This blog entry has been excerpted from my upcoming book, The Church Planting Journey.
Without exception, every church planter I know of has gone through a leadership challenge at some point in his or her planting process. A leadership challenge is when things go wrong in a significant way: mistakes, problems, the unexpected. Even if you’re doing really good work–and you’re doing it right—some substantial problem will arise.
This leadership challenge can be a test of the values, a test of the vision, an attempted shift in focus, a challenge of the worship style, or a takeover of the board. The surface issue can be almost anything, but a leadership challenge most often arises when a group of people within the church plant want to take it in a different direction than the planter.
These times will be particularly tiring and discouraging for the church planter, but at some time it happens to all of us. This challenge sometimes comes earlier if you are getting off to a rocky start. If you had a great start it can be delayed, but I have yet to meet an exception so be prepared. Most planters are blindsided by it. Trust God and your call and you can navigate through it. Don’t assume it means you did something wrong. A leadership challenge at some point is normal. If you think that you are the exception, know that it’s coming.
So what can you do? Be prepared, because it will come. Surround yourself with a strong support system including peers and a coach. These should be people who can remind you of your calling when you are having a hard time seeing more than a few inches in front of you. And know that you can get through this season—get through it and be stronger for it as these difficulties can pave the way for Kingdom growth.
If you found this blog post helpful, you might be interested to know how coaching can support you and help you move your ministry move forward. I would like to speak with you! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and schedule a short call to learn more!