Thursday, 2 October 2008

Church planting and surfing

It struck me about 6 months ago that church planting is a bit like surfing. The big thing with surfing (I imagine!) is that you can't control the waves. The size and frequency of the waves are created by things outside of your control. In the same way, there are many things you can't control in church planting and many challenges/opportunities you have no responsibility for and which you can take no blame/credit for. Your are dependent upon the waves God sends you. On the other hand, when the waves do come in surfing you have to get up on your board and surf. They don't magically flip you up and balance you on the board. In the same way, in church planting you have to grasp hold of the things God gives you. You have to do the best you can to get up on the board and 'surf'. You can't just sit back and think things will 'magically' happen. God calls us to act - and His sovereignty works itself through our acting.

A simple analogy, I know, but this has really helped a number of times. When I look at my ministry it:

1. humbles me (when I think I've made things myself) because every 'wave' is in God's hands
2. comforts me (when I feel 'nothing is happening') because I can patiently wait for God to send a 'wave'
3. challenges me (when I become apathetic and lazy) because I need to 'get up on my board' and do the best I can to stay on.