One of the questions church planters are often asked is “Why are you planting a church? Isn’t there enough already?” As a network of pastors and church planters, why do we think church planting is so important? How does church planting contribute to healthy pastors and healthy churches? In this piece, Dave Harvey answers these questions and aims to carefully define what we mean by church planting. We encourage you to download it and share it with your friends.
We live in a time when most middle-aged men have no friends. It's a plague that reaches into our world as pastors. Most pastors have no friends. We have Facebook 'friends.' We have work 'friends.' We might even refer to people as 'friends' during our sermons. But we don't have friends. We're lonely. And it's killing us. Look, I talk with dozens of pastors every week. I've watched men I respect burn out and blow out. It's more normal for me to deal with an unhealthy pastor than a healthy pastor.
My dad passed away a few years ago at the age of 69. Father’s Day will never be the same for me. What follows are five significant insights his untimely death taught me.
It’s not a pleasant topic. But if we don’t talk about dying churches, we will act like there are no problems. Somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 churches in America will close their doors in the next year. And many of them die because they refuse to recognize problems before they become irreversible.
One day in 1995, a large, heavy middle-aged man robbed two Pittsburgh banks in broad daylight. He didn’t wear a mask or any sort of disguise. And he smiled at surveillance cameras before walking out of each bank. Later that night, police arrested a surprised McArthur Wheeler. When they showed him the surveillance tapes, Wheeler stared in disbelief. ‘But I wore the juice,’ he mumbled. Apparently, Wheeler thought that rubbing lemon juice on his skin would render him invisible to videotape cameras. After all, lemon juice is used as invisible ink so, as long as he didn’t come near a heat source, he should have been completely invisible. Police concluded that Wheeler was not crazy or on drugs – just incredibly mistaken. As Charles Darwin wrote in The Descent of Man (1871): ‘Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.’