OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
I’m sorry, but I couldn’t disagree with you more. Three years ago, the church I attend decided to become a multi-site church, with each of the sites having a different look and feel. For a number of reasons — some of which I understand and agree with, some of which I don’t — they decided to close the site at which I was a worship leader last month. In essence, this was one of the failed church plants you describe. Painful? Yep. Will it leave scars? Undoubtedly. Does that mean it shouldn’t have happened? Absolutely not!!!
This church plant got me involved in ministry. It got my wife involved in ministry. It encouraged a mid-fifties lady to come back to church. It encouraged a group of fifteen year old kids who had never gone to church to see what Jesus had to offer them. It encouraged a late twenties/early thirties self-described “geek” to give church a second chance. If that plant did nothing else, it changed these six lives. And from out of the ashes of that “failure”, I am praying and considering planting a church myself.
As Christians, we should not seek to avoid pain or avoid scars. It is by Jesus’ scars that our sins have been removed! Our way is not the quick, easy, painless way. Rather our way is often slow, difficult, and painful. But from pain we learn and grow. No, Bob Hyatt is right — the only “failure” is the failure to do what God called us to do. Planting a church is not to be taken lightly, and it is not to be done out of selfish motivations, but if it is what God truly has called us to do, then we *must* trust God to do with our work what He wills.