Defining Moments of 2012: Encouraging Pastors

Defining Moment #11:
Affirming Pastors

I recently read a pretty powerful quote, “If you are tired of starting over, stop giving up.” Immediately my mind flashed back to the countless times that I wanted to give up during this church planting process. I could give you dozens of reasons and experiences that made me just want to throw in the towel, but there were only a few things that kept me in the game.  There were times that our team rallied around me and encouraged me to keep going.  There were times when only the calling of God on my life kept me going. There were times when simply not wanting to start over kept me going.  Then, there were those really special moments when I would get a phone call or text/Facebook message/Tweet at just the right time!

Often times a simple message in 140 characters or less would be just enough encouragement to remind me of the calling God placed on our lives to plant Northpark Church.  I can’t even begin to describe to you how powerful that simple encouragement has been.  God has surrounded me with incredible friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, that have been moved by the Holy Spirit to offer encouragement that is life-changing at JUST the RIGHT MOMENT.  I’ve often thought that if I had not had that support in those difficult moments, I may have been one of those pastors who called it quits before I saw the miracle I had been praying for actually fulfilled in my life.

Throughout the past few months, my heart has been heavy for those pastors and church planters who may not have that type of support.  I simply can’t get those guys off my mind.  This year, I have dedicated myself to be an encourager to pastors.  I may not have the mind and knowledge to teach them life-changing principles that will lead to explosive church growth, but I do have the choice and ability to offer encouragement to other pastors; encouragement that may just give them the strength to stick it out one more day, and so could you!   One of the coolest days of 2012 was the day we had a church planter’s affirmation luncheon.  We invited several church planters in the Raleigh-Durham area that have been planting for less than 5 years.  Our team gathered around them to encourage them and cheer them on.  We fed them, challenged them, prayed for them, and put gifts/resources in their hands.  We don’t have all of the answers, but we CERTAINLY have time to remind pastors and leaders that they are loved and called by God to accomplish a very specific purpose in their city!

I want to say a special thank you to our Northpark Church family and their investment in other pastors/churches.  Our affirmation luncheon could not have happened without your love, your support and your desire to grow not only Northpark Church, but God’s church!

If you are a church planter or pastor and don’t have the type of encouragement and support I’ve been talking about, I want to be there for you.  Please email me and accept my invitation to be in partnership together as we work to see our God-given dreams fulfilled!  Remember, the voice of God called you to where you are today, and until the voice of God tells you to do anything different, REFUSE to GIVE UP!

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