I think one of a church planter's worst nightmares is failure. But what is failure to a church planter/pastor? The church never growing, or maybe failure is having to close the doors. Sure, this would define the world's idea and definition of failure. But I don't think if we aligned our thoughts with Jesus' thoughts that failure would be anywhere close.
So often we go into pastoring with our minds wrapped around this idea of conquering the world, and doing it until we grow old. While this dream, and expectation might not be wrong, I think it is a little skewed. God may have called you to conquer the world. But maybe it isn't the entire world like you imagined, and it is the world right in front of your eyes in your very town. God also may have called you to pastor until you grow old and He calls you home, but maybe it isn't pastoring the church you are now.
Five years ago, we had these expectations we subconsciously put on us and the church God called us to. While it furthermore allowed us to dream dreams bigger than ourselves, and accomplish things through Christ we could have never accomplished before. Because it was skewed, it hindered us from looking at our lives and the church in seasons. When difficult circumstances arose, or growth didn't look like we thought it would, and finances were still unstable by year four it burdened us because our expectations weren't becoming a reality.
I think if we as church planters and pastors view our lives in seasons, and the church God has called us to as just another chapter in His big plan, then our dreams and expectations will become what they were always meant to be. Conquer the world God has given you right where you're at, in this season, on this very day. Pastor a church until you grow old, but don't label where God will have you, or what church it might be. Success isn't defined by an open door, and countless chairs. Success is defined by purpose. What is your purpose?
Lift Jesus as high as you can, and give God glory every second you have!
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor