How to overcome discouragement in church planting

by | Jan 11, 2023 | Church Health, Church Leadership, Pastoral Burnout

If you’re a church planter, you know that discouragement can come anytime. Whether it’s due to slow growth, financial struggles, or difficult relationships, discouragement can knock you off your feet and make it hard to keep going. But don’t give up! In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on how to overcome discouragement in church planting. We hope these tips will encourage and equip you to persevere in your calling!

 

Pray for God’s strength and guidance.

 

Praying for God’s strength and guidance is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Praying gives us the clarity to make decisions based on His will, rather than the sometimes-crazy winds of life that blow through. Pray often, and be sure to take time to really listen for his answers. Remember – praying is a two-way street – not just making requests, but being still and allowing His spirit to move in our lives.

 

Talk to other church planters who have been through tough times of discouragement.

 

When discouragement hits, it’s always a good idea to seek out mentors and people who have gone through the same experience as you. Church planters often face similar challenges and struggles, making mentors and comrades essential for moral support when the going gets tough. Hearing stories of other church planters who found success after facing their own bouts of discouragement can give us newfound hope. It’s never easy in those moments of doubt but having mentors or friends who have been through similar experiences will make it easier to get through those challenging times. So don’t be afraid to reach out to people who have planted churches themselves; you’ll find great perspective, guidance, and encouragement from the people who have done it before you!

 

Read books or articles on how to overcome discouragement.

 

Struggling to overcome discouragement is an all too familiar feeling for many, and books, as well as audiobooks, can be great resources for learning how to overcome it. Broader topics such as mental health, self-care, and personal development can give us insight into how we can confront our issues and make positive changes in our lives. With so many books and audiobooks available on these topics from a wide variety of authors, we have a golden opportunity to truly invest in improving ourselves. Whatever your situation is, find the books or articles that speak to you and make them work for you.

 

Take a break from church planting if you need to

 

Planting a church can often feel like you’re running a marathon without end, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep going without pause. It’s okay (and often necessary!) to take breaks from church planting. No matter how deeply invested you are in the work or how many dreams and ambitions you have for your mission, taking some time away to seek rest, refuel and refocus can make all the difference. Don’t quit; just take a knee. Pastor Steven Furtick once said, “God will meet us right where we are…but he will not leave us there”. So don’t be afraid to step away and find yourself back again at the same place – refreshed, ready to keep on keeping on.

 

Find an accountability partner or group.

 

If you’re looking for that extra push to get your goals accomplished, consider finding an accountability partner or group! Having a confidential peer group can help to hold you accountable for your ambitions. It’s easy to make progress when you have someone else in your corner. Reach out to a friend, family member, or even someone you trust that can meet online, and start connecting regularly. Interacting with others can keep you from making excuses and generate ideas that have been hidden in the back of your mind–so do yourself a favor and find an accountability partner or group today!

Discouragement is a common feeling among church planters, but there are ways to overcome it. If you’re struggling with discouragement, know that you’re not alone, and I pray that you would consider these things to get you through the tough times.

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Jeff Hoglen

I'm Jeff Hoglen, and I love the church. I've been a church planter since 2001, and I currently have a church plant in southeast Asia with RockFish Church. The RFC main campus is based in North Carolina, where I previously pastored. I also oversee a network of 25 churches in the Philippines with DOVE International. Besides that, I'm a certified coach and trainer with the Maxwell Leadership Team and serve as CEO of churchplanting.com. I'm a practitioner and lifelong learner within the church planting and revitalization fields, and I love to help others learn and grow.