
It’s easy and natural for me to focus on the things that I do for God while neglecting the time I spend with God. However, when I fail to look after my relationship with God, it quickly begins to take an unhealthy toll on my life and soul. Occasionally we all need a reminder that our joy should come from our relationship with God…not our achievements for Him.
“The bigger the better” is the cultural trend. The goal of the New Testament church was never to have the biggest church on the block, but rather to lead gospel-centered, multiplying churches that are in right relationship with God and people. Success should not be defined by numbers or popularity…but obedience to the will of God. Anything other than that can become idolatry.
We are constantly reminded of how big this task of planting Awakening Church is. But as we focus on our relationship with Christ, He leads through us. On a weekly basis, we are consistently teaching an ESL Bible study, new believers class, and other international service opportunities in our community. We have many non-believers coming to our “New Believers” class each week that are visibly hungering and thirsting for God. What a joy to walk this journey with them as they discover Jesus. This past week our friend, Jack, came to our ESL Bible study. We have been praying for him and his family for months. For the first time, we had a great opportunity to share about Jesus as we studied the Bible and shared about the life and legacy of Billy Graham. The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” In similar fashion, many people are taking their first steps on their spiritual journey to Jesus.
Over the past month, I’ve had great opportunities to preach at several different churches. Our relationships are continuing to grow and God’s vision for Awakening Church is continuing to take shape. As we recognize our inability, we become more dependent on the One who has the ability. As co-laborers, we also rely on the prayer support of our partners, friends, and readers. Please continue praying for the work that God is doing in and through us. We greatly appreciate the support!
I am pleased to announce that we recently launched our Awakening Church website (www.awakeningbellevue.com). I encourage you to check it out and let me know what you think. I sincerely value the honest feedback.