Hard work is something you and I must NEVER avoid. Anything that is worth doing, anything that makes an impact and anything that changes lives requires lots of hard work. There are seasons in our lives that we must work hard, we must give much and we must sacrifice. But, if it is a worthy cause, it will pay off.
Planting a church is no exception. I have found myself in the busiest season of my entire life. If you know me at all, or have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I like to be busy. But, this season has been at warp speed. I am working to build an incredible core team, build a great launch team, find a building, negotiate a lease, travel to speak and raise funding, being trained, being coached, studying God's Word, doing lots of writing, planning the launch and events, preparing my staff, leading the vision and more. It is wild....it requires lots of intentionality, lots of time and tons of energy. It requres much more of me than I ever thought I had! In fact I can only do it because of Jesus. (Phil 4:13)
I'm not sure if you noticed, but nothing in the list above was about my family, or my personal responsibilities! I must also balance being a good husband, good father, good provider and the spiritual leader of my home. In addition I pay the bills, help keep up the house and yard, make sure our vehicle is maintained, protect my family and more. Plus, I have to find time to date my wife, hang out with my kids and enjoy life!
The hardest work of all is making sure I manage my time, maximize each moment and give my best in everything that I do. I must create downtime to relax. I must create time for being in God's Word. I must create alone time with my bride to hear what's going on in her world and date her. I must create hang time with my kids together, and one on one. (That requires a lot when you have as many kids as we do!) And, I must dedicate everything else I have to building and leading a church.
It is a crazy season. Anyone who believes that being a pastor, and especially a church planter, is not hard work....they are crazy! It is the toughest job I have ever had. But, I love this more than anything God has ever allowed me to do. I pray daily that God will give me strength, surround me with great people and keep me humble enough to rely on others and keep learning.
You and I cannot expect to do anything great in this life without hard work. If we are not willing to work hard, then we cannot expect great things.