One of the beauties of mountain biking is that it’s powered 100% naturally by old-fashioned muscle power: no gasoline necessary. But every form of motion requires fuel of some sort. Horses need hay, sailboats need wind. Muscles need calories and water.

The best current advice for mountain bikers is to eat/drink one 100 calorie pack of gu (yes, I know—that’s really what it’s called) 15 minutes before you start the ride. Then along the way, you should stop every 45 minutes for another 100 calorie pack of gu. This regiment provides the optimal amount of muscle fuel and hydration for a distance bike ride.

In same way, church planters who forget to fuel up end up out of gas on the side of the trail. They may go along at a good clip for a while, but they can’t keep up that pace over the long haul. They need to start out with a full tank of fuel and stop for regular refueling along the way.

What is fuel for a church planter? Prayer, time with God, time with family, training, resourcing, coaching, peer support. A planter with these kinds of fuel at regular intervals along the way will be prepared to go the distance without burning out.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.              

–Isaiah 40:30-31