the weblog of Alan Knox

This seems like a good test to me

Posted by on Jul 23, 2008 in blog links, elders, office | 17 comments

Bob at “the planter” has come up with what I think is a good test in his post called “BETTER YET! Let’s prove it.

Better yet, let’s put this to the test.

Is your Church controlling you when it comes to the ministries you can create or serve in? Will they allow you to serve where the Holy Spirit is leading you to serve.

Can you decide what ministries your church is involved in?
Would your church leadership bless you to take 20+ quality leaders and start a new disciple-making church?

Better yet – Let’s prove it.

Tell your pastor that God’s Holy Spirit is leading you to leave the church to start a Disciple-making Church and tell him that 20-30 “very important” (name them) leaders are joining with you. Then ask Him if you have His blessing. Try to keep a straight face here. (Mike and John) You should try this. You are both ornery enough to pull this off.

If your pastor will bless you and release you & the people to do this you are in a God honoring -God releasing ministry. If your pastor does not give you his blessing than you are in a system of control. Jesus and His plan to reach the world is one of releasing to walk in Holy Spirit obedience.

God owns the people -the Church does not. The problem is that most churches do not know this.

I don’t know who “Mike and John” are, but I can tell you that I would be very excited if someone who was part of our church would try this. Of course, I would be very disappointed to find out it was “just a test”.

What about you? What about your pastor?


17 Comments

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  1. 7-23-2008

    This has happened to me in 2 different churches where I was given the pastors “blessing” to plant and then he worked behind my back to “take back” the people he was afraid would leave. It is a very sad thing.

    That being said, I find no humor in this suggested game.

    I am not a fan of using deceit to prove a point? This tells me something is wrong and a movement has gone too far when the end justifies the means.

  2. 7-23-2008

    I don’t know if it is humurous or not but it will test what comes from the pulpit in theory but is bologna in practice! Great post!

  3. 7-23-2008

    Alan,

    My immediate thoughts on this scenario was that “If the man was synced up with God, he’d say no, because he would know it was merely a test.” Of course that is a little unrealistic… I think it would be great if the man would give his blessing in this venture – hopefully a real one!

    J.R. Miller,

    I agree that the use of deception is probably poor, especially given the situation. But God has been known to use deception in the past :).

    God’s Glory,
    Lew

    The Pursuit Online Store

  4. 7-23-2008

    Wow, I am genuinely grieved to see that integrity and honesty is valued so little.

    I lived through this twice and while I am hurt that pastors can lead like this, I am just as equally hurt that people can justify one sin with another.

    Look at the example of Paul, in that no matter how horrible people were to him, he was always honest in his speech.

    2 Cor. 6:3-10
    We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

    We cannot create a healthy church, by modeling a lack of integrity or dishonesty in our speech.

    I have a suggestion Alan for your next verse on “The Scriptures and how we live it”

    “Thou shalt not lie”
    can be
    “Thou shalt not lie-unless you find a good enough reason to justify your actions against the institutional church.”

  5. 7-23-2008

    Since you put it that way J.R you are correct. It is sin and I am sorry if it came off as I was condoning sin

  6. 7-23-2008

    Joe (J.R.),

    I do not want to encourage people to be deceptive. As you pointed out, if someone actually did what this “test” suggests, that would be deceptive. Thank you for the concern and the admonition. I truly do appreciate it, because honesty and integrity are important to me as well.

    Also, thank you for sharing what has happened to you in spite of the problems with the post. Perhaps we can discuss this topic in a more healthy manner at another time.

    -Alan

  7. 7-23-2008

    *pondering*

  8. 7-23-2008

    Alan,

    Since coming across your blog I have come to appreciate your concerns for the Body of Christ,and how one’s genuine place in the Body is out-worked in function. Therefore I believe I understand the “heart” reason you posted this, and cannot see you condoning dishonesty and deceit.

    It is my strong belief that we have failed greatly at giving people opportunities to minister in the way they sense they are being led, as well as miserably failing to teach the Scriptures so they can discern the leading of the Holy Spirit.

