Unexpected rain. Flickering lights. Ugh. I knew what that meant. I was just a kid, but when it began to pour I knew my dad would have to head down to the church office to check on the water pump. If it wasn’t working, the offices would flood.
My dad was a church planter. This meant he wore a million hats. Today, with the rain flowing, he wore the hat of building maintenance. The church “office” was actually the basement of a local Presbyterian church. And the sidewalk flowed downhill towards those basement doors. If the pump inside the drain in front of those doors went out, the entire basement would flood. In the pouring rain, my dad, the pastor, would do his best to make sure the pump was operational.
Perhaps little incidents like these helped make me passionate for church planting pastors. I know church planting has grown in popularity in recent years. If you saw a graph depicting the American church’s consciousness of church planting you'd see a spike upwards in the last decade. For me, however, the graph would be flat. It has been part of the DNA of my church network since the beginning, and part of my life from birth. I admire, appreciate, and love those who have gone out to risk their lives for the advance of the gospel.
This might be part of the reason the final line of our church mission statement is “the planting of churches.” Obviously, there is more to it than my emotional attachment — the Bible is bent on exalting the work of the local church. God sent His Son. The Son sent His Spirit. The Spirit sent God’s people. The church was born — and the church continues to expand. To make this part of our mission seems like obedience and duty, not personal preference.
But I love the men and women who have worked tirelessly in the fight to plant a church. It is tough work. A church planting friend of mine doesn’t like the “planting” metaphor. “It’s too clean,” he says, “as if you just put the seed in the ground and it steadily grows.” He says it’s more like birth, with all the aftermath of a newborn baby.
This hard work and our love for those called to it is why Calvary Monterey has a church planting program. We want to encourage those who God has called to this difficult task. We don’t have a ton of resources, but what we do have we will try to offer. This past year we enjoyed watching two young pastors go through this time of training. We hope for a few more in the 2017-2018 program year, as the Lord wills.
If you are a pastor who thinks you might want to plant a church, perhaps we could serve you. Our eight month course isn’t designed to prepare your theology, but to prepare you. We believe your health is vital to the longevity of the work. We want to build you up from the inside out. We do focus on pastoral skills like sermon preparation, but primarily on your depth, your walk, your purity. The battle is fierce, so we hope to help you gain strength for the fight.
Visit calvarychurchplanting.com for further information or to talk with us more about the program.