the weblog of Alan Knox

What does it take?

Posted by on May 23, 2009 in blog links, discipleship | 6 comments

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:

  1. Recognize that every Christian is “called” to communicate the Gospel message wherever they currently live and work. That’s the “Great Commission,” so why look for a lesser one? You don’t need anyone else’s permission, since God trumps everyone, and you certainly don’t need an assessment to share the Gospel.
  2. 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!
  3. 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 don’t know Jesus! Yes, it’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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 5-23-2009

    I agree Alan, the things we do are not “necessary” but that, of course, does not mean they are unbiblical or of no value if kept in the proper perspective.

    Alan, you end with the idea of how these things make you think about your own life, but did not say how you intend to apply them to your own life or vocation as a paid professional Bible teacher. So let me give a quick rewrite of the post as it relates to your chosen profession.

    “What Does It take?”
    Sometimes people making reading the Bible so complicated. I am overwhelmed with all the books, studies, magazines, blogs, etc all trying to tech people Greek. The implication seems to be if you don’t have a Ph.D and studies under some Greek teacher, you wont really understand the fullness of God’s word.

    So here are some hints.

    1. We are all called to read and understand God’s Word and live it out, that is God’s call to all Christians… not some educated few who learn Greek. So why trust a lesser teacher when we have the Holy Spirit to teach us? Isn’t that just Man’s way of replacing the Holy Spirit by their own wisdom?

    2. Teaching the Bible is not a career for professor or a Greek teacher. These men make their living from teaching pastors in the institutional church who then propitiate the myth that the Bible is only for the trained. Teaching the Bible is not career path for those seeking a comfortable salary, benefits, and a retirement plan!

    3. Act on #1 and start reading your Bible. There is no need to go to a Greek teacher or read blogs by Greek teachers who try to replace the Holy Spirit as the true teacher. Don’t try to become a Greek teacher and get your financial support from a voluntary group of people or institutional pastors who promote the system over real church.

    4. Since God has promised He will teach us, start trusting Him and stop leaning on the understanding of the Ph.D.

    5. Gather with other belivers and pray for understanding and trust God to give it.

    6. Teach every Christian to follow the above and stop trusting in those who undermine these principles.

    Yep, EVERY believer should follow these principles (or maybe we should be called Laws for every Christian?).

    So Alan, is this a fair list? Or do the principles only you post really only apply to OTHER kinds of Christians who make a living from the Gospel in a way you don’t like?

  2. 5-23-2009

    Joe (JR),

    Very fair. In fact, this is how I try to live every day. I was hoping that my readers would apply this to their own situations.


  3. 5-23-2009

    Alan, did you plan on being a vocational pastor at some time in your past? Has your exploration of church been a part of what has changed your plans?

  4. 5-23-2009

    Joe (JR),

    Yes, I came to seminary with the goal of graduating and finding a job as a vocational pastor. And, yes, I changed my vocational plans after studying the church in Scripture.


  5. 5-24-2009

    J.R. and Alan,

    My observation is that there are two types of believers: talkers and doers.

    The former know all the right doctrines and believe the right things and do a lot of talking about what everyone should be doing.

    The doers usually are not as bright or as learned as the talkers, but some how seem to get around to DOING the very things the talkers are talking about.

    In my own life and ministry I have made the conscious choice to give 80% of my time and energy to the DOERS, and 20% to the TALKERS.

    Both are to be loved and respected.

    Both are part of the Body of Christ.

    But in Luke 9:57-10:20 Jesus has little to say to the talkers, but a lot to say to the doers.

  6. 5-24-2009

    Guy, as someone once wrote in a moment of inspiration: The Kingdom of God is not one of talk, but of power!

    Great post and repost.