Essential characteristics of a Replanter: Grace under pressure

By Bob Bickford

“Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.”
1 Timothy 5:1-2

The test of a Replanter’s life is not who he is when things are easy but rather when life is extremely hard and difficult. And it will be. 

The man God uses to Replant a dying church must be in possession of a clear vision, it is absolutely necessary. And with that vision the Replanter must be sure that while the vision good it doesn’t absolutely possess him.

By that I mean the Replanter must have the understanding that the vision for the church and the accomplishment of it is God’s work, not his. God is responsible to give the vision and achieve the vision.

When a Replanter owns the vision to the degree that an attack on the vision feels like an attack on him—he has crossed the line. He will struggle to lovingly lead—feeling that the naysayers are attacking him personally.  

When Replanters understand that they are simply stewards of the vision and God is the owner, he will be able to respond with grace and love to those who attack, speak against and seek to derail the vision.

A Replanter must have Grace Under Pressure. This means he exhibits grace in speech, actions and attitudes even when faced with overwhelming circumstances or criticism.

  • He doesn’t lash out or blow up when encountering setbacks, struggles or attacks
  • He exhibits Christ-likeness when slandered, accused, misrepresented
  • He is able to listen to criticism and maintain relationships with those who criticize.
  • He trusts God to fulfill the vision and defend the mission

These qualities allow him to show respect to all and rest knowing that God will do what he has promised.

Published October 27, 2015

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Bob Bickford

Bob Bickford is a Replant Pastor in suburban St. Louis, serves as the Associate Director of Replant for the North American Mission Board and is the co-author of Am I a Replanter,  Pathways to Partnership and the Associational Replanting Guide. Follow Bob on twitter @bobick