As a Pastor I receive a constant barrage of phone calls and emails from prospective missionaries who are looking for support and an opportunity to come to our church and present their ministry. I have noticed over the past couple of years a distinct change in the ministries that are contacting us. More and more of the missionaries that are looking for support are church planters in the United States.
I am all for planting churches in the United States – though I am not fully convinced that this qualifies as being a missionary who needs to raise support. As a pastor of a church that has steadily grown – it is my belief that churches should plant other churches. Instead of building bigger facilities to house more people, perhaps we should be starting satellite churches in other areas to better reach those geographical needs.
My father planted a church. He started a church with three families (including ours) that amounted to twelve people. We met in a living room of one of the families. After about six months and averaging about 40 people, we rented a building. For the first three years my Father worked full time at a local factory on the third shift so that he was available to do the work of the ministry during the day. He believed that we, like the Apostle Paul, were to be ‘tent makers’ as required to get the job done.
I did not plant a church, I became pastor of an existing church. This church only had about 25 people and I as well worked full time for the first six months of the ministry. Even after quitting my career job and pastoring the church full time, I still worked several odd jobs.
These young men that want to plant churches need to get a job. They need to work while planting a church. No, it is not easy. No part of planting a church is easy. Ministry is not easy. Get a job! Work!