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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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How to Suffer Well in Church Planting

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Paul and Barnabas’s first missionary journey in the book of Acts provides us with an inspiring model of perseverance in the work of making disciples and planting churches. Numerous sacrifices are made on this journey. At the end of the trip, Paul is nearly stoned to death by his persecutors. But Paul gets up and keeps going. He then tells the saints  “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)

Church planting, like all true gospel ministry, will involve suffering. This does not mean everyone will suffer to the same degree or extent, but suffering—in some form—will come. This is not only true of Christian ministry, it’s true of the Christian life. Paul told Timothy that “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:14). It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

As church-planting pastors, we will not only experience our own suffering, but we will also be responsible to shepherd the flock through theirs. How do we do this well? What does it look like to endure suffering, and shepherd others who are suffering?

Today, I’m excited to have Philip Moore with me on the podcast to talk about suffering and church planting.

You can listen to this podcast episode here.

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