Gird Up Your Loins

“Don’t think. Act.” – Steven Pressfield, Do The Work

Pressfield wants us to quit being men without chests. To quit rationalizing, talking ourselves out of the things we want to accomplish. He believes we need bigger hearts and smaller heads.


If he’s right, and if I’m right, this is the kind of no-guts-no-glory approach that gets young men like me married. We think we’re up to the task. We go at it like heroes bound for marital glory. And then later we pick up some more rational tools once our sheer guts have gotten us as far as they can. Eventually the duties rise up and stare down the bravado with which we started. It’s then that our ignorant heroism gets transmuted into prudence, fortitude, and the other cardinal virtues.

Now, I’m a Presbyterian clergyman. Our types add a lot of footnotes whenever we talk about God calling us to do this or that. We’re bookish, educated, subtle, decent, and in order.

When it comes to Yours Truly, all this thinking often becomes a way for me to guard my heart. To keep me from putting all my eggs in one basket. To keep me from biting off more than I can chew. To keep me from having to look myself in the mirror and say “you know what? You don’t have a choice, Bucko! God has called you to this, and you’ve answered that call and committed to executing it.”

Often, we guard our hearts so that we don’t have to gird our loins.

Has Jesus called you to plant a church? Have you said, “Here am I. Send me.”? If he hasn’t, or if you haven’t, then stay away, or walk away. But if he has, and you have, then get in there and do it.

Our father Abraham didn’t subject his his call to move from Chaldea to Canaan to my version of Presbyterian cerebral purgatory. He packed and got going.

Don’t read a thousand church planting books first. Don’t read all 93 of my blog posts, or my eBook Countdown to Launch: 10 Church Planting Rules Worth Breaking. Don’t register for the 2016 Acts 29 Boot Camp.

If you are called to plant a church, start today. Commit yourself to the entire process now. Pressfield would say to get out a legal pad, and on one sheet, determine what the beginning, middle, and end of the call entails.

1. Beginning: Apprenticeship, assessment, deployment, core group, evangelism, discipleship, Gospel Neighboring

2. Middle: Worship, multiplication of missional communities, ordaining elders, financial sustainability

3. End: Church is established, you are replaceable, and the church is ready to plant a new church

And then, he’d say, act. Fill in the blanks as you go.

I’m scared to say for sure that this is what I actually believe. But if Pressfield is right, then that very fear may be evidence that I’m still hedging, guarding my heart, thinking.

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