the weblog of Alan Knox

What does it take to be a church?

Posted by on Feb 2, 2010 in definition | 53 comments

What does it take to be a church?

A couple of years ago, I ran across a site that had several sample brochures. What kind of brochures? Brochures to advertise your new church.

Now, these advertisements were not meant for people in the community where the church would meet. No, these brochures were meant to be sent to other churches in order to convince them to support your team as you started a new church.

One of the samples was produced by a group of three men, each of whom planned to have a leadership role in their new church. Their goal was to move to a new city, rent a place to meet, and encourage people to come meet with them. They decided that they could do this for $700,000 for the first 2 years.. And, they were sending this brochure to people in order to raise $700,000 to cover their expenses… mostly salaries ($500,000) and rent.

Now, I’m concerned about many things related to this brochure, and others like it on that site. But, the question that this kind of thing raises for me is this: “What does it take to be a church?”

According to the people putting together the brochure that I mentioned, it takes leadership, alot of money, and a nice meeting space. Is this what it takes to be a church?

Similarly, I’ve heard of groups meeting together (maybe calling themselves a Bible study) for several months before they “launch” their new church. What was the difference between the “Bible study” and the “church”? The difference was a special meeting time and place. Is this what it takes to be a church?

What does it take to be a church?


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

  1. 2-2-2010

    I want to know as well. Because this seems to be the message of many of the church planting organizations.

  2. 2-2-2010

    A church is a “family” following Jesus together. Jesus is the head of this family. This family has spiritual mothers and fathers and it has spiritual brothers and sisters. This family cares for each other. This family does life together. This family wants to see it’s children grow up and start other families. Because this family wants to see itself multiply it puts a great emphasis on helping the children become mature Jesus like mothers and fathers as soon as it can. Sometimes bad children in this family need disciplined. This family lives in such a way that it strives to put the Kingdom of God first in everything it does.

  3. 2-2-2010

    My description could be unpacked more and more but if you think about how each of these things could be applied you will understand.

  4. 2-2-2010

    Alan, I’ve been thinking about this the past few days. Glad you blogged about it. Provisionally, I think I’d say that to have a local church, we need to have 1) gathered believers, 2) holding to the gospel, and 3) practicing the ordinances in a way that doesn’t contradict the gospel.

    Without 1) and 2), it seems that we’re left with religious gatherings that fail to qualify as churches of Christ. Without 3), it seems that we’re left with a parachurch-type organization.

    Other things I’d like to add (e.g., discipline) seem to be better classified as marks of well-being, rather than being.

    What do you think? I’d be happy to get your thoughts on the above.


  5. 2-2-2010

    If money was all it took to “Plant” a church we would have the scheme working well. It’s not. I have seen this kind of money thrown at church planting ideas and flushed down the toilet.

    The MOST revealing part of your story is that 2/3rds of money will be used for salary.

    I have a thought. Find a person or group who really believe God is calling them to plant a Church. Have them move into that community in which they are planning to plant. Take Jobs, find a rental, live within their means and spend a couple years building sound relationships. THEN, start connecting the dots in those relationships. Start building by ministry, bible study, service, connections, one on one discipleship. At some point if the Holy Spirit’s imprint is on this work, it will become obvious that a Church will be created, planted. And not with the injection of 3/4 of a million dollars.

    Then, after the church is up and running at an organic level, an occasional injection of cash will help it get off dead center. A building. An outreach team. An event.

    I have been part of 4 church planting experiences. 1 of which was a moderate success. Two of which were total failures. One of which became the foundation for another church that prospers today.

    Well over a half million dollars of money were spent in these ventures.

    I could write a book on how we do this wrong. This story you tell Alan is wrong.

    This is the model that works and it doesn’t take

  6. 2-2-2010


    So, what would you say?


    What about a group that doesn’t treat one another as family? Would you say that’s not a church?


    The Corinthians had a problem with the Lord’s Supper and a proper understanding of the resurrection. Were they not a church?


    I agree that much of what is promoted as “church planting” has little to do with the church. But, what does it take to be a church?


  7. 2-2-2010

    Is a family a family if there are no mothers or fathers or brothers or sisters?

    If you don’t have those ingredients you don’t have church. If you have those relationships you have church. Everything else will fall into place.

  8. 2-2-2010

    You’re right that the Corinthians’ practice of the Supper was flawed. But I’m still not sure that it flatly contradicted the gospel as we see with those who maintain that we get justifying grace by taking the Supper. Perhaps their problem was a failure to see how their practice of the Supper contradicted the gospel’s implications. At least that’s what I’m thinking for now.

