As a church planter, the struggle to stay humble and avoid pride is ever constant. In a social-media dominated world, it becomes very easy to want to receive recognition for your hard work in the trenches. It’s easy to want to be the next “big name guy” with the podcast, book deal, and conference invitation. However, I must continually recognize that God has a plan for me and for Cornerstone Church, and that I must seek to follow his plan, not my own vain pursuits.
Who doesn’t want fame and recognition? I don’t know of many planters who would turn down the opportunity to speak at a national conference, write a best-selling book, be invited to speak at a chapel service at their alma mater, or have their podcast downloaded by thousands worldwide. Nevertheless, our calling as church planters is not necessarily to write books and speak at conferences (this may happen, and it may be a good thing). Instead, our calling is to join Christ in building His church and to push back the darkness by making disciples.
Focusing our energies on evangelism and discipleship might not get us recognition in this life, but it will eventually be answered with, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” and the knowledge that we participated in the work of saving souls from eternal separation from their God.
We must remind ourselves, that when pride calls, or when the inevitable struggles, disappointments, and failures of church planting come our way, we can look to Psalm 4 and know that God hears us and offers us relief. He knows our needs. In His presence is great joy and peace. God can put more joy in our hearts than all the world’s recognition could hope to offer.