One of the issues I had to work through as I thought about church planting is fear. As I sensed a growing desire to explore church planting, I could feel my fears rising. I dealt with two fears in particular:
- What if I fail?
- Where will the money come from?
The hard part about fear is that it can be mistaken for prudence. In moving into church planting, I need to be aware of the risks. Not every church plant does succeed. And it’s wise to have a financial plan and some ideas about where the money is going to come from. But there comes a point at which the issue isn’t prudence; it’s fear. And I clearly reached that point a number of times as I thought about planting.
Nobody helped me through this more than Seth Godin. It sounds strange to say this, given that Godin isn’t a renowned church planting leader. But Godin helped me tremendously as I thought about fear. I think it was Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
in particular that got me really thinking about church planting.
That’s why I was glad to see this article at Desiring God last week:
One of Godin’s goals in this little book is to expose the truth about failure — it’s not as bad as we all think.
And yet, the fear of failure is paralyzing. It’s the great deterrent to our starting things, to our taking risks. It is, as Godin explains, the dirt that buries us in the status quo program of the world around us.
Now, in my opinion, the biggest and simplest takeaway from reading Godin is how much more what he says applies to the Christian than to the secular professional.
Godin is brilliant in trying to convince his readers to step forward, to fly in the face of fear, to “start.”
How much more is this true, the post says, in light of Jesus’ promise and command contained in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. What if we really believed, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me … And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” If we believed the promises that bookend the command, do you think we’d do a better job with the command?
I’m grateful for Seth Godin. And I hope he’ll be instrumental in getting many more Christians past their fears and closer to obedience.