An email to a fellow churchplanter

A fellow church planter in MA asked me how I was doing. Here’s my response:

Good and bad. I’m tired of only 30 people, half 7 and under.

I’m tired of knowing we need more people.

I’m tired of having planned a REALLY bare bones budget for the year, one that we were sure to exceed, and missing even the LOW end month after month.

And I’m tired of feeling like I’m lying when I tell people God’s doing something really cool.

But He is.

People are getting free. The city is experiencing no-strings-attached kindness.

The kingdom is breaking out.

Personally, I’ve been incredibly allergy sick over the weekend. Then yesterday, I woke up with a huge abscess in my neck. Apparently, I have an infected salivary gland. What’s up with that?

Hey, could you pray for our family’s health and for our joy?

Em and I go to Charleston next week. I’m getting to keynote at a conference! (Second time ever, both this year. I could DEFINITELY get used to this!) Check it out:

Emily and I will go without the kids. (Yay!) And get a day of R&R.

Then I do my first wedding that following Sunday!


And his reply

I will certainly pray for you. I hope that despite all the frustration and sickness, you’ll be experiencing the living God and seeing his Kingdom breaking in. That’s my hope too — and the only thing that sustains me. Without it, this job sucks. With it, there’s nothing better.

P.S. If you’re one for the 30 regulars at VCW, THANK YOU. I really love you guys. You each deserve more, more people to connect with, more of Jesus, more. And I’m REALLY impressed with your heart for the church plant. You are each an encouragement!!

God’s Kingdom is breaking out through us. And we’re really getting “best in the world” at showing God’s love in creative, tangible ways!!

Marc A. Pitman

Marc A. Pitman helps leaders lead their teams with more effectiveness and less stress. The author of "Ask Without Fear!®," he is the founder of The Concord Leadership Group and He's also the executive director of and an Advisory Panel member of Rogare, a prestigious international fundraising think tank. He is the husband to his best friend and the father of three amazing kids. And if you drive by him on the road, he’ll be singing 80’s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family! You can connect with him on Google+, on Twitter @marcapitman, and like "Ask Without Fear!" on Facebook. To get his free ebook on 21 ways to get board members engaged with fundraising, go to

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Lisa McGOwan

    Good afternoon,

    I stumbled across you blog while looking for an address to send you some information about Good Will-Hinckley’s Festival of Trees.

    I was given your name by a colleague who said you may want to decorate a tree at this year’s event.

    I was so surprised when I found out two things about you. One you are a Christian, I am as well. And two you have swollen saliva glands. I do as well! My gland became swollen two months ago. The doctors thought I had an allergic reaction to something. But then my symptoms got worse, my mouth is dry, my eyes are dry and all of my joints ache. My doctor thinks I may have sjögrens syndrome. I go to the rheumatoidologist next month for more testing.

  2. Marc

    What a small world!

    I’m seeing a specialist just in case.

    GWH does great things! Congratulations on working for such a wonderful cause!


  3. Mike Ritter

    I saw your comments on dealing with the size and budget of the church. I surely understand what you’re going through. I have been a part of a couple of church start ups and they both ended in disaster.
    One church, the pastors, a husband and wife pastor team, started a church in Maine from Colorado for about almost 2 years. They got tired of a church that wasn’t growing as fast as their expectations. They made some phone calls back to Colorado and said that people were begging them to come back and that they had a praise team and all kinds of ministry teams just waiting for them to get started back there. I felt the Lord telling me to let them know that they were being enticed by seducing spirits and not to go; so I told them that. They left shortly after that anyway, convinced they had a great start up church waiting for them. That was about ten years ago and to this day they still don’t have a church out there. It all fell apart for them, seducing spirits was all it was. After about five years of trying they called and told me that my word was accurate.
    Another pastor, also tiring of slow growth, left to go back down south where he came from. He had other issues, letting wolf’s in sheep’s clothing destroy his flock without taking action to protect his flock. I told him this would cause a spiritual fallout in his church and he would lose it. Well he thought I was ridiculous and wrong but he’s not there anymore. He didn’t want to correct the people involved, afraid his congregation would get smaller if they left.
    I am not writing this to be a discouragement to you; rather the opposite. Hang in there, if God has called you to this it is up to him how fast it grows. He never said ministry was easy or that servanthood was easy. Only that your reward would be great in heaven. You are affecting and changing the lives you have going to your church.
    On the flip side, you have no idea of what the downside of getting out of this ministry too soon will do to you. I along with many other pastors from other states believe that the Spirit of God is going to move mightily on the Waterville area. Stay the course and you will be more than blessed when the Holy Spirit fire falls upon this area sometime soon. How soon? Ha, only the Lord knows but you will be blessed.

    Mike Ritter

  4. Marc

    Thanks Mike! We’re certainly not giving in!

    Seth Godin’s The Dip has been very helpful.

    Thanks for your email and encouragement.

    (We were told this is a normal part of church planting. And our sending pastor made us promise to commit to 5 years before re-evaluating. He too had seen too many planters pull out too soon!)

  5. Brad Walker

    Marc, I am a deacon at Cross Baptist Church in Pinson, Alabama. We do have anywhere from 50-100 on Sunday mornings but the drastic difference on Sunday and Wednesday nights is incredible. I WISH we could get thirty people here on Sunday and Wednesday nights. Sometimes we have more teens here than adults and nobody forces them to come. The church van comes around and they are ready to get on. Oh that the adults would have that much dedication. some of the teens come just because of their friends but at least they get some of God’s word.

    Just remember, you can’t grow the congregation from the inside out. You have to grow from the outside in. Stay strong and stay in the Word.

    Your Brother In Christ,
    Brad Walker

  6. Marc

    Thanks for the encouragement, Brad!!

    I’m exited to say, the people of the Vineyard Church of Waterville have done one-on-one servant evangelism to about 1200 people this year. In addition, we’ve served as a church at a couple group events touching about 2500!

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