    As for Paul’s teaching on the resurrection, they had received it initially (15:1). It seems that Paul’s concern is that they were being misled by those who would teach them to believe differently and thus deny the gospel. Presumably, if they all did deny the gospel, they would not constitute a church.

  9. 2-2-2010


    Neither the Philippians nor the Corinthians were treating each other as they should. Paul had to instruct them in how to treat one another. Were they still a church?


    Actually, Paul said that because of their actions toward one another, the Corinthians were not even eating the Lord’s Supper, even though they were eating and drinking. But… they were still a church.


  10. 2-2-2010

    It takes a provable apostolic succession of the planting elder and also filing with the government as a 501(c)(3).

  11. 2-2-2010

    I’m with Scott (if the salary is $500K and/or if we get interviewed nationally so that I become a “household” of God name).

  12. 2-2-2010

    I like Kyle’s point that there is being and well-being. Most people try to define the church with well-being in mind. Maybe the church is simply composed of Christians in a place (all baptized into one Body).

    The church in Cary, the church in Wake Forest, etc.

    If that is the baseline of being for the church, lots of implications about what we do in these communities…

  13. 2-2-2010

    Right, good catch. Still thinking on ordinances…

  14. 2-2-2010

    They did have their problems…what family doesn’t? They were still family. They were still the church.

    Contrast what I wrote to a typical home Bible study or home group or church gathering. If what I described is there then the church is there. The church is the family…not a denomination, not a building, not a group with a pastor.

  15. 2-2-2010


    :) Of course, everyone claims apostolic succession.


    “Christians in a place”… some Christians? all Christians?


    I’m looking forward to hearing your further thoughts.


    I agree 100% that the church is a family. But, if the people do not understand their relationships/responsibility as a family (even though they are a family) much like we see in Corinthians and Philippians, it seems they are still a church, at least in Paul’s view.


  16. 2-2-2010

    Christians bounded only by place would necessarily include all Christians in that place.

    If you ask me to define place, I can’t. It may be 10 blocks in a city or an entire city. I think place (the locale of a local church) has simply to do with physical potential for ongoing relationship (which may remain only in potential, not being realized in practice–being vs well-being).

  17. 2-2-2010

    One of the reasons the Corinthians and the Philippians were church was BECAUSE of Paul, Timothy, Epaphroditus and the gang. These men were intimately involved with the lives of the people they had a role in bringing to the Lord. I see a family. Granted at times the parenting had to be done long distance but it was still done. These churches obviously had people in their midst who were also parenting types because someone took Paul’s instructions and made sure they were done.

    What if there was no Paul? What if no one knew anyone outside of the hour or so they spent together a week? Regardless of what they did when they were together is there church? I just see a group of people who come together to accomplish a task…nothing else. Much like a business and its employees.

  18. 2-2-2010

    Maybe this is important to consider: The church in Jerusalem was likely 25,000 people by 42 AD. They met in many different homes and could not be completely interconnected relationally, but still seem to be bounded by place only.

    They did NOT think of themselves as different independent churches (Acts 15 speaks of the whole church gathered, and I Cor 14 speaks about “if the whole church be come together in one place…” So, the church can meet in subsets and function in subsets but remains the church in a place, and does recognize their unity and occasionally that WHOLE church in that place comes together.

    It isn’t size, it isn’t a always the same radius distance, and it doesn’t depend on continuous relational experiences together. The church in Jerusalem is simply all Christians in that place.

  19. 2-2-2010


    I agree. The church is a family even if the church doesn’t act like a family.


    So, the believers in a location is a church? What about a subgroup of that church… is that a church? What if the subgroup does not recognize the believers in an area as a church?


  20. 2-2-2010


    “What does it take to be a church?”

    One repentant sinner who trusts and rests in the finished work of Christ as purchasing their eternal relationship with the Father, in relationship with at least one or two of the same.

  21. 2-2-2010

    So are you saying that any group of believers is the church regardless?

    For clarity I do not believe there is church where the people are not family….all you have is a group of believers. They may be “positionally” the body of Christ or part of the church universal. In the same way you and I are. In my opinion unless the functions of family are in operation, even if they are poor, there is not a local church.

