the weblog of Alan Knox

Then Who Is Qualified?

Posted by on Oct 15, 2010 in blog links | 5 comments

Then Who Is Qualified?

Eric at “A Pilgrim’s Progress” continues discussing his transition from a more institutional, organizational church toward a more organic church. In his most recent post, “Experience and an M.Div. Do Not Mean I’m Qualified to Plant a Church,” he talks about the reaction that he’s received from several institutional type pastors.

Eric says:

There is one response I was not prepared for. When I’ve talked with some folks, usually pastors, they have given approval (not that I asked for it) to the idea of me planting and leading a church in my home. Please let me be clear: if a church starts, it will be God who plants it. I’m happy to be a part of it. Also, it is God who will lead it. Again, I’m just happy to be part of it.

It is the pastors I have talked with who assume that I will be both planting and leading it (several posts ago I spoke of me planting a church in my home; I regret the use of that language. The Holy Spirit is the real planter). They have approved for basically two reasons: A) I have experience as an institutional pastor, and B) I have an M.Div.

Eric concludes with this:

Experience and an M.Div. mean little as far as qualifications go. Planting a church needs one primary thing: complete joyful submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It also needs a secondary thing: commitment to love others before self.

Eric’s post is very good. You should read all of it.

But, he brings up a very going point. Neither experience in a church nor an education make someone qualified to plant a church, to be an apostle, to be an elder, etc.

So, what does?


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

  1. 10-15-2010

    I think this way of thinking echoes the question asked of Jesus by the religious leaders (Luke 20): “Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?”

    He didn’t answer them.

    Via a parable, Jesus focused on the labor of servants and the expectation of faithful service returning fruit to the vineyard Owner (Luke 20:9-16). He also dismissed notions of authority privileges and recognition(Luke 20:46-47).

    For those consumed with these sorts of questions, Luke 20 is a threatening and discomforting passage. For others, great freedom is found to serve the Master and His vineyard without fanfare.

  2. 10-15-2010


    Church planting is very unique language in a place where most people are “Christian”. For example the way we meet, “we” planted the church. We were a group of people called out by God and decided to meet a certain way based off of our convictions. I think 1st Century and even Apostolic church planting today has to occur where there are no believers. Outside of that I don’t know if it really “church planting”. It is more organizational planting.

  3. 10-16-2010

    Lionel, I’ve thought along the same lines. I tend to think of what we are doing as being more in line with Titus 1:5 than with church planting.

    The church may be planted in many parts of the world, but it has much lacking and in disarray.

    Curious what Alan and others think.

  4. 10-16-2010

    Art and Lionel,

    What you two are saying sounds similar to what I was telling someone a few days ago. I think you even see the difference in Scriptures. When Paul went to a place for the first time, it seems he spent most of his time proclaiming the gospel. If he returned (or left someone or sent someone back), the primary responsibility seemed to be to strengthen the church that already existed. In the US especially, the church already exists.


  5. 10-17-2010

    If I may opine as to a qualification,

    A relentless pursuit for having the knowledge of Jesus Christ displayed in one’s own life and in the lives of others and a life marked by the working power of His Spirit through that person to do just that.