Ed Compean pastors Calvary Chapel Githurai, in Nairobi, Kenya. For more info, go to the church website at calvarygithurai.org. This is Part 2 of a 3-part blog series as Pastor Ed looks back on church planting. Make sure to read Part 1 here.
My original intent was to simply pass on a list of things I wish I had done better in this church plant. The list is far from exhaustive and though it is not in any particular order, I am noticing that it there are some rough groupings. The first post included, 1) unjam and unhook areas of ministry that are bogging down growth, 2) following up on delegation, and 3) purposely identify and disciple young leaders. In this second post I can see a slight theme based around the maturing of the church…
Endeavor to Pray More
We prayed. We prayed a lot. I wish I had wanted to pray more. Do not misunderstand, I have a deep passion for God, His glory among the nations and His church. I cherish times with God and love to be with Him for the purpose of interceding for what I already know He’ll do. It is only that I sometimes found myself busy with the tyranny of the urgent and actually thought I did not have time to pray. Looking back, I think if personally and corporately we doubled, or tripled, our time in focused prayer we would still have desired more time in the presence of the Lord. My point is not developing discipline, but cultivating a desire for more intimacy.
My point is not developing discipline, but cultivating a desire for more intimacy.
We launched with a group of about 20, of which the vast majority were unchurched. It was mostly bunch of new friends that were learning to be God followers and God worshippers. Unfortunately I discovered we could not grow without some basic systems in place, even before it would appear we needed them. It seemed God would bring the people only after we had structure in place rather than adding to His church and then waiting for us to catch up with systems. This gave me a deeper insight into God multiplying the disciples in Jerusalem after the apostles established deacons and systems to care for the widows (Acts 6:7) and encouraged me to establish structures and systems in anticipation of what I wanted God to do instead of waiting.
Emphasize the Baptism of the Holy Sprit
We began as a Bible teaching, Christ exalting and Spirit filled church, but to a visitor the church looked like a reformed and cessationist church. My fears of the excesses of much of Pentecostalism had quenched the Spirit of God and the pendulum had swung too far. Certainly that there is a healthy church in Githurai when there had not been one before is a testimony of the empowering of the Spirit. I wonder what could have happened corporately and among the individuals if we would have emphasized the empowering of the Spirit and allowed for Godly correction rather than quenching before the fact.
Exhibit God’s Faithfulness
Today it is common to hear testimonies as part of the normal worship service at Calvary Chapel Githurai, but I wish we had begun earlier. The testimonies, sometimes as sermon illustrations, have created a climate of expectation. God’s people expect God to save and they expect to be used in bringing people to Him.
God’s people expect God to save and they expect to be used in bringing people to Him.
Some of these challenges are much more complex than the space I am giving them. It is my desire that those involved with church planting will similarly reflect on some of the challenges they are facing.