A couple of weeks ago we were planning a special service. My co-pastor, who also happens to be my son-in-law, was going to be licensed to the ministry during the service. We had invited a number of special guests to be part of the service. We were pretty excited about it. When we arrived at our normal room to set up things before the service started, the building manager, who has been very helpful in our efforts, informed us that there had been a last minute change in plans by someone in the administration. They needed the large room we normally use to accommodate the administrator's situation. With only 30 minutes until the service began, we had to move all our stuff to a different building and quickly set it up. We had never been in the building before so no one in our congregation knew where we were. The alternative meeting location was on the third floor of a building across campus and down several maze-like hallways. The room was not set up for a service. Honestly, it seemed like the morning was going to be a disaster. People were calling and texting each other trying to figure out where to go and how to find the new location. It was highly stressful and it seemed that our plans for a big service were rapidly evaporating.
Once we got everything set up, and got the service started, we were only running ten minutes behind schedule, things were starting to look up. People kept trickling in as they began to figure out where we were at. In fact, we ended up having a record attendance that morning! The service itself went great. As we prayed over Logan to license him, all the stress seemed to melt away. In the end, God got the glory, and His Word was proclaimed during the service. But it sure was stressful along the way.
Church planting is like that. Unexpected things happen that raise stress levels. God works through them and blesses the situation anyway. Then another challenge happens, and God works through that too. It happens again and again, but each time God works through the situation and brings glory to His name. The frustrations of church planting are many, but so are the joys. The joys make it worth it.
For more devotionals like this one, consider Touching the Footprints of Jesus.