August 1, 2011

Marriage and Church Planting

A happy and healthy marriage between the church planter and his wife is vital to a happy and healthy church plant. In an interview with Outreach Magazine, Justin and Trisha Davis speak in detail about how church planting cracked open the existing fault lines in their marriage, resulting in an affair.

Here are a few excerpts:

Speaking from the wife's perspective, Trisha says:

These spouses feel they’re on a journey with their spouses in this ministry, but as the church grows, you slowly get pushed out the door; you’re not needed anymore. There’s always adapting that has to take place, but no one is speaking to that. And that’s where loneliness and a huge sense of guilt comes in. You feel guilty for wanting the attention of your husband, guilty for getting upset when he’s not home because he’s ministering to so and so, guilty for wanting to have family time but being told, “This is part of the sacrifice of being in ministry.” So there’s a mental war going on.
I love what Justin says about the church planting world:
Ministry is not intended to be a machine. And that’s not what’s in most ministers’ hearts. But there’s a business aspect to it, and most of us are wired to accomplish things. 

But think about what is celebrated. People celebrate success. They don’t celebrate character development. They don’t sit around going, “Oh my gosh, Justin, you’re so patient. I love how you’ve developed patience over the past year.” They say, “Wow, you’ve grown your campus to over a thousand people in the past year, that’s awesome! Keep it up!” 

So we have to change what we celebrate and give more attention to celebrating what matters. It’s not as sexy, not as noticeable. You’re not going to have a main speaker at Catalyst who is there because he’s so humble. No, he’s there because he’s dynamic, outrageous and because his churches are exploding. When we constantly shine lights on those people, we’re going to continue to have church planters constantly aspiring to be those type of people.