You know, on the one hand, I really enjoy reading the blog posts over at “The M Blog“. Guy continually writes post which remind us that believers can follow God simply and relationally. It doesn’t take all of that stuff that we usually add. One of his latest posts, “What you need to know to plant a church“, is no exception.
For example, Guy says:
Sometimes my head spins at how complex we have made church planting. I am overwhelmed with all the books, studies, graphs, surveys, conferences, blogs, methodologies, strategies, experts, and current discussions taking place. The implication seems to be if you don’t have a PhD and 4 years apprenticeship with a CP guru in Asia, you simply won’t make it to first base in planting a church.
Instead, Guy quotes Bill Lollar as saying there are only 6 basic principles:
- Recognize that every Christian is â€œcalledâ€ to communicate the Gospel message wherever they currently live and work. Thatâ€™s the â€œGreat Commission,â€ so why look for a lesser one? You donâ€™t need anyone elseâ€™s permission, since God trumps everyone, and you certainly donâ€™t need an assessment to share the Gospel.
- Continue in your present occupation (1 Corinthians 7:17-23), so you can meet your obligations, particularly the one that requires YOU to take care of your family (1 Timothy 5:8) and share with those in need (Romans 12:13; Ephesians 4:28). Ministry is not a career path for those seeking a comfortable salary, benefits, and a retirement plan!
- Act on principle number one and begin sharing the Gospel with your neighbors, friends, co-workers, and family members. There is usually no need to go anywhere else, because your world is already full of people who donâ€™t know Jesus! Yes, itâ€™s okay to relocate, as long as you remember principle number two OR a group of believers voluntarily agrees to support you as a missionary in another culture where it is unlikely that you would be allowed to take jobs away from the indigenous people group to whom you are being sent.
- Since God has promised to provide a harvest for those who labor like this in His vineyard, begin to disciple/teach those who express an interest in spiritual things, expecting the power of the Gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit to bring them to repentance and faith.
- Meet together with these new believers on a regular basis (Hebrews 10:24-25), thinking of creative ways in which you can stimulate one another to love and minister to others, as well as encouraging each other in the Christian journey.
- Teach every new believer how to follow the above principles!
Yes. These are simple principles that every believers can follow. In fact, every believer SHOULD be following these six principles.
So, like I said, on the one hand, I love reading Guy’s simple explanations of what it takes to be and lead the church.
On the other hand, I sometimes hate reading Guy’s posts. Why? Because his posts remind me that these simple principles are also my responsibility.