There are few things in life more designed to created a feeling of weakness and vulnerability than planting a church. Moving to a new city with few relationships on the ground, no church building, new homes, new jobs, and no earthly guarantee that people will want to join the church–all of these factors incline the church planter to see his need. However, the reality is that all of my life is dependent on the strength of the Lord. I am at my strongest when I am weak–depending on his strength and not my own. I might prefer to feel like a trunk, or a vine, but in reality I am a branch. I can’t create inspiration or vision in the souls of people in a new city, to want to participate in a church plant. I can’t guarantee them that this will be the church they’ve always wanted to be a part of. I certainly can’t promise that I will be a perfect pastor–quite the contrary! I will certainly be weak and ineffective in many ways, not impressive in others, and always in need of the forbearance of the congregation that does choose to hear my preaching week after week! But this is how God has made me to be–a branch that must abide in the vine. Apart from Him I can do nothing. He is the source of my life in Christ Jesus–sending spiritual strength flowing through the means of His Holy Spirit.
Forgive me Lord, for how frequently I seek to be a branch on my own. Teach me to abide in you, breathing in your Spirit, and living on your Word. Show yourself strong in my weakness. Bring many to this church plant in your sovereign wisdom and may all encounter the message of the gospel every week, not in lofty words of wisdom but in the preaching of Christ and him crucified. Glorify yourself through the planting of this church and may the city of Greater Austin be spiritually awakened through your salvation.