    My Son just started to attend a study called “Truth Quest”. He goes once a week, meets with other believers, watches a dvd, talkes about it and then goes home and does not interact with anyone in the study until next week. In my opinion these believers are not a church. They are members of the same church you and I are members of. Could my Son’s study group become a local church? Yes. When? When they become a family and start following Jesus together. When they take it upon themselves to see that the family is healthy and growing. When their lives are interwoven in such a way that there is family. When this study group decides that this is what they want and start to do it is, in my opinion, when they become a church, and are more then a group of believers gathered to perform a task.

  22. 2-2-2010

    I think you are wanting me to look for boundaries where there are none.

    The believers in a location are the church in that location (let’s say, Wake Forest). The believers who meet at Bob’s house or Suzie-Q’s Restaurant are the church that meets at Bob’s house and the church that meets at Suzie-Q’s. They are also part of the church at Wake Forest, and they would be open to various interactions, sharing, “whole church” gatherings, etc. with the rest of the church in Wake Forest.

    I think there is agreement that the church is a family. Let’s replace “church” with “the Shepherd family.”

    The believers in a location belong to the Shepherd family. The believers who meet at Bob’s house or Suzie-Q’s Restaurant are the Shepherd family that meets at Bob’s house and the Shepherd family that meets at Suzie-Q’s. They are also part of the Shepherd family at Wake Forest, and they would be open to various interactions, sharing, “whole Shepherd family” gatherings, etc.

    They are all still part of the Shepherd Family (the church), and NOT independent families. No subgroup, even that of a locale, would consider themselves independent, but interdependent. If one did start cutting itself off, the whole family would descend on them!

    But the church, like Israel, is probably fatally divided and without a renewed recognition of who Jesus is and who we are in Him (together) will remain so.

    God still used Israel, but her glory was much diminished, her work nearly totally unfinished. God still uses us, but (ditto Israel’s plight).

    Still, if we honor His design in what ways we can, I think it pleases Him.

  23. 2-2-2010

    Art and Darrell,

    Actually, I’m tracking with you both… just asking for full explanations for both my benefit and the benefit of my readers.


  24. 2-2-2010

    I sensed the leading of the Alan… ;)

  25. 2-2-2010

    May I suggest something a bit odd? Maybe a church could be a group of people who 1) all agree that they are a church, and 2) do the things the NT says a church should do.

    The Sunday meeting (or other day as may be the case) would be recognized by all who attend at that time. So maybe it’s a matter of recognition by those who assemble. Of course, the Spirit’s enlightenment may be behind that recognition.

  26. 2-2-2010

    Scott I like your thinking! I would agree as long as the people had a biblical definition of the word church. The word is so mis-used and misunderstood that it is difficult. I have found that the word family is much closer to what I find church to mean in the Scripture.

    So I would say it like this ” A church could be a group of people who 1) all agree that they are a family, and 2) are trying do the things the NT says a church should do.

  27. 2-2-2010

    Scott and Darrell,

    Would it be fair to say you are proposing that men decide what constitutes a church? Is it too far to say then that “Men declare it so, bring it into being. If they do not, it does not exist?”

    What if we consider this from the perspective that God might be the one to declare what constitutes a church? Maybe this is evidenced in Rev 2&3? What brought these churches into being as churches in His mind? Was it His actions (as in Acts 2 and I Cor 12:13) or something they did?

  28. 2-2-2010


    Very good question. If God decides a group is a church (and should act toward one another as a church, i.e., family) then does it matter what the people decide?


  29. 2-2-2010

    There is an interesting practical approach to acting on the church of a locality in Garner, NC:

    Rather build a church building, they built a first class coffee shop and entertainment spot. Part of their purpose statement reads,

    “Hope Cafe seeks to help unite the Body of Christ to make a difference in the community in which we live. We strive to help build the Kingdom of God instead of church buildings. We seek to help believers to mature as disciples and friends of Christ as a priority over church membership. We are dedicated to providing local hands on mission and ministry opportunities for anyone who wants to help make this a better community of Hope, Faith and Love.”

  30. 2-2-2010

    Art and Alan you are way smarter then I. The questions for God to answer I will have to leave to you and God to figure out. ;)

    Art your questions are great. The mysteries in the Kingdom are delicious, but I have found that they are often distracting and dividing. I choose to leave them as mysteries and focus on what Jesus said to do. (I am not suggesting that either of you brother are not doing what Jesus said to do).

    I come from the perspective as one who earnestly desires to be like the Apostle Paul and make disciples in such a way that they become churches that go and do the same. My focus is on those things I can do. I have a little experience in doing this but have much to learn.

  31. 2-2-2010


    I’m right behind you.

    Consider this 5 day church planting workshop near Raleigh, NC being held Mar 1-5:

    $200 covers all five days including food and lodging.

