Don't Quit; It's Just the Beginning
By Sarah Means
When did we begin planting? It’s not hard to reference a date, but this date wasn’t the beginning. No, not at all. This start date is simply the evidence of the seeds of faith that began to grow roots a long time ago when we said yes to God at very young ages and then to each other in our early twenties.
I know that God is "always working all together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). You see, church planting isn’t about a building or a place – It’s about a people and a purpose.
We have witnessed God bring around some of the hardest hearts since we “launched” in January of 2018. In just a few short months, we have watched those far from Christ become curious about Him, love Him, and now serve alongside us as we stack chairs each week in our mobile church that meets in a beautifully perfect local middle school.
The miracles of God showing up in our church plant are not ordinary, they are EXTRAordinary in so many ways, displayed in real life messiness and imperfections.
We have been able to see God provide equipment that we could not afford, a facility that costs less than anyone can believe that includes on-site storage (amen!), a team that serves enthusiastically and shares our burden for this broken city, and a reckless love for people that can only be birthed from the heart of Jesus.
Three times before our launch, we were prophesied over by different people who knew nothing of our story. We were told, “Don’t quit.” Don’t quit? But why would we quit? This is an honor, a treasure, a deep desire, and a lifelong dream come true.
If we had quit already, it probably wouldn’t have been a surprise to some who saw us as less than equipped, naïve, and even unprepared. Their perceptions of us were right, but God is bigger. If we would have quit, in any moment, we would not have seen the miracles of lives changed and families restored. These lives that will spend eternity in Heaven would not be the same today if we had given up. God used us in our inadequate state to show His strength.
When I see God work in people that I love, my faith is increased. The story of church planting is not about a moment, it’s rather about moments woven together in a tapestry of faith. So, when I am tired from working all day and still need to write a sermon or when it’s Saturday night and time to set up for Sunday, I remind myself, “Don’t quit.” And when I could do it faster, but the four-year-old with big brown eyes who slows me down terribly wants to help, I recall, “Don’t quit.”
As a very green church planter who is learning as she goes, enjoying the journey, and soaking in all the knowledge she can from others along the way, I encourage you, “Don’t quit.”
Your planting days started long ago, the miracles started before you could see them, and God does not change. God does not quit. He is everlasting and eternal. He rejoices with us and shelters us in storms. He doesn’t expect us to quit. He expects us to change our communities.
Friends, God rejoices in small beginnings, so remember when you really started planting and don’t quit.
Sarah Means and her husband, Trevor, planted Praise Community Church in January of 2018. Sarah leads the online social media ministry, Women of Worth Ministries, where she shares consistent encouragement and inspiration to ladies around the world. She is a lover of Jesus, her husband, her son, and great coffee. Trevor and Sarah Means are planting in their home town, Eugene, OR, with a focus to seek Jesus, make disciples and love recklessly until their community knows God!