My grandfather was a real pioneer. Along with his father and brothers, he moved out to the plains of west-central Saskatchewan in 1905. They took the train to Coleville, then loaded everything they owned in a horse-drawn wagon and rumbled another 40 odd miles out across the empty prairie grasslands until they reached their legal homestead. They survived that first winter huddled inside a sod shack, climbed out in the spring and went to work building modern day western Canada. Pioneers have to be made of pretty tough stuff! They need to be able to imagine things before they exist, use what they don’t have, and do what can’t be done. Which brings me to church planting! Segue or what?
One indispensible quality for church planters, and indeed any aspiring leader, is resourcefulness. The dictionary defines it as, “ingenious, capable, and full of initiative, esp in dealing with difficult situations.” Well hey! Kind of reminds me of Bugs Bunny – “Are you in – genius? In – capable? In – describable?” Synonyms include: talented, able, imaginative, and adroit. I like that. “How are you today? “Oh you know, adroit.”
But seriously, I can’t think of a better description of church planting – full of initiative and capable of dealing with difficult situations. Starting anything from scratch usually requires some unconventional thinking. If you can’t think outside the box you are probably better off staying in your comfortable pew. Church planting will demand that you do things like see a potential sanctuary in an abondoned service station, swing the city council to allow a church to occupy it, and talk the owner into donating it to you in return for a tax reciept! I remember one city counciller addressing me and my application in a tired voice saying, “Pastor Dewar, what part of NO don’t you understand?” But by the next meeting I got the zoning approval. Adroit indeed.
How do you do it? Well, there is a long Bible pedigree for such able individuals. Moses had to swing public opinion to the opposite end of the spectrum, make a highway through the middle of the sea, and feed a couple million empty stomaches for 40 years on nothing but “east wind and rabbit tracks.” (As Grandpa used to say!) He pulled it off because his partner was THE original thinker – God. This kind of resourcefulness is born out of an unshakeable trust that:
1. God wants you to plant new churches
2. God is not limited by the things that limit us
3. If it doesn’t exist God can create it for you out of thin air
So what are you waiting for? The frontier is beckoning. There are vast tracts of un-planted territory that are yours for the taking. The future belongs to the Resourceful!