What Hollywood and Church-Planting Have in Common

I honestly started making this a Facebook post, only to realize that what I had to say was way too long and obnoxious to flood someone’s news feed.

So you’re welcome.

I was just watching a documentary about the Oscars. Towards the end, someone who I can only assume to be a director or producer was describing the morning after the Oscars, where he was in his sweats, drinking nasty coffee, sweeping a floor. He reflects, “That one night…that is what everyone thinks Hollywood is about. The glamour and everything. But really, that’s the one night a year where we all dress up and put on a show. Hollywood is the waking up and doing everyday, difficult, ordinary, grimey, mundane things, behind the scenes, that no one sees. That’s what Hollywood really is.”

And it hits me.
That’s what church planting is.
Everyone sees the glory moments, the moments that are publicized and broadcast and celebrated. Coming from a church that is missions-based, the “powerful” testimonies are the ones that fuel you. We hear about the churches that have doubled in size in a week, the gang members who are transformed by the love of Jesus overnight. And we BEG God to send us. We want revival NOW. We want to see it all NOW. We want those glory stories.

But it’s more than that. Hear me out…I am not trying to undermine these amazing works of God. And I am not trying to stifle anyone’s fire. Please…stay lit.

Church-planting is mostly unseen and unheard. The every-day, ordinary, mundane, difficult things. The behind the scenes that make for the glory moments. It’s stuffing and addressing envelopes. It’s making sure there are enough Krispy Kreme doughnuts for every guest. It’s measuring the width of a middle school door to make sure a banner can fit. It’s having the slides cued and ready for worship on Sunday. It’s taking hours to pray and plan every week.

The unseen moments really do shape the seen.

It’s the same with our relationship with God. It’s in the quiet, solitary places where intimacy with Him is formed…when so many times all we hear are the glory stories. Cultivating deep, rich, history with God is about consistency and commitment. Am I going to stay consistent in the ways I pursue Jesus? Am I going to stay committed to Him and the things He’s called me to?

These award-winning movies…Think of where they would be if people hadn’t been consistent or committed. If people refused to do the dirty, unseen work. If there hadn’t been that lady fixing Helen Mirren’s makeup off-stage. If that man whose only responsibility is to bring the director exactly what he needs when he needs it simply quit. That girl who sweeps the set and makes sure props are in place worked half-heartedly. The glory moments can’t happen without their seemingly inferior acts.

Don’t despise the seasons of the mundane and ordinary….for they cultivate a richness and depth with God that will lead to greater glories than we could ever imagine.


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