What should I do when no one shows up?

Leadership is lonely.

It’s easy to feel alone as a church planter, especially in the early days. It can be difficult to pour time and energy into an event or meeting only to have your expectations not met when the people who said they would be there don’t show up. This can feel defeating, but Danny Parmelee, host of the 101 Questions Church Planters Ask podcast, has some great encouragement for those of us who may be asking, “What should I do when no one shows up?”

Remember that you are never alone.

Know, embrace, and understand that the most important person on your launch team is Jesus. He is at every launch team meeting, every Sunday service, every outreach, and every volunteer meeting. If He’s the only one who shows up, that’s okay because He is the most important person. Check out Matthew 28:18-20. In verse 20, Jesus says, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

We can focus on who is in the room rather than who isn’t.

Focus on those who are there, ready to listen, ready to learn, and ready to serve. Don’t get distracted by who isn’t there. Be present and minister to those who are in the room at that time. Coach yourself and serve those who are there. Be faithful no matter who shows up.

So what do you actually do when there are people you expected to be there and they aren’t? Guilt is not a good long-term motivator. It’s better to follow up with a pastoral edge like a phone call or an email and let them know they were missed.

We hope these tips will be an encouragement and help you better handle the common struggles many church planters have. Want to get the answers to other tough questions? Check out 101 Questions Church Planters Ask at https://churchplantersask.com/podcast/.

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