Part of the stark reality of church planting includes facing your fears and feelings of loneliness. Anytime you start something new, be it a business, life change, or church plant, branching outside of the box takes courage and leaves you in an empty place. Not an emptiness of the soul, rather a literal emptiness of a space where few others like you exist. To go from a daydream to reality takes a giant leap of faith–we call it risk. When we risk we face our fears and enter into the fog hoping that once it lifts out emerges beauty and not an unending abyss.
But very few people embark on a journey that requires risk. Some would say it’s because we are stymied by fear, others would say we’re content to settle.
I think it’s an innate human quality to pioneer, to explore, and to stretch out into the unknown.
The answer in being human, however, isn’t chasing away fear. Having no fear isn’t the prerequisite to embark on new adventures. If that were the case we’d never successfully step outside of status quo. It’s a bit of nonsense to ask people to visualize a scenario where you have no fears because fear breeds courage and courage is the absolute necessity to try something new.
I have started various businesses and church communities and through it all I’ve never made a new attempt without the absence of fear. I’m afraid in every new venture but my fear fuels my courage and, more importantly, forces me to be reliant on the provision of God.
Worry on the other hand is something we can do without. Worry presupposes that you don’t believe God is enough. Worry suggests your own skills or your community be able to meet the worst case scenario.
As I embark on new journeys, new church plants, new ventures in business, writing, and relationships, I’ll carry with me some fear that these things won’t turn out the way I’d like. But I’m not worried about whether are not they’ll work (maybe because I’ve done enough to get used to failure) because I put God to the test by saying, “I won’t worry but you need to show up.” It’s my way of testing, but also trusting, where God is going to take me, and so far I wouldn’t trade those places for anything in the world.