  32. 2-2-2010

    A group of believers meeting together for the purpose of encouraging one another building one another and making Christ the center of their life with the sole purpose of doing this from a committed perspective. So I agree to meet with a few others (or a bunch of others) for the sole purpose of following Christ and helping others. I think that would be a church. Some of the other stuff is debabteable.

  33. 2-2-2010

    “I come from the perspective as one who earnestly desires to be like the Apostle Paul and make disciples in such a way that they become churches that go and do the same. My focus is on those things I can do.” AMEN!


  34. 2-3-2010

    The church is those who are called out, in his name, anywhere on this earth. They are part. How they are functioning (to be) is another matter. You can have a building or a meeting place, songs to sing, needs to meet, etc., but if we only seek our own comfort, and the furtherance of our own ideas (no matter how grand or christian), we are no different than anybody else who meets anywhere else for any other purpose. Our love is different, it lasts, it disciplines itself. It is out of this world. Where you have men and women lowering themselves for the benefit of furthering His name you have the unmistakeable testimony of the church. Where you have those gathering for coffee and Jesus, skateboarding and Jesus, AARP and Jesus, Calvinism and Jesus, housechurch and Jesus etc. you have merely those meeting for a purpose that promotes their fancy. Introduce pain into that group and you will see if they are the church or not.

  35. 12-31-2010

    We never read in the Bible of a ‘House Church’ or even ‘a church’! What we read of is ‘The Church’ i.e. there is only one of them. We read of ‘The Church’ in so and so’s house and the church in a particular city. What does this mean it’s simple the part represents the whole.
    If a small group of politicians of a particular party met officially in my home you would say the such and such party met there. This would not be a full explanation of the event. What would be meant is that the small part of that ‘political party’ that met there represented the whole party and were meeting with concern for the benefit of the whole party. So what makes church well lots of things but first and foremost its recognition by the group that it represents the whole and acknowledges its unity with the historic faith and the whole church in whatever form it takes.
    I have been involved in home church since 1965 and also meet regularly with pastors of traditional churches in our area our relationship is developing and I consider it honors Christ as our head.

  36. 12-31-2010


    I agree. :)


  37. 1-2-2011

    Rob you stated, “What we read of is ‘The Church’ i.e. there is only one of them.”

    How then are we to understand Paul and Luke’s use of “churches” plural when speaking beyond a locale?

    If I read your example of a political party, would you say “The Republican party of Raleigh met last night, as did Republican parties across the state.” Is that how you read the following passages? Does that still not leave us with one Republican party, but that exists and meets in separate locations, each with its own local flavor (some more conservative, some more liberal; each agreeing and disagreeing at some levels with the party platform)? And, while they are one, they are also many in distinct ways and with distinct actions?

    Acts 9:31
    Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria

    Acts 15:41
    And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

    Acts 16:5
    And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

    Romans 16:4
    Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.

    Romans 16:16
    The churches of Christ salute you.

    1 Corinthians 7:17
    And so ordain I in all churches.

    1 Corinthians 11:16
    But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

    1 Corinthians 14:33
    For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

    1 Corinthians 14:34
    Let your women keep silence in the churches

    1 Corinthians 16:1
    as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

    1 Corinthians 16:19
    The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

    2 Corinthians 8:1
    we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;

    2 Corinthians 8:18
    And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;

    2 Corinthians 8:19
    And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace,

    2 Corinthians 8:23
    they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.

    2 Corinthians 8:24
    Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love,

    2 Corinthians 11:8
    I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.

    2 Corinthians 11:28
    Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

    2 Corinthians 12:13
    For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.

    Galatians 1:2
    And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:

    Galatians 1:22
    And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:

    1 Thessalonians 2:14
    For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:

    2 Thessalonians 1:4
    So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

    Revelation 1:4
    John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

  38. 1-2-2011

    Hi Art,

    My first post was not an exhaustive statement and may have led to confusion. Below is a section from some notes I have written on the church.

    7.1. Three Dimensions of the Church:

    a) Universal (catholic)
    b) Local (one united city wide church) and
    c) Household or House Church (Appendix 2. Outline of the book ‘The Second Reformation’).

    In each case the church is actually in some geographical place either larger or smaller. God wishes to reveal and manifest His presence amongst and through His people as households of disciples, city wide churches and throughout the earth. Our relationships together are meant to facilitate and release the revelation and manifestation of the Father and Jesus through the Spirit.