    Rather than feeling that I was being put to the test, when, in the past, approached as suggested by Bob. As an elder/overseer I instituted some testing (by the whole congregation) of the claims of those approaching me,giving opportunities to function in the way they claimed they were being led. A part of that testing must be the taking into account of the thoughts of those in the congregation who know them best.

    That happened in my own life when, as a young man, I approached the pastor (elder)and told him of how my wife and I felt we were being led.

    Of course there are always those who aspire to positions of recognition who claim leading.

    I would have a strong sense of having failed if anyone felt the need to “test’ me as suggested.

  9. 7-23-2008

    Yes, the title of your post certainly makes it seem that you approve of this “test”, so I am glad to know you do not approve of such methods.

    I am very loath to talk publicly on the details of my experience. I still love the people involved and would not wish to hurt them.

    I pray frequently about how I can share my experience without doing more harm than good. I do hope we can have a good discussion about it some day soon.

  10. 7-23-2008

    As the Planter himself I would add: The test is posed as the scenario but it is not meant to be acted on because it doesn’t need to be acted on because you already know the answer. Your people already know how you would answer the proposed scenario-don’t they.

    j.r. sorry brother but you missed the whole point of the point. Sorry. I’m also sorry you were hurt by those Indian givers. My blog supports you in that I am correct to say that far too many leaders in America are hanging on tightly to that which they do not own. I’m surprised by all the “accusations and integrity bashing” when the real problem is rooted in powerful control and greed of leaders who lead across America. I was addressing something that has caused you great pain and also grieves the heart of God. I am also grieved that the church could cause you so much pain.

    Hope this clears things a bit. Sorry to let all of you go on so long before bringing reeling things in. It’s sort of my own ornery-ness taking over.

  11. 7-23-2008

    I like your heading, this seems like a good test to me. YEAH! Let’s have the whole world present the test to their pastor and be willing to really do it no matter what the pastor say as long as the Holy Spirit is leading in all of this.

  12. 7-23-2008

    Yes Bob, it appears I missed the whole point of your post.

    Thanks for your clarification.

    However, I don’t know that Alan would see my comment as “integrity bashing” so it is probably not best to speak for him or characterize my post like that.

  13. 7-23-2008

    Alan,
    Excellent post. I had much more to say but I’m not sure how it would be received by everyone…

    Blessings,
    Brandon

  14. 7-23-2008

    Alan,
    I have a total disconnect with this concept currently since my church only has about 35 members. But if one of our leadership couples came to me and said that God was leading them to some ministry I would be grateful, even if it meant “losing” them from our immediate family at the church. I have been the one who left a couple of times in the past and was blessed by pastors who were excited to send us out.

  15. 7-24-2008

    If you would be disappointed it was just a test then I think it’s safe for me to say I’ve ever met a pastor like you.

    As for you approving of lying. It’s obvious to me from the post that it was not meant to condone that…and to take it so legalistically is well…kind of legalistic. Call me the great sinner for saying “chill out dudes”…I’m good with that label. I’ve worn it more than once.

  16. 7-24-2008

    Although my own experience was bad, I hasten to add that I know personally several pastors who have responded quite well to this.

    Horizon Church in San Diego has planted more than 100 churches in the past 20 years and they have sent out thousands of people with their planters with absolutely no strings attached. The largest exodus came when they planted one church and 5,000 people left with the planter.

    In all the churches they have planted, there is more than 100,000 people. The humility of their pastor is amazing and a role model for me.

    So even though we see many bad examples, there are good ones out there, but the problem is most of the guys who are doing it right, are not looking for credit and thus you don’t read about them.

  17. 7-24-2008

    Joe (J.R.),

    Thank you for sharing about Horizon Church. We need to hear more stories like this. Unfortunately, we usually hear these stories from the people involved, and it sometimes comes across as someone patting themselves on the back. (I’m not saying this is always the case, but sometimes it seems like it.) But, when we tell people about someone else, it seems much more genuine. We need more of this.

    -Alan