There are many reasons—some good reasons—why people won’t get involved in a church plant or, for that matter, an existing church. Any number of reasons will keep people away in the days before a public launch of a new church. Maybe the core group doesn’t have enough people with young children. Or maybe the group has too many people older than 40. Or maybe the plant doesn’t yet have a someone to lead a children’s ministry. Whatever.
In the face of many objections, we know two things for sure:
1. The Lord loves His church and wants it to flourish by making, baptizing and teaching disciples of Jesus Christ;
2. Compelling vision for a life-giving church knocks down self-centered objections.
Whatever the reason for not joining a church plant, it’s really bad if people won’t join because the church planting pastor fails to cast compelling vision. That’s inexcusable.
So, the question is: Why do we need another church around here? The planting pastor must have a compelling reason for a new church. If he has a compelling reason, then objections will fall and there will be people eager to join the work. People need to get a grip on the vision for something better than what they have. Whether they’re spending their evenings and Sundays watching TV or drinking beer or even attending church, compelling vision for the Lord’s church casts out shallow living.
There are churches everywhere. Some do good work. But some others are dead placeholders. They’re often led by the comfortable who seek the uninspired to give money to the ineffective. Jesus demands something different and something more. His church rises and falls on the quality of her leadership.
I was sitting with a senior pastor who was stuck in a dormant church filled with people who had no heart or understanding of the purpose of the church. Tears welled in his eyes as we agreed, There must be more than this.
Church leaders must lead to different and more. Whatever the pastor’s failures in casting compelling vision for the church, he finally saw the picture. He needed either to resign as pastor or cast compelling vision that shakes the church’s cage. That would stir some people to try to kick him out. Even so, in the midst of that rejection, there will be others who will want him to stay and lead them to fulfill the church’s mission.
Those who stay are the people who can renew a church or plant a new church that becomes a life-giving work. It starts with a leader who casts compelling vision for the Lord's glory. That vision fuels others for the work of ministry in the local church. And that is simply supernatural.