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God's Not Mad at You
The Joys of Church Planting

The Joys of Church Planting

MARCH 21, 2014

/ Articles / The Joys of Church Planting

One of the things I love about living in this city and that I also love about church planting; the variety of people I encounter is breathtaking and draws me to worship.

A few Sundays ago we walked to the #2 subway line, headed to Penn station, caught a train to Flushing and arrived in Asia in less than 45 minutes.  Actually, we were visiting Kings Cross, a new church plant in Queens. Only the travel time belied the fact that we were still in NYC.  It’s one of the things I love about living in this city and that I also love about church planting; the variety of people I encounter is breathtaking and draws me to worship. Whether it’s the diversity of culture, ethnicity, language or personal stories, I love hearing and walking with others in their journey towards Christ. Worshiping at Kings Cross reminded me of the joys of church planting.


Having been in this line of work longer than I care to admit, I have no question that I’ve benefitted more from church planting than I’ve given. While I’ve suffered alongside others in their spiritual journeys, wrestled with God over the hardship of this calling, thrown temper tantrums, fought with my husband over lack of time and resources, I’ve been the one transformed in the process.

The guts and the gore

This is a weird one. My oldest daughter reminded me recently that we come from a long line of “outliers”. Church planting offers the opportunity to think outside the box, to impact a community with the peace and goodness the gospel offers. It offers the chance (like every minute of every day) to cry out to God to show up in the mire of what we’ve encountered or created and bring redemption.


Worshiping with pastor Peter Ong and his wife Jamie, I was reminded of thousands of church planting couples doing the same thing. They don’t do this for personal gain. It’s not a glorious calling. I’ve been around Peter and Jamie long enough to know they are planting this church out of faithfulness to Jesus Christ.  Not only am I honored to know them, in seeing their faithfulness I, too, am encouraged to be faithful. Thank you Peter, Jamie and the many church planting couples serving Christ in this challenging field. You guys rock!

As we left Flushing, our bellies full of Mongolian hot pot, our youngest daughter, who grew up in a church planting context, commented on feeling totally at home at Kings Cross.  I had to smile. We were the only Anglos I was aware of in attendance that week. We were blond, head and shoulders taller than everyone else and yet we felt so at home.

So what about you? What do you enjoy about Church Planting? Invite your kids to comment also. I’d love to hear from them too.

Shari Thomas

Shari Thomas

Shari is mom to three birth children as well as many others who have wiled their way into her heart. Although she raised children abroad, wrestled through an intense marriage and survived a rare form of cancer, she claims church planting as her most difficult life experience. However, through an understanding of the gospel story […]

Shari Thomas's Full Bio
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