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October 7, 2017

The Importance of Being Relational

By Phil Metzger

Two people having a conversation

Church planters wear many hats but there is one that is absolutely most important: pastor!

I imagine that for some reading this it would seem obvious, but you would be amazed by how quickly the needs of so many other roles overtake the duties of pastoring.

We desire to preach the gospel and disciple God’s people but we realize all too quickly that what we need are administrative skills, business acumen, musical talent, psychological training, and a list of other skills that we had no idea were required for church planting!

And this little article is not about minimizing the importance of these (and many other) skills needed to church plant. Most planters, when asked what they wish they knew before the started their church, list such skills.

Church planting is one of the quickest ways to discover God’s amazing power and grace yet at the same time your own weaknesses and deficiencies.

The Laundry List of Needs

The needs within a new church plant are tremendous and most of them need to be built from the ground up. There isn’t a children’s ministry—so one needs to be developed. Leaders need to be raised up, equipped and empowered to minister. But before that can fully happen a place to gather needs to be found with rooms for those kids. Leases need to be signed, contracts agreed upon, monies exchanged, and the exhausting list goes on!

You can multiply the list of issues that demand attention a hundred times over. There is only one of you-church planter, but one million needs. And because of this, it is easy to push aside the role to which God called you: the role of pastor.

A new church plant is an incredible opportunity to create a new Christian culture within a community. Like anything that is new, it needs to be treated with great care. How you prioritize your time, your focus, your energies, and your limited resources will determine this new culture. And this is something that should be given very serious consideration and prayer.

From the onset, your role as pastor can establish what your priorities will be and the priorities of the church. What will the church be about? To what will your time be given and to whom?

A pastor for the community

Our communities need churches with pastors who love God’s Word and teach it faithfully weekly. Our cities need pastors who love people so much that they are willing to go out of their way to minister to people.

Our cities need pastors who not only teach grace and truth but model it with their lives, fearlessly giving people access to their lives.

Paul makes this point in 1 Thessalonians 2.8 We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us” (HCSB).

With all the directions in which a new church plant can and will pull you, don’t neglect what is most important. You are uniquely gifted for the task so show your community the heart and will of God.


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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