OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
This was a great article, Bob—I hope you publish it elsewhere (as it seems you might be planning).
After planting churches for fifteen years, I found myself “out of things” for several years while I was going back to school. I just couldn’t take the separation from church planting, so I started inviting independent church planters to get together—a small group of people who were thinking they might like to start a church some day, were planning to start one relatively soon, were already in the process, or had recently planted one. It was a very fruitful time that encouraged a couple of the “like to do someday” to take action and reach the “doing it now” stage. It was also very encouraging, I think, for those already doing it. They didn’t have a lot of other places to go where people would be so intensely interested in their good ideas, mistakes, and feelings. They’d enjoy your article.
If people want to define “failure” as “having to close the doors in a year because not many people show up and you can’t pay the bills,” then out of the twelve times I led or participated in a church planting team, we failed outright three times, and several of the others were not raging successes. I have to say that I’ve gotten a lot of valuable experience from our “failures” that have contributed to our “successes.”
I’d have to say that church planting has been, for me, the great adventure of my life.
P.S. I don’t know if you know Steve Brooke from Our Place in Hillsboro. I got to get acquainted with him a bit last year at a DCPI training event down in Oceanside.