According to Brian and Amy Bloye, the two toughest jobs in the world are raising kids, and raising a church. And both tasks are deeply personal.
I’m a better church planter for having read It’s Personal. It’s now one of the books I’ll be pushing at every potential church planter. Why? Several reasons.
- Calling is key, and while many books talk about church planting models and methods, few focus on the foundation, which is what matters when the going gets tough. They Bloyes make it plain. If you’re not called, do anything else.
- Family is first. Brian and Amy share the real story of how they’ve had to fight to keep family first by establishing healthy boundaries and limits.
- Friends are essential, and Brian and Amy give permission for the planter to have friends. One of the leading causes of the abandonment of a fledgling plant is the emotional toil the isolation often takes on a planting family. Friends aren’t optional.
- Staff unity matters. As a lead planter, Brian helps others to understand the need to get “mean” about the vision and to tenaciously guard that vision while seeking to develop a staff that supports the vision wholeheartedly.
- In an increasingly celebrity-oriented culture, where the church planter is often the rock star, prayer, fasting, and real devotion to God are everything. Brian and Amy give benchmarks for measuring spiritual growth in the life of the planter.
In other words, this book is personal. I was inspired by the story of West Ridge Church. I jotted down a few ministry ideas and insights as I read. But most importantly, I was challenged to examine my own life to see how the gospel is being lived out in me.
As the Bloye’s put it, church planting is a journey. It’s God’s journey, and for those who are called, no other journey will ever satisfy the longing of the soul.