To plant a church is to reach the lost with the gospel, see them saved and begin to disciple them. This seems a rather obvious statement.
Even more obvious would be the pace that a church planter would hope that these things would happen. We surely want our work to produce as much fruit as possible as soon as possible. We would never want to slow down this work by any doing of our own. Yet, there are things that slow down the process of evangelism…things that impede the salvation of the lost…things that we can do to get in the way as christians and even as leaders of ministries. Here are several I have learned (the hard way) and been convicted of and am currently trying to overcome and eliminate:
#1 - Christianese - we too often speak in a code language that the common person who didn’t grow up in Sunday School or in Bible Drill may not track with. Here is a ‘not-so humorous’ look at some of the butchering we do of language as church people - http://www.dictionaryofchristianese.com/list-of-words-by-alphabetical/
#2 - Requiring an understanding of certain things - I recently saw a family come to Christ. The wife had been Mormon and the husband agnostic. It was a nine-month process. Why so long? They each had areas to over come. Her’s was to accept grace rather than rely upon works (as is the case with many mormons). His was worse. He didn’t have a perfect view of the trinity so he didn’t feel like he could be saved. Wow. Don’t get me wrong, I want every person to know of the doctrine of the trinity and the reality of the Father/Son/Spirit relationship. However, I don’t even have a perfect view of the Trinity. It blows my mind. It’s bigger than my understanding. When he realized that this was a doctrine to be accepted on faith, rather than perfectly understood, he received Christ and freedom. Sometimes, we accidentally put up roadblocks to decisions that aren’t to be put up.
#3 - Churchianity - as bad as Christianese, this disease requires and judges hard conformance. Not to the Word of God, mind you, but to the expectations and traditions of a church-age gone by. This is how we do it. This is how its always been done. Oh, you want the grace of God thru Christ? Go ahead and strap on this yoke of tradition and legalism and we will evaluate you after we have seen how you hold up…you get the picture.
#4 - Bad Attitudes - ‘Nuff said. Nothing quenches the fires of evangelism faster than a fiery dart launched by a supposedly seasoned saint. Bad attitudes of the un-saved should be expected. Bad attitudes from the ‘churched’ should be dealt with by understanding and treating them for what they are - cancer.
I have slowed the process of reaching the lost with each of these at times. Maybe you have to…or maybe you have a few to add. The point is to root these out of your ministry so we don’t slow the work of our Savior any further.