It is not uncommon that I will get a question from someone asking me, "Why did I want or decide to be part of frontier church planting?" It isn't really one of those quick answered questions as it is not something I ever really thought of doing or becoming, but rather it was a journey of a calling that required obedience. And I think to some degree all Christ followers should be involved with frontier church planting, but that is a different post for a different day.
Why Did You Focus On International Church Planting?
First off a lot of guys I talk to these days around my age that want to be a church planter often leave me with the impression that their mentality for wanting to do so is because it has become "cool" or at least within the church culture. Or I run into guys who think by doing so that they will become the next Mark Driscoll or Steven Furtick and become a "rockstar" pastor, which I am hoping becomes less of a phenomenon.
For me when I think about church planting or wanting to be a church planter it was all about obedience to a calling, it had nothing to do with being known or having the biggest or most successful ministry. Church planting for me started with a calling many many years ago and I am just trying to be obedient to that calling. Currently that has me in an international role where I am more of an equipper of others to plant churches where there are none, but only God knows exactly where I will end up in the future.
I see it this way, as long as you are called and being obedient to that calling then in some way you will be successful. Some people see it as a failure if you are not the biggest church or you don't look like Mars Hill Church, but any dream or goal that God has given you should keep you striving towards it and never give up. Some people I have talked to see it as a failure if they have to be a bi-vocational planter, but to me there are times when being bi-vocational will be the only possible way, especially starting out. And that is one sided to begin with as many church planters around the world are bi-vocational. Sure, you will have failures in the process, but God is there in the good times and the bad and believe me, you will have bad!
The only guaranteed failure is to give up and be disobedient to your calling and ultimately to quit. In the midst of your mistakes, keep being obedient, learn from your mistakes, and find the beauty within the struggles as you lean more on Jesus to plant the church. Enjoy the journey, learn from your mistakes, and allow God to change you and make you stronger as you follow him in continued obedience.