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November 21, 2015

Consistency Matters in Church Planting

By Phil Metzger

I had been living in southern Hungary for about 3 months. My wife and I were in our first church plant and we were so excited. In the short time we had been there about 10 people had gotten saved. We started a Bible study and a small church was beginning.

Our group met on Wednesday nights because the majority were students and they were gone on the weekends. I remember this one particular Wednesday night as if it were yesterday.

It was cold outside and raining. My friend and I got to our meeting place early to pray together and get set up. There wasn’t much to set up! It was a small defunct political office that was being loaned to us until they could find a better option.

We sat down and prayed for God to make Himself known. At this point our group was so new to Christianity that we weren’t focusing on teaching from the Bible as much as explaining what the Bible was and why it was important.

Our prayer time was finished and it was 5 minutes till service started. Only one problem… nobody was there. Remember when I said it was cold outside and raining. That was enough to keep people home. I don’t blame them because nobody had a car and the cold walk wasn’t pleasant.

Two minutes before we were supposed to start the Lord spoke to my heart. Are you willing to give everything to whomever comes? Are you willing to be faithful in small thing?

I felt that I already was being faithful in small things! 10 people is not exactly a megachurch and now God is asking me if I’m willing to be faithful in small things? I committed myself to presenting the truth of God to anyone that would come that night.

Two people showed up. A mom and her 20 year old son who was blind. We were so excited they came and when we mentioned this the mom responded, “Oh I’m not staying. What time are you done and I’ll be back to pick up my boy!”

So we sat down just three of us for Bible study. Instead of just teaching my message we talked, we prayed, we worshipped and we enjoyed the presence of God. This young man had tried another church but because his blindness didn’t fit with their theology he wasn’t welcome.

Seventeen years later this young man is married with children and the worship leader at his church. Within a couple years of first meeting him, his sister and mom both gave their lives to Christ.

Our little church grew, slowly, over the years and this young man was used by God to bridge so many social gaps. I’m thankful that I finally listened to God and gave all I had for even one person. I wish I could say I always did that!

Consistency matters in church planting.

Colossians 3.23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.

The early years of church planting might have many hit and misses when it comes to attendance. The church planter should always be there. Consistency is first and foremost a commitment that we have made to Christ and His call on our lives. If God called us to plant in a city then we are to be faithful stewards regardless of whether things are going the way we expected them to.

The Bible doesn’t speak as much about being consistent but it has a lot to say about being faithful. We are called to be faithful to God and His call on our lives. If you have been called to church plant then expect some difficult times. Don’t let those times move you from faithfulness. Be consistent in character and in practice and you will be modeling the heart of God.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. The God who made us is the same One who has made a way of salvation. Our sin did not detour His love. We, the church planters, have an opportunity to do something far greater than simply have a church service.We have the chance to model God’s heart; a heart of love and consistency.


Phil Metzger

Phil Metzger (@metzgerphil) is the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Budapest, as well as, the ministry director of Calvary Chapel Bible College Europe in Vajta, Hungary. He has served as a full-time missionary since 1998. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he oversees Calvary church plants throughout Eastern Europe, Ethiopia, and Nigeria. His heart and ministry is focused on making disciples and seeing the church impact the world for Christ. He would like to see more churches planted in order to bring the Word of God to the lost. Phil and his wife Joy have four beautiful children: Niki, Karina, Judah, and Hannah.


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