If we created a checklist of everything necessary to launch a successful church plant, it would look something like this:
But there's one thing I don't see on many church planter's checklist: A Battle Buddy.
Let's talk about what a Battle Buddy is, why you need one, and most importantly... how to find one.
When joining the US Army, every new recruit is paired with another recruit. These two are taught to rely on each other, carry one another through training, and watch each other's back during deployment. They fight side by side through thick and thin.
The US Army surveyed the impact their Battle Buddy program had on their recruits throughout their time in service and found that their soldiers experienced a significant boost in confidence, motivation, and commitment.
I serve at a church plant. Through conversations I have with pastors daily and my personal experience, I can attest that having someone in the trenches by your side can make all the difference in ministry.
Are you struggling with burnout? Do you feel like the success or failure of the church rests on your shoulders? The answer to these and so many other burdens is the presence of someone willing to carry you across the battlefield of ministry.
The pastors that have someone standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them are the ones that still have hope and energy to keep doing the work set before them.
If you don't have someone in your life who you can identify as your Battle Buddy, here are a few ways you can find someone to fill that spot:
Social media is filled with groups devoted to connecting church planters with resources and each other. Check with your denomination or other local church leaders to see if there is a group you can join. Someone in that group would love to connect with you.
You're not the only minister needing a Battle Buddy in your area. If there are other church planters in your area, reach out and see how you can both help each other.
Also consider connecting with older pastors. They have a wealth of wisdom that could transform your time in ministry.
If possible, try to identify at least one person in your church that has a passion or calling like yours. They can help lighten your load as well as bring plenty of their own ideas and inspiration.
Para-church organizations have the same heart for ministry your church does. There may be someone working at a local non-profit that would not only love to pair their organization with yours but would also partner with you on a more personal level and become the Battle Buddy you're looking for.
Do you have someone you can call anytime for advice or emotional support? Is someone at your church willing to go the long-haul with you to see your church established and thriving? Someone who will share the load with you?
If not, I'm praying that God will show you who that person is or that He will send that person to you soon.
There is a great harvest ready in your community. You can't reap that harvest all by yourself.
The good thing is you don't have to.