In church planting, God has the difficult task of taking the raw recruit of a seminarian, and make him into a dangerous spiritual weapon. Saul of Tarsus was no different. God molded from a book heavy, self-righteous Pharisee into a gospel killing machine. He made him heaven’s “Tank Buster”.
Why is it that when a guy graduates seminary the one thing that he’s ill equipped to do is most of the stuff that Paul did in the book of Acts?
Think about it.
If there was one thing that you’d want to train guys to do…If there was one thing that you’d want guys to be able to do…wouldn’t you want to be releasing dangerous delta force teams, or the spiritual equivalent of Navy Seal Team Six that; able to infiltrate, accomplish their mission, and then spread out to the next assignment?
Instead, we have generations of guys who can navigate church politics, write blogs, drink coffee, and discuss the finer points of theology.
Our problem is that for too long the church has been content to hold ground instead of take ground. We’ve been content being the army when we should have been rushing the No Man’s Land as bullet stopping Marines. The churches command from Jesus was not to “hold till I return” but to “secure the beachhead” of every distant shore.
The fact is, every time that God has sent His Spirit in power, a wave of pioneering daredevils has charged the gates of hell. The Lollards, Luther’s missionary monks, Zinzendorf and the Moravians, Wesley and Whitefield, the Cambridge Seven, J. Hudson Taylor and the China Inland Mission, Bill Bright and Campus Crusade for Christ?
By the time that Paul lost his head on the Appian Way, he’d set in place a posse of at least 32 pioneering missionaries who were ready to take his place as “sent out ones”. The fact is, they had been trained to pick up where Paul had left off, and they were already doing it when he was sitting in a Roman prison.
God wants to form you into a dangerous gospel operative, but it’s not going to happen in a classroom. That wasn’t Paul’s methodology anyways. Paul himself studied from world-reknown Rabbi Gamliel, and it did him good. Don’t get me wrong. Attending a seminary can have great benefit. I went, I survived, I got the degree. I even learned. I’m grateful for what it taught me, but years later it dawned on me that it had failed to prepare me for my life’s calling. It didn’t prepare, or equip me to plant churches, perform an exorcism, or pray in faith that somebody might actually get healed in the name of Jesus. It didn’t prepare me to help those writhing in the grip of heroin addiction or pornography. It didn’t prepare me to enter a city and spearhead the gospel with covert or public strategy to crash the mainframe of the enemy’s operations. Don’t you think it strange that we’re “preparing” guys for ministry, and when they’re done, they’re terrified to leave their offices and take risks for the Kingdom? The former Archbishop of Canterbury once remarked, “Where ever Paul went, they threw a riot. Where ever I go, they throw a tea party.”
The equivalent would be to ship a handful of commandos to a weapons depot for a couple of years, assigning them with memorizing weapon specs and counting ammunition. Upon their release from “training” you wouldn’t expect them to storm any terrorist bunkers with any degree of success. The fact is that our ministers aren’t dangerous.
What would be the most dangerous thing to the enemy of souls?
Multiplication. Up front, I want to remind you that it’s not about your church plant.
Let me repeat that. It’s not about YOUR CHURCH PLANT.
It’s about multiplying yourself in the lives of others. You plant this church, it takes off, big whoop? If it starts and ends with itself, then it’s just another church teaching people how to disobey the great commission. So, from day one, we will be training you to Multiply into multiple church plants for years to come. That’s what people talk about when they say that rather than planting a church, you plant a church planting movement.
Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.