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It's Personal: Surviving and Thriving on the Journey of Church Planting (Exponential Series) Paperback – April 23, 2012
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About the Author
Brian Bloye is the pastor of West Ridge Church in Dallas, Georgia, and the founder of the Launch Network, an organization focused on inspiring and equipping next-generation church planters to lead strong. Brian also serves as founder and president of Engage Burkina, an organization committed to serving the people of Burkina Faso, Africa. Since 2009, eleven churches have been planted and 74 wells dug in this nation, the world’s second-poorest country.
Amy Bloye is a pastor's wife and the mother of two teenage boys. She and her husband, Brian, started West Ridge Church in 1997, and she has a passion for encouraging and connecting church planters' wives. She loves travelling to sunny places and shopping for bargains, but her best time is invested in dating her husband and hanging out with her two boys, Taylor and Zach.
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Top customer reviews
We all know planting a church comes with some major heart ache and yes some incredible highs too. Through it all we hold firmly to the belief that Jesus is worth it all... and if church planting was easy everyone would do it...
Great book, I think I cried most of the way through it just realizing... I'M NOT ALONE !
Each one of the twelve chapters asks a question starting with the first chapter "Why is Church Planting So Personal?" Their answer is that "A church is built from the blood, sweat, and tears of the people who build it in God's power" (19). As church planters ourselves, my wife and I can relate to this statement.
Chapter two asks the question, "How do you know you are called to plant a church?" Their answer, "Don't plant a church because you think you can do it. Plant one if you think you must do it" (43). Passionate church planters will understand the question asked at the end of this chapter, "What specific thing about church planting captures your imagination?" (45). Their answer is "from a desire to reach people for Christ, with the firm conviction that this is the best way to do it, as well as the way God wants it done" (45). Every church planter should read and be challenged by the heights the author takes us to in the section "Vocation to Location" (46-47). I went with them in this scaling of the mountain.
Chapter 3 deals with planting a healthy church and then chapters 4 & 5 deal with protecting your family in the church planting process. How sad to plant a church and lose one's family. Read these chapters and be forewarned and helped.
The remaining chapters deal with such things as change, building a staff, friendships inside and outside the church, being authentic, spiritual vitality, and thriving on the journey. I liked the quote on p. 141 dealing with pride in church planting, "The secure pastor, on the other hand, knows that there is only one star and he reigns in heaven" (141). Amen!
Chapter 12 "When Does It Become Too Personal?" tells the story of a church plant that did not survive and yet the couple planting it moved to a new area and saw God at work for he is the One who makes churches survive and thrive.
I wish I would have had this book before engaging in church planting and I am going to encourage church planting couples to read this book before they commit themselves to this great and yet challenging ministry.
While the book covers a lot of ground and seems to largely be written for people who are thinking about planting a church or are just at the beginning of the process, there are a ton of things to learn from this book, regardless of where you are.
The reality, church planting is incredibly personal. You pour your time, energy, blood, sweat and tears into it, often with the potential of financial ruin if the church plant fails. As much as you want to think it, when someone leaves a church plant, it is hard for a pastor not to take it personally. When people lash out about decisions on the budget, starting or killing a ministry, or passing on a ministry idea, it is hard to not take that personally. When you counsel someone and they don't listen to you and their life implodes, it is hard not to feel emotionally involved. For a pastor's wife, when people tear her husband down, say nasty things about her or to her, it is hard to not take that personally.
That's what this book is about, when ministry becomes "to personal," becoming an idol that we serve instead of serving Jesus and allowing Him to build the church instead of thinking we do.
Here are a few thoughts that jumped out at me:
-There is a sense in which a church plant is a reflection of your personal relationship with Christ.
-Why is church planting so personal? Because God meets your needs in a highly personal way. He requires you to come up close, to push your faith to a new and uncomfortable level. And the greater your need, the greater your joy when he meets it - and the greater he is glorified.
-Jesus said he would build his church, but he leaves it up to us to build our families.
-In marriage, it's far too easy for us to load each other down with so many hindrances and extra burdens that our steps become slower and we finally stumble. Our insecurity and negativity are weights. Our failure to find significance in Christ, demanding it from the relationship instead, is a weight. Chaos, busyness, discontentment - all weights.
-There are times you are going to have to disappoint someone; make sure it is not your kids.
-Satan doesn't have to destroy you; he just has to distract you.
-Parents today are focused on giving their children everything they themselves never had that they forget to give them what they did have - the simple things in life, principles and values that were instilled in them as children, things that are far more valuable than the latest smartphone or video game.
-Not every church is called to do every ministry.
-For what's at stake, you must do whatever it takes.
-Check your egos at the door because only God gets the credit here. It's not about me as the pastor. It's not about staff members either.
-Our best hires never even asked about salary until the very end of the hiring process.
-You want the kind of team member who are drawn to a compelling and exciting vision rather than a salary and benefits package.
-I can't do something for everyone, but I can do something for someone.
-If you reach out to broken people, you'll always have an audience.
-When does church planting become too personal? It becomes too personal when you lose sight of the fact that it is God's church.
If you are thinking about church planting, in the middle of it, this is a book worth picking up.