Soil for Sowing
An accountant works with numbers, a farmer with animals and plants. A church planter works with people. Different from pastors and teachers, though, theirs is pioneer work, often starting a ministry from scratch. But just leading individuals to the Lord doesn’t automatically build a church. How does a church planter know what to do, and who to see?
A long-term plan is important, but personal worship and prayer are also necessary preparation for each day, our missionaries say. “It’s amazing how God schedules our days,” one comments. “Many times we say, ‘That was God’s timing.’ He does direct our paths, just as He promises in Prov. 3:5,6.”
“We do have to plan our time just like any other job,” says another couple, “but it has to be a flexible plan, because God brings opportunities that we can’t always know ahead or plan for. We don’t always know how long a visit or counseling session or phone call may take.”
For those serving where the work has developed, there may be more scheduled activities, such as time set apart with church leaders and potential leaders.
However, as one of our church planters points out, when you live in the North, you’d better get used to the extra time needed for wood-hauling and machine repair (skidoo, boat, power saw) and more.
“Some winter days I can only dream of being in my warm study!” he says. On those days he may more likely find himself out dealing with frozen water lines (his or a neighbour’s). Or he may be many miles out in the bush assisting someone.
“We try to keep in tune with the Holy Spirit and listen to His prompts as to who to contact or where to go,” says a missionary. Another adds, “When I was pastoring a Native church full-time, there was no problem figuring out what to do on any given day. We were scheduled up to our ears.”
Back in church planting, he says he still has no problem finding things to do. But now it seems there’s more need to seek the Lord daily as to which task.