Speed bumps and planting churches


Your prayers for our church planters are vital 

By Don Morris, Mission USA director

I was driving through our granddaughter’s school parking lot a few days ago, not paying very good attention, when—bam! I hit a speed bump so high that I think the tires slammed into the wheel wells and my head almost hit the roof of the car. I was looking back in my rearview mirror to make sure I hadn’t hit a small mountain when—bam! I hit the next one.

At this point I realized that I should probably slow down dramatically and pay more attention. Otherwise I was risking not only the car’s suspension system but my wife’s wrath as well. In fact, it was probably her fault that I hit the second one because she had failed to say anything to me at that point; am I right? When the next speed bump materialized ahead of me I went over it nice and slowly and there was nary a jolt to be felt. I only felt the kindest glare—I mean gaze—from my dear wife.

This experience prompted me to think about church planting. You see, our USMB church planters encounter all kinds of unexpected speed bumps, landmines and barriers as they engage in the rigors of church planting.

Too frequently immense “speed bumps” emerge before our planters, sometimes with great intensity. If church planters are not prepared for them, these bumps can cause a lot of emotional damage or loss of momentum.

We’ve had planters deal with health issues, dog bites, financial setbacks, expensive car maintenance, loss of spouses’ jobs, volatile and angry church attendees, painful concerns with children, allergies they’ve never dealt with before, chronic insomnia, warts (okay, they can live with those) and on and on. These are all things that can affect anyone, but they can be severely discouraging for planters who are completely pouring themselves out in order to get a new church off the ground.

I believe Satan uses some of these things in his attempts to bring the process of planting to a halt or to at least cause disruption. And yes, some of these things are just a part of life. But regardless of the source, they are dramatic concerns as they impact the already risky venture of church planting.

So what can we do to help ease church planters through these “speed bumps” more effectively? We teach our planters to be on guard for unexpected things to come their way. We often encourage them to be “prayed up.” But we also need others to pray constantly for our church planters.

We seek prayer warriors to intercede for protection, guidance and awareness. Paul says in 2 Cor. 1:10b-11, “On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” Your prayers are vital. Thank you for praying.


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