Friday, June 01, 2018

Four Things to Remember When Dealing with Discouragement

The sun doesn’t shine much in Portland, but on this day the clouds surrendered and the boggy playground near our Portland suburb exploded with color, warmth, and my daughter’s excitement. Bailey was 10 years old, and a 10-year-old girl has the ability to ride a small bicycle faster and with more daring than any grown man on the switchbacks of the French Alps. My wife and I didn’t see her coming as we walked towards the bright green park, but we heard her. The doppler effect meant the sound of her bike chain straining against the gears multiplied as she powered towards us. She flew between us, separating our stroll with a swoosh.

Sunshine had combined with the ever-present rain to cause the grass to grow tall at the edge of the park. Tall enough that she never saw the cinder block in her path. The back wheel of the little bicycle bucked into the air almost as high as Bailey flew through it. Almost before she hit the ground, I heard the familiar gasping of a child who just had the breath knocked out of her.

When I think of how church planters deal with discouragement, I think of the church I planted in Portland. There is some sunshine, some cloudy days, and a lot of rain. But that stuff is built into the plan. Church planters are typically prepared for discouragement and are generally the kind of people who simply keep pedaling through the haze and capitalize on the sunny days. I suppose there are some tips that are helpful for dealing with discouragement, but most planters won’t need them. They are used to pedaling through.

As I have the opportunity to coach young planters, it’s not discouragement that I want to prepare them for, it’s the complete loss of courage, de-couragement, or un-courage. What do you do when there’s not enough courage for the crash? These are four things that you don’t want to hear and one you do. Read More

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