by Lisa Boyd
A good friend, mentor, and veteran church planter, Keith Connelly, once told us:
“In the beginning of your church plant you will have a lot of scaffolding. Scaffolding is not meant to remain up! It’s only there for a short time while the building is being constructed. You will have several people that are scaffolding in your early days. Just thank them for being there when you really needed them, and know that God is moving you into a new stage in building His church.”
We have needed to cling to Keith’s words of wisdom time and time again as we have watched people we dearly love, like our friend Greg (name changed for anonymity), leave Salt Church. Greg was a longtime friend. He had been our friend even before Rob and I were married. He used to call us in our early days of marriage, and ask what I was making for dinner and if there was enough food for him to join us.
Greg was an integral part of our team. He led worship and played guitar. He also assisted us with many other aspects of our new church plant, both administratively and financially. He was even part of the reason we accelerated our timeline.
One day, a week before we had a night of worship on the beach, he called to say the church planting thing wasn’t for him. He didn’t want to talk about it or give reasons. That was just it, he was done.
It devastated us.
It cut deeply. We didn’t understand how such a close friend could do that to us. How were we going to survive it? Who was going to fill his place? Who would do worship? Could we afford to move ahead financially? (He was our largest contributor.) It was a scary place for us.
God came through! Just a couple weeks after Greg left, my husband’s sister and her family moved down. She took over leading worship, and her husband filled in a lot of the other aspects Greg had helped with. They filled the void at Salt Church that Greg had left and brought us to a new level! They have since moved, and there is someone else filling their void.
It makes me think of a mango tree we have at our house. The mango tree did not grow for 5 years. In fact it even seemed to shrink. We were discouraged, thinking it would never produce any fruit. We were scared to prune it because we thought we had to preserve what little tree there was. Finally, after 5 years we got brave and pruned it. It began flourishing! It doubled in height in only of a couple months!
Sometimes, God prunes our churches to allow us to grow to a whole new level. It can be scary when you first see people leave. You think “What is going on? How will this help?” Just sit back and watch how God comes through!
Lisa Boyd works alongside her husband Rob at their 3 year old church plant, Salt Church, (a CMN church) in Boca Raton, FL. She also serves as a section women’s representative in the Pen Florida District. Lisa is currently attending Global University online to become a credentialed minister herself. They have 2 sons (Bobby-13, Liam-11) and an adopted daughter (Katrina-6) whom she homeschools. She enjoys reading and making soap in her spare time.