i love church plants.

not the ones with fake leaves that hide pianos and electrical outlets on stage. the other kind.

i love em. there’s such a captivating energy, and an eagerness to risk, a clear vision and an utter reliance on God; things that have yet to be blurred by the years and growth a church plant hopes for. it’s a time when leaders shine because they are moving people to believe in the need for something that is against so many difficult odds. if they can’t create that urgency, their church is going nowhere.

i received an email the other day from a church-planting-friend up north. people in his city have started to show up at interest meetings to hear about the new church. in the email, my friend begged for prayers for one of these upcoming meetings. his main prayer request was that he and his leadership team would see these inquiring people with God’s eyes. i happened to read this on saturday evening, the night before 1400 people would gather in our room to do what we always do on sunday mornings. i regularly pray for a lot of things to happen in these services—but i don’t pray enough to see the people before me with God’s eyes. this prayer changed my morning.

-i saw a family walk in for one last church service before the parents took their child to college for the first time. mom was a little tender and needing a good word for 18 years of doing her best.

-i saw a man who was preparing to be broken before his church family and confess sin. his courage was evidence of time spent in God’s secure and forgiving arms.

-i saw a much older woman who arrived late during the sermon, but was too embarrassed to find a chair in the crowded room, and so she left. i felt helpless as i urged her to stay.

-i saw a guy in the back who said he’d never be caught dead at our church. i thought of the many people there like him who have walls up against church, or our church, or church-people, or God—walls that i think God wants to break down.

i love church plants because their courage and faith reminds the established churches why we’re here. if you’re the church-going type, try that. pray that God would allow you to see people with His eyes. what’s that like for you?

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~ by bradherndon on August 18, 2008.

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