It wasn’t until the last 70 years that church planting became a professional enterprise. In the book of Acts, the apostles were “unskilled and ordinary” (Acts 4:13). Their qualifications didn’t come from being degreed at an accredited institution of “higher learning.” Their qualification came from learning from the one who came from “on high.”
I am especially drawn to Acts 8:1-8 where the apostles stayed back in Jerusalem when the persecution came. It was the ordinary people who took the message and mission forward and the church grew and there was great job! Go look that one up, read it and be prepared to find yourself in those verses.
God has always used the ordinaries to create movements.
Does it make you wonder if maybe one of the reasons we aren’t seeing movements today is because we have restricted our expectations to who can start movements to a group of people not inclined to start movements?
Can anyone plant a church?
Yes and no.
Not everyone should start a church but anyone God calls can and should.
Maybe God is calling you…I would love to hear from you!
Great post! Warning- cynical comment painting broad generalizations ahead.
Certainly the establishment of CoC seminaries and a professional clergy class in the mid twentieth century set the stage for the end of the movement’s vibrant growth…
As J.D. Tant, a well traveled home grown Texas preacher, lamented near the end of his physical life ca.1940- we have exchanged men who lived to preach for those who preach to live. Tant closed all his later sermons with the phrase,”Brethren, we are drifting!”
We are now seeing the result of paying the professionals to do our Bible study, evangelism and benevolence for us. We sit in a pew and pay to play “church.” How many elders spend more time personally feeding the flock than managing finances and personnel?
In our congregation, we are trying to remediate an almost complete ignorance of the Old Testament. Although the average age is close to 70, almost no members had ever before participated in a thorough group study of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea et al.
How could anyone get excited about church planting without an understanding that the ecclesia is the culmination of YHWH’s love affair with Israel- the repetitively promised regathering of Israel when Messiah came? Hos 1:10, 2:23 Rom 9:25-26 I Pet 2:10 (Israel was scattered to become “gentiles”; Gentiles were “resurrected” and regathered to Christ to become His perfect Israel!
Our task does not end with immersion in water, it only begins. We should be on fire to lay the spoils of spiritual warfare at our Lord’s feet and to clothe His royal family with scarlet and purple. We need a veritable army of support personnel to back up the called ecclesia planters- we must activate every Christian to use his or her diverse talents to regain the unity, excitement and momentum of Acts 8.
This comment deserves its own post! Wow…you are spot on. We created this…only God can fix it. If we try to fix it without God we will just create more problems. It needs a new operating system! Prayer and reliance on the Spirit…being in the Word to live the Word and be changed by the Word. Things would look a lot different. Thank you for taking the time to write all of that!