When you can't go on

I read a letter today from a church planter out of his depth. He's in a tough situation, distressed and in despair. He tells me unless God comes through, he can't go on.

We'll call him “Paul”. You can read his story here.

His story is not unusual. I meet church planters all the the time who are facing challenges that are far greater than their ability to handle. Not all of them make it.

Here's some of the big ones that bring leaders undone:

1. Shattered dreams: You dreamt of planting the biggest church or the coolest church or the most Spirit filled church and it hasn't happened. At least not the way you hoped it would.

2. Conflict: Not everybody likes you and some people are mad at you. You feel tempted to ask God to slay the wicked but you're not sure if you like you either.

3. Family: You thought your family was a department in your ministry model. But now they're not playing that game.

4. Just tired: You realise you've been running on empty for a long time. An early night, a day off, a holiday won't change that. You're done.

5. Crisis: Any one of the above can escalate into a full blown crisis. You can add to the list unexpected financial setback, serious health issues or loss of a loved one.

Now this is not everybody's story and it's not the story all the time. But sooner or later you're going to find yourself facing challenges without and challenges within that you do not have the capacity to deal with.

That's not exactly true. Bobby Clinton's research shows that only 95% of leaders encounter a serious “Life Crisis” at some point in their development.

Maybe you're one of the lucky 5%. If not, you better have a plan.