Today is a great day to give thanks. In addition to a great family that God has blessed me with I want to write about how thankful I am for church planting. Those involved in planting churches, and the Kairos leaders that work with our network, have had to make great sacrifices. I think about the many couples who step out on faith to fulfill a calling. We are called by God to do something different, to reach new people, and to follow a path that is dangerous, difficult, and many times filled with heartbreak. I hear many Christians talk or write about God walking with them, leading them, or blessing them. However, church planters are the real thing. We believe that Jesus calls us to follow and leads us through dark places both in life and in the lives of others. By modern terms for success we are not successful. Being led by God doesn’t typically make us wealthier, happier, or even better ahead in life. Those of us who are called to this don’t live in wealthy neighborhoods or houses. Many of the church planters I know have left secure jobs, larger churches, and stable incomes to begin a church that struggles from day 1. By church growth standards most of us have said that we care more about mission than numerical growth. Relationships are difficult for us because we aren’t afraid to call people out for their sin and oppression of others, yet those we offer grace to cling to us because they don’t have many chances offered them in life. We understand what Jesus meant when he said that we “take up our cross daily…” (Luke 9:23-27).

I am thankful for church planting networks, Kairos Church Planting, and the ministry couples that have begun churches (whether the churches survived or not). Being led by God has been a sacrifice. If you asked any of us what we thought, we would tell you it was the hardest thing we have ever done. If you asked about our faith, we would say it is tested daily, but still growing. If you ask us if it was worth it, we would tell you we would do it again. If you asked us about our relationships, we would tell you that in looking back we found out who really was a Christian and who jumped ship. If you asked us if we felt blessed  we would tell you that we only look at the lives that are better because of our choice to follow God, and that is our blessing. If you asked us about God, we would tell you that Jesus has not abandoned us. While people may have, God has surrounded us with those who will stand with us and fight the good fight of faith.

Thank you Jesus for modeling a life of calling.

Thank you Kairos and other church planting networks for reminding us that being called is a sacrifice, not a privilege.

Thank you church planters/ministry couples for answering the call and showing us what it means to truly be led by Jesus.

Ron Clark