    7.2. The Universal or Catholic Church.

    The Bible clearly teaches us that there is only one true church made up of everybody who is born again and part of the body of Christ. This church bridged the divide between Jew and Gentile making, as Paul puts it ‘one new man’ ‘one body’ Ephesians 2:151-16. The world-wide, universal or catholic church is presented to us in Ephesians. Notice there is one head over one church Eph. 1:22, 5:23, as one wife Eph. 5:24-32 and one instrument of God Eph. 3:10, 18, 21, with one body not many bodies Eph. 4:4, 11-12, 16, 5:30. In Eph. 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:4-12 and Matthew 16:18, we see that the church is one building. Jesus did not say ‘on this rock I will build my churches’, but my church singular. So there is one body, one building and one bride.

    7.3. The Local Church / City Church.

    However the church needs practical expressions in each locality. So we see that the New Testament speaks of the church in the three ways listed above. These are the Biblical units of the church. The local expression of the church is as household churches and the city wide local church. In the New Testament we see that there was only one church in each city, which met in various households. However the church in each household was itself called the church. It should not be considered ‘a church’ as if it were a separate church or even a separate part of the church. It was ‘The Church’ because it represented the whole church in that particular city and was in unity with it; ideally in spirit, government, authority and purpose. This is the church we must consider ourselves to be part of. The church in a particular city in New Testament times may have composed several thousands and a household church over 100, not necessarily just a dozen or so.

    The following verses refer to particular local city wide churches.

    Acts 13:1 ‘the church that was at Antioch’. Romans 1:7, 16:1 ‘the church … at Cenchrea’. 1 Corinthians 1:2, 2 Corinthians 1:1, Colossians 4:16 ‘the church of the Laodicean’s’. 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:1. In Romans 1:7 & Ephesians 1:1, Philippians 1:1 & Colossians 1:2, the letters are addressed to the members of the church in question; it is clear that in each case there is only one church in the city,
    This is also confirmed about the seven churches in Revelation. Revelation 2:1 ‘the church in Ephesus’, 2:8 ‘the church in Smyrna’, 2:12 ‘the church in Pergamum’, 2:18 ‘the church in Thyatira’, 3:1 ‘the church in Sardis’, 3:7 ‘the church in Philadelphia’, 3:14 ‘the church in Laodicea’.

    Notice Paul appointed elders in every church Acts 14:23 and that this was the same as appointing elders in every city Titus 1:5. This also shows that the church in the NT was in city wide unity.

    The following verses refer to a number of local city wide churches.

    Notice they are referred to in plural and that a region is in view, each place mentioned is a region not a city or ethnic grouping. Each region has a number of multi ethnic churches not a single church. Or as in Revelation referring to 7 specific cities with only 7 churches one in each of the 7 cities in 1:4 & 20 and repeatedly referring to churches (i.e. plural) only in reference to the whole 7 city churches 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22.

    Acts 9:31 ‘churches … throughout Judea and Galilee and Samaria’.
    Acts 15:41 ‘went through Syria … confirming the churches’ & Acts 16|:5
    Romans 16:4 ‘the churches of the Gentiles’. & 16,
    1 Corinthians 4:17, 7:17, 11:16, 14:33, 16:1 ‘churches of Galatia’. 16:19 ‘churches of Asia’.
    2 Corinthians 8:1, 18-19, 23-24, 11:8, 12:13.
    Galatians 1:2 ‘the churches of Galatia’ & 1:22.
    1 Thessalonians 2:14 ‘churches … that are in Judea’ & 2 Thessalonians 1:4.
    Rev. 1:4 ‘the seven churches that are in Asia.

    The language of the New Testament is consistent throughout one city = one church. The unity of the body of Christ can only be adequately displayed on a city wide basis

  39. 1-2-2011

    Art and Rod,

    Just to add a little to your discussion, I don’t see any indication that the “churches” considered themselves independent of or exclusive of one another nor of the church (in either the city or in general).


  40. 1-3-2011


    We have come quite a distance from the biblical pattern.

    Of course, nor were we ever idyllic perfection. The epistles are chock full of things we are to do towards “one another” (such as receive ye one another) and corrections for other things we were doing to one another that we shouldn’t (such as lie not one to another).

    Paul also felt it worthwhile to ask the Philippians to receive Timothy and the Romans to receive Phoebe.

    But, there were no First Independent Fundamental (insert “distinctives” name) Churches.

