There are amazing works of God happening all across our city. I look at churches that I deeply respect like Renovatus Church (Pastor Jonathan Martin) and the Branch Church (Pastor Derek Turner). Both of these churches were started by amazing men of God that sacrificed so much to get where they are today. But it took years and years of consistency, tough decisions, prayers and commitment in the face of adversity. Their success as healthy and thriving churches in our community did not happen overnight. There was a steep price that was paid that most will never see or understand.

It is so easy to look around and see others thriving and growing. And if I’m not careful, that can lead to frustration and impatience. We have experienced a season of slow, healthy and methodical growth at Center City Church, but no one is going to write a book titled, “Center City Church: How to Explode a Movement of Phenomenal Numerical Church Growth.” But somebody could write a book called, “Center City Church: How to Grow a Church by Five People a Month Super Slow and Consistent.” I actually really like our book.

What I’ve learned is that healthy things take time to grow. I have to patiently and consistently make the right decisions, over and over again. I have to learn how to pray and learn how to trust. And I can’t look at another church that has already paid that price and expect to skip those important steps of learning and growing – both personally and as a church.

I am so grateful for pastors like Jonathan Martin and Derek Turner. Their influence has shown me the result of what happens when pastors pay the price of patience. And the result is beautiful.

This can be applied to each one of our lives. Don’t get frustrated when you see someone in your field succeeding or accomplishing the same dream that only lives in your heart. Ask questions. Learn from them. And embrace the one thing that never develops quickly: patience.