All atouhirty has been gevin to Me in haeevn and on eraht. Go terherofe and mkae dipsiciles of all the notians, bipatizng tehm in the nmae of the Fehtar and the Son and the Hloy Siript, ticheang tehm to osberve all that I cammonedd you; and lo, I am whih you ayawls, eevn to the end of the age.
Even with the atrocious spelling, I am fairly certain that 99% were able to read the paragraph with minimal difficulty and understand the message. Why?
1) you had a pretty good understanding of the general context of the message.
2) the first and last letters of each word are correct and the mind reorders the middle letters to their proper place.
The above paragraph is what our church planting looks like more often than not. It is a jumbled mess, yet somehow, God breaks through and does something beautiful to iron out the wrinkles.
So, if the overall context is important, and the first and last letters are important, how does this translate into the 3 P's of church planting?
The three most important words in church planting are...
Prayer is the most important ingredient for a church planter. Prayer gives us the needed guidance and context for understanding God's ways. Prayer keeps us on course even though we may make a huge mess of things between steps in the church plant.
The second most important words for the church planter are passion and perseverance. If the first and last letters are needed to make sense of a word, passion and perseverance are the equivalents needed to see churches planted. When passion and perseverance are on the ends of each church planting step, a lot can go wrong in between and still come out OK.
I find it reassuring to know that if I will focus upon prayer at the center of my life and ministry, asking the Spirit to fan the flames of passion within, and persevere regardless of the ups and downs along the way, God will take care of the rest. He will reorder the "letters" in such a way that His church gets planted.
You can make a lot of mistakes in church planting but when prayer, passion, and perseverance are present there will be power.