Small Beginnings

by | Dec 15, 2020 | Church Leadership, Church Planting

It was Father’s Day 2001. The weather was perfect.  It was a picturesque scene in a community park next to a lake.  I think there were ducks present.  I set the brand-new portable PA system on the brand-new poles and smiled.  It was finally happening.  It had been over a year of prayer and planning and today was the first public gathering of the new church plant.  We had been commissioned as a team of roughly 40 people the Sunday before and we were on our way – Blessed to expand the Kingdom of God! This was a day to celebrate!


It was the Sunday after Father’s Day 2001.  It rained.  There were no ducks.  I lugged the now used portable PA system up two flights of stairs and set it on the poles. I stopped to catch my breath and question my decision to take on the role of worship leader of a church plant. This was a day to call the chiropractor.

So, what changed?

For years I had been a part of the worship team of our sending church. As a private instructor and professional musician, the team relied on my knowledge for help with arranging and learning their instruments. As a recording studio owner, the support team relied on my knowledge for help with the tech end of things.  The sending church was in good shape as we planted the church.  What changed – was everything. The safety net was gone.  The comfort of a permanent set-up and good gear was gone. We planted the church with a Fender Passport (which came with 2 “mics”) and a “can-do” attitude.


Similar to parenting, church planting is something you have to experience in order to understand and even then, you learn as you go. We prayed for the church plant for nearly two years before we were commissioned but it still took the experience of planting the church for the reality to set in. Twenty years have passed since that particular church plant and one thing sticks out in my memory: embrace the small beginning – God does!


The prophet Zechariah wrote:

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” Zechariah 4:10a NLT


I repeated the routine of hauling the PA, climbing the stairs, setting up the PA and then calling the chiropractor for many Sundays after that second one.  But as the church plant grew, so did the team.  It was more than “misery loves company”.  It was the foundation for the future; building relationships, seeing people step into roles and growing a team.  Ministry loves company and Zechariah is reminding us that we all have to start somewhere, and the Lord rejoices in the place where He sees the work begin! Glory to God!

Ministry loves company and Zechariah is reminding us that we all have to start somewhere, and the Lord rejoices in the place where He sees the work begin! Glory to God! Click To Tweet

Maybe you have a similar story. 

Maybe yours is completely different.

My hope is that as I share my experiences and some things I’ve learned over the years that you will laugh, be encouraged and be blessed. Here’s to small beginnings!



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Bryan Stevenson

Passionate Christ-follower. Husband of 1. Father of 6. Grandfather of 11. Pastor. Musician. Dreamer. Seeking to encourage worshippers as they set out on the Kingdom building adventure that is Church Planting. Bryan serves as the senior pastor of The Fireplace Christian Fellowship in Myerstown, PA. If you would like to connect with Bryan please feel free to send an email -