The reason that I first got involved in church planting is that God spoke to me about it. He gave me two very specific words – ‘church planting’ and ‘Manchester’, and these words have shaped the last decade of my life.
God is a speaking God and we should be always eager to hear his leadings. God can speak in many ways, including through a whisper or prompting in your spirit, through a prophecy given by somebody else, through a particular scripture, through a circumstance, or in many other ways. The key is being clear that you have heard the voice of God.
Part of this process of gaining clarity comes from weighing what you believe God has said. The other questions outlined in this article play a part in this, as does seeking the input of others as to whether it is God speaking, and there is a place for asking God to confirm his word by bringing the same thing several times through independent sources or providing other supernatural confirmations. I did all of these things after God had spoken to me about planting in Manchester, and it was only after I received this clarity that I made the move.
Depending on the answer to the ‘What Has God Said to You?’ question, here are some things that you might want to consider:
If God is telling you to go… The next move isn’t necessarily to get cracking straight away. In the Bible there is frequently a time delay between a person receiving a call from God and them actually doing the thing that they have been called to. If you know that God is calling you to plant, then this is a conversation to have with your current church leaders and movement leaders that you are involved with. Seek their input and humbly receive their response. Work through the other questions in this article and come up with a game-plan to prepare yourself for what God has called you to.
If God is telling you not to go… This doesn’t mean that you can’t still be about church planting. You personally may be called to something else, but you have the ability to further the cause of church planting by praying for those who you know (and those who you don’t know) who are planting, by financially giving to church planters, by sending those in your circle of influence to get involved on planting teams and by encouraging planters with friendship and support.
If God hasn’t said anything to you specifically… The Great Commission is still the Great Commission and the world needs reaching. As the church spread in the book of Acts, there were moments where it did so because of specific directional words from God, but more frequently it was simply people doing their best to live out the mission that Jesus had given them. If God hasn’t specifically spoken to you, this doesn’t necessarily mean that church planting isn’t for you. Work through some of the other questions below, and if you feel like it is the right thing to do then talk to your church leaders about it.