|MissioNexus interview |
Listen to the interview here
Read their thoughts on my book below
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Buy it on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com
The Tale of a Church Planter
The author is a married woman church planter. She and her husband recently started and developed a church together in England. Therefore, the value of this book is that it is written from a woman's point of view. Like many wives of church planters, she did not have the title of pastor, yet she functioned as one as she devoted just as much time and energy to the church start and development as her husband.
Angela approaches the subject candidly, with humour and depth of understanding of what it takes to plant a church. She faces the good times joyfully and the difficult times (and there are many!) with determination and wisdom, giving invaluable insights. If you have ever experienced the kind of problems she has, you will relate to what Angela has to offer. The book is easy reading but this does not take away from her profound and helpful insights.
One of the most transparent chapters is chapter 14: "When Passion Fades." Angela candidly states, "Leading a church is easy when you are excited, full of energy, and like King David, you are consumed with zeal for the House of God" (Kindle location 1254).
If a church planter has lost this passion, Angela suggests asking the following questions:
1. Was I still passionate about Jesus?
2. Did I still believe in God?
3. Was I still willing to live and die for the cause of Christ?
4. Did I still see the vision God had given us for the Church?
5. Did I still love the people?
6. What would life look like if I stopped doing church?
7. Did I really want a life without leading a church?
When passion for ministry has been lost, Angela also answers the question of how to revive passion with four practical "passion builders."
"It never occurred to me that I could never tell people about what Jesus did on the cross without being totally bowled over by it myself each and every time I spoke. It never occurred to me that it was possible to have a good 'sales pitch' for God but not be living what I was 'selling'." (Kindle location 339)
"Prioritise (sic) intimacy with God; don't let church work get in the way of knowing God. Grow in love with Him, stay intimate with Him, keep close to Him and see how your church will flourish and bear much fruit as a result!" (Kindle location 358)
"If we could successfully build a flourishing church on our own then it is quite likely that we would become proud and even arrogant. God made us relational and dependant on each other in order to do His will." (Kindle location 638)
"One key we have found with people in general in our church is 'use them or lose them'. If people are ready to serve and they don't get used then they will find another places to get busy. Either it will be another church or they will find their way back to their sin." (Kindle location 702)
"It's simple! It's not about you. It never was and it never will be. It's not your church, it's His church and it's not your will, it's His will. He had the blueprint and He will build the church according to His plans and purposes. There is very little that you can actually do that will make it work or that can make it grow unless He is building it. You can work your fingers to the bone, you can love all the people in your world, you can do whatever you think is possible, but if He is not building it then it is all in vain." (Kindle location 858)
"Tiredness does come and passion does fade into indifference. Where Sunday was once the highlight of your week, it slowly becomes the dreaded day of the week. It might take months or even years, but a season without passion will come, it has to come so that you can choose to go on not based on what you feel but on who God is." (Kindle location 1271)
"The biggest mistake we can make as church leaders is to think that things will fall apart without us. It won't, we are not indispensable at all. In fact, for many of the balls that I 'dropped', two more people rose up to catch them. It is entirely possible that leaders who won't let go of things hinder others from rising up." (Kindle location 1526)
"Being content in whatever state you are in is an essential key to enjoying the ride. Getting stressed out when money is low can drive you insane and feeling the hurt every time one of your precious sheep leaves the sheepfold can hurt badly. Equally, getting caught up in pride and thinking that any success is yours can cripple you and so can other such sin. Balance is essential to enjoying the ride." (Kindle location 1608)
"You can build a church without an intimate relationship with God but why would you want to? It's like saying you can build a marriage without an intimate relationship with your spouse, but why would you want to? It's the intimacy that makes the relationship, it's the intimacy that is most fun and it is the intimacy that bears fruit!" (Kindle location 355)
"Before even thinking about planting a church, I would highly recommend building a team that will work with you and support you no matter what! It's not about quantity but about quality. A small team with the right heart will do so much more than a large team with a bad attitude." (Kindle location 641)
Best Take Away
Quoting her husband and fellow church planter: "This journey has challenged me to the core; it has been a total paradigm shift in my concept of what church really is, my kingdom perspectives, loving people and servant hood. I am not the same man I once was. My mindsets have been shattered. I am more mature, I have done things that I never thought I would be able to do. Now I know that only God can build His church, we are merely instruments. I have learnt total dependence on Him. It has been challenging, thrilling and most of all I have been having the time of my life!" - Eric De Souza, Senior Pastor (Kindle location 1593)
This practical, experiential book on church planting from a woman's perspective would be especially helpful to ladies (single or married) who are involved in a church plant. But it would also be helpful to a husband's understanding what their wife faces in a church plant too.