Lessons Learned in Church Planting

Heather and I were recently driving in the car, and the question came up.  What are lessons we learned as a young church plant, that we need to be reminded of now as a church that is 10.5 years old?  The Israelites were notorious for forgetting things (Deuteronomy 8-9).  And we are too.  If you’re like me, I’ve repeated several ‘grades in school’ before.  ‘Grades’ such as humility, patience, and sacrifice.  But with each lesson given, you learn a bit more and the Holy Spirit continues His work of transforming us.

So here are four lessons I believe we learned early on, and we, including Heather and I, need to be reminded of so we don’t forget.

One family or person at a time

Our vision statement calls it being driven to reach people.  Jesus called it ‘go and make disciples.’  Crosspoint was started for the sole purpose to reach the lost.  By God’s grace, that has been happening.  And yet it is easy to become overwhelmed at how many people there are yet to reach.  I have so many friends and people in this community that I love, and pray for often will come to know Jesus fully, and follow Him as Lord.  I hope that you have people as well in your life. Instead of becoming overwhelmed by all those yet to be reached, we can be encouraged that the Kingdom of God grows one family or one person at a time.  Jesus talked about going after the ‘one’ in Luke 15.  Who is your one?  Crosspoint, do not forget that the family of God expands, multiplies and grows through relationships, one family or one person at a time.    

Personal ownership

As a young church plant, if you called Crosspoint your home church, then you owned the mission, vision, and health of the church.  As a baby church, it was all hands on deck.  You could not operate as a consumer.  You did not simply attend, but you engaged in the life of the church.  You gave toward the mission.  You jumped in and served wherever was needed.  You filled gaps, even if it wasn’t ‘your job.’  Because it wasn’t about ‘their job’ or ‘my job,’ it was ours.  It was shared.  And as a part of the Body of Christ, every person was going to do our part.  We were in it together, and still are.  Crosspoint, do not forget to personally own your role and part in the Body, and in the mission He has called us to. 

Constant outward focus

As a new church, you are thrilled to see someone new walk in the doors.  ‘Thrilled’ might be an understatement really.  You’re so excited, and it is like having wood thrown on the fire of your heart.  You’re instantly grateful that God has brought them through your doors.  And you don’t want to squander that opportunity.  On a Sunday morning, you’re not as concerned about talking to someone you already know.  You’re more concerned with meeting someone new.  Because you remember what that felt like for you.  You remember walking in the doors the first time, and being welcomed, and invited in.  And you want the same experience for anyone else.  Crosspoint, do not forget to have a constant outward focus.  The Lord wants to use you to show His love to another person, not just on Sundays, but as a way of life.

Praying and believing God for big things

The very fact that you were part of a young church, meant that you believed God could do big things.  Otherwise, you would’ve avoided the experience of starting a church.  You prayed that the Lord would provide financially, and that people would get saved, and that volunteers would be raised up, and so much more.  And you didn’t take for granted one life being changed, or one person getting baptized, or one new person calling Crosspoint their church home.  None of that became just ‘normal,’ but every time, it reminded you of God’s goodness and greatness.  It led you to worship.  You saw the hand of God not only help a new church survive, but to thrive and grow.  Crosspoint, do not forget to pray and believe God for big things.  He has proven His faithfulness and power over and over.

Whether you were around Crosspoint during the early years, or just walked in our doors this last week, these are lessons that we need to be reminded of.  We can’t forget them.  These are not lessons that we graduate from, but instead, are growing in.  So after reading this, what is your next step?

So thankful to be on the journey with you.