Church Planter, Don’t Underestimate the Overlooked

The Gospel Coalition | 2/20/2019 | Staff
maye (Posted by) Level 3
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I’ll never forget the day the Holy Spirit smacked me across the head with a middle-aged woman.

Anna is a 32-year-old with a developmental disability. She came to faith a couple years into our church plant. Baptizing her was one of the clearest points of God’s kindness in my ministry so far.

Anna - Member - Church—but - Ministry - Study

Anna is a wonderful, faithful member of our church—but she’s not going to direct a ministry or lead a Bible study anytime soon. In fact, she struggles to read and comprehend the Bible for herself.

Anna doesn’t fit many of the conventional programs of a church. She can’t work in the nursery or children’s ministry independently. Many of our Bible studies are at the edge of her capacity. This isn’t because she’s lazy or unmotivated about Christ’s glory, nor is she distracted with lesser things. Rather, formal ministry positions are out of Anna’s reach because of the wisdom of God. She’s not built for those kinds of ministry.

Minister - Opposite—I - God - Delight - Ways

But does that mean she can’t minister? Quite the opposite—I’ve seen God delight in using the unspectacular in spectacular ways. But we, as pastors and church planters, must have eyes to see it.

Here’s what I mean.

Brenda—another - Woman - Church—lost - Hard - Happens

Brenda—another woman in our church—lost a loved one recently, and it was hitting her hard. She was struggling. As happens far too often, most church members coming and going in life and ministry didn’t notice the weight of their sister’s grief. Amid their hustle and bustle to get the kids checked in, prepare worship materials, and keep their eyes peeled for visitors, they missed an important ministry opportunity.

In and through Anna, the strength of Christ beamed forth.

Anna - Believer - Months - Point - Brenda

But Anna, who’d only been a believer for a few months at this point, didn’t miss it. She noticed Brenda’s grief and moved toward her sister in Christ. Anna begun writing letters to...
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