  41. 1-3-2011

    Hello Allan and Art

    I don’t see any indication that the “churches” of a region considered themselves exclusive of one another either. They seem to have been interrelated and mutually supportive through the movement of ministries amongst them and expressed as in the support of the poor in Jerusalem. But we have no evidence of hierarchical structures ruling over regions hence the plural of ‘churches’ for regions but singular for cities and households. There is no example of elders in one city carrying administrative authority in any other city.

    Yes we have come a great distance from the biblical pattern and I agree it was never perfect and perhaps far from it. I have 2 QUESTIONS I think are valuable to consider:-

    1) How do we relate to the church in our locality maintain and express unity despite the labels and divisions. In UK (my place of origin) and Barbados my current residence I find that denominational labels mean little compared with previous generations (I do not know if this is the same in the US). The majority of people move among the churches much more on the basis of a) whether the church provides for their needs / wants or b) where they find genuine friends, which is a better motive. However I would like to see more believers being concerned with where they could best meet the needs of others.

    The approach I favour is to ignore the labels and build relationships wherever they can be beneficial to the kingdom. We are associated with a network of churches – some of which are house churches, some are cell churches some are also part of various denominations.

    2) Do we have hope and / or Biblical grounds for expecting church reformation and a perfecting of the church prior to Christ return e.g. Eph. 4 “maintain the unity of the Spirit … until we cone to the unity of the faith”. Does this ‘until’ hold out any promise of its eventual accomplishment?


  42. 1-3-2011

    Art and Rob,

    Thanks again for the great discussion. You guys just might have inspired a few blog posts on these subjects.


  43. 6-29-2011

    This was a good discussion. Wish I would’ve been around at the time of its inception to take part. :)

  44. 10-14-2011

    Alan, it sounds like the brochure guys might have been related to this bunch of “church planters:”

  45. 3-8-2012

    That video is hilarious.

  46. 3-8-2012

    Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there I AM. Not sure why that doesn’t constitute a church. If the two or three are gathered in His name and engaging in DNA — Divine truth, Nurturing relationships, Apostolic mission — I would think they are “church” and part of the universe of followers. They may not have a charter, statement of faith and officers, but I think they being the church.

  47. 10-16-2012

    Thoughts from Jim Elliff on “Starting Churches With No Money”

  48. 10-16-2012


    That’s a good article. Thanks!


  49. 6-21-2013

    To my shame, that video pretty much sums up where I was about 5 yrs ago. I bought into the idea of “launching” a church – complete with band, lights, sound, Ed Young Jr. style messages. Though I didn’t have the fauxhawk, I did have the untucked embroidered shirt (not buff). Rarely, if ever, did I inquire the Word of God to see how He want’s His church to meet, function, and organize. I was simply trying to “do church the best way we could.” I had a weak grasp on doctrine, biblical patterns for ministry and discipleship. Evangelism was inviting people to the show. The Lord didn’t want a church like that at that time in that place with a “leader” like me. (I would perhaps argue He never does) Thus, we closed up shop after 3 yrs of going nowhere.

    Changes were made. The Lord has me being a much better husband, dad and believer than previously. My family and I are part of a wonderful fellowship of believers most of whom are striving to live their lives as the Word prescribes. It is truly amazing what the Word of God can do when one earnestly hungers and thirsts for it. Psalm 1, became my prayer almost continually. I’ve become a student of the Word and taken doctrinal matters far more seriously. I read, I read, and I read. Beauty from ashes. Thank you Jesus.


  50. 6-21-2013


    Thank you for the comment. I’d love to hear more about your story. Would you be willing to email me at alan[at]alanknox[dot]net?


  51. 6-21-2013

    Sure Alan, be glad to. Appreciate your ministry on this blog – very insightful and well done.

  52. 6-23-2013

    It takes a group of people who has this common belief that THE LIFE JESUS LED is THE ONLY TRUTHFUL WAY OF LIFE TO GOD… form THE BODY OF CHRIST. From hence it becomes the SINGULAR DUTY of the members of this mystical body of Jesus to LIVE AND PROOF that it is the LIFE OF JESUS which brings peace on earth. Are we succeeding in this regard as THE BRIDE/BODY OF CHRIST?

  53. 6-23-2013


    Yes, Jesus’ life in us – through his Spirit – draws us together and makes us his gathering/people/church.



  1. 2010 Blogging Year in Review | The Assembling of the Church - [...] What does it take to be a church? (from February 2, 2010) [...]
  2. Church, Churches, and Questions | The Assembling of the Church - [...] On New Year’s eve, while our family was driving back home from Alabama, a reader named Rob started a …