I often find myself severely intimidated by the image that comes to mind when I think of a “church planter.” Now I’m not intimidated because I don’t know as much or don’t read as much (which I know I don’t anyway), but intimidated because I’m a little left of center when it comes to what people think of when the words “church planter” comes to mind.
Why would I say that? Well, we grocery shop at WalMart, buy our clothes at Target (we’ll upgrade to Kohl’s if need be), and use a PC (a Compaq no less). I like Chaco sandals, but not Chuck Taylors. I love to wear basketball shorts in the summer, and I don’t mind throwing on a pair of sweats if I need to run an errand. I am not hip, super creative, or really “urban.” I do not have an iPhone, I dislike coffee, and I have never watched a UFC fight, and I don’t think I ever will.
In other words, I don’t exactly fit the bill. I’m kind of a nerd.
Last time, I briefly mentioned Mark Driscoll. Pastor Mark, Mars Hill, and Acts29 are really doing awesome things to spread the gospel and plant churches. Don’t get me wrong here: I love Acts29 and would love to partner with them someday if God would have that. But sometimes I think that the people around me who aspire to plant a church (which is a lot different than shepherding a church) want to become a Mars Hillian. That’s not my job. My job is to be me.
Call me crazy, but I don’t think any organization or church is to blame. For some bizarre reason — and I really don’t know what it is, so feel free to chime in — my generation of Americans (particularly the white, middle-class males who want to be church planters) seem to have created this image of what a church planter should “be.” Look around you. Look around the blogosphere. It’s there. And if you don’t see it, your eyes aren’t opened wide enough.
The good news is that God doesn’t care where you shop or what cell phone you talk on. He doesn’t care if the church planter wears name brand skinny jeans or WalMart sweats. First Samuel 16:7 tell us that God looks at my heart and if that is right before him, the rest doesn’t really matter.