There is a familiar children’s story called “The Little Red Hen.” The story describes how that no one would help do the work of planting, cultivating and harvesting the wheat, but everyone wanted to reap the rewards of eating the fresh bread made from the wheat. The little red hen had to do all the work by herself.
There will be many sincere people who offer to help but never follow through. There will be times when no one else shows up to do the work and as the pastor it is your job to be faithful regardless of how much or how little support you receive. The Apostle Paul named over one hundred co-workers and associates by name but many times the work was dependent solely upon him. The Apostle Paul was the key servant that planted churches throughout Asia Minor. Without his leadership the early church would have been greatly diminished. There were some that opposed the work and some that forsook him. Remember how John Mark went back and how Demas had forsaken him. Many workers are needed in the ministry, but in the end it is all up to you, the pastor. As Dr. Lee Roberson often said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”
Though God provides faithful men and women to help with the work, the pastor must recognize he is the key to its success. There will be many times that no one else shows up for visitation or no one volunteers to fill a vacancy but the pastor must get the job done. The buck stops on the desk of the pastor.
Like the little red hen you may ask for help and find no one volunteers. Accepting responsibility is part of being a pastor. Don’t expect everyone else to have the same commitment as you. When someone does have a deep commitment let it be a pleasant surprise.
In times past, a new church planter often received little support financially and few people helped with flyer distribution. It is a blessing if churches help distribute Scripture and visit for the new church but ultimately the work of the pastor will be the key. Don’t blame the lack of support from other people and other churches for not helping. It is up to you to get the job done.
When we get to heaven we will learn that on earth there were many believers that received little notoriety but they were faithful servants of the Lord and many of them served sacrificially. But when it comes to church planting it can be a lonely and difficult task.
The thing that keeps a church planter going forward is knowing that God has called him to start and build a church. There are plenty of biographies that relate the struggles of missionaries and church planters in the past. Don’t be surprised if starting a church is difficult, but it is possible if you will accept the responsibility of doing the job even if no one else seems to care. God will build His church but you must recognize it is up to you to do your part. It’s up to you!