Why not NOW?
God sent His Son in the fullness of time to free the prisoners and redeem those enslaved by the world - Galatians 4:4. That was when the time was right for the Messiah to appear in the world. Jesus’ ministry began at a certain point in His life.
What is the right time for your ministry? Is God calling you to plant a church now?
Clearly, the answer is one that requires discernment. If you are looking for discernment regarding your call, there are some very good places to turn.
First, turn to the Lord in prayer. If the time is right, ask Him to give you a burden for the lost, boldness to share your faith and the gift of leading others on that journey. Keep track of how He answers you.
Second, seek wise counsel from others. What do other mature Christians believe about your calling? How do those who know you well think you are suited for the task of planting a new church?
Third, take it to the church. Does the church affirm your calling? Is there a body of believers to whom you will be accountable and who will support you on your journey?
Fourth, if all the other factors seem right, get assessed. Reach Chicago (and most other groups offering residencies) requires assessment by pastors and other church leaders as a confirmation that a person really is suited to plant.
Calling is something that needs to be affirmed, because your calling is what you have left when everything seems to hard to handle - that is when your sure knowledge that God has called you to the task will help you accomplish that which He has called you to do.
If God is calling YOU to plant a church, now is the time to proclaim the truth of His salvation. You are part of his greater plan, blessed with an opportunity to see him save lives right before your eyes.
When you experience something so rich, does God call you to stop and contemplate the worth of proclaiming it from the rooftops? Or does he move you to pour our your love and your life to honor Him as you share His message with the world?
“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:46-47