Home > Brandenburg, The Church, The Gospel, The Lord Jesus Christ, The Ministry, The Word > The Ignorance of a Luke 10 Approach

The Ignorance of a Luke 10 Approach

September 27, 2010

When Jesus sent out missionaries, what did He do?  Do we know?  We do, because we can read about it in Luke 10.   We should also assume that this is the model that the Apostle Paul utilized in His efforts.  We will be and we should be sanctified by the truth, not by opinion and pragmatism.  I think that much of what we read in Jesus’ sending of the seventy in Luke 10 is ignored today by churches and church leaders.  How?

1.  Ignorance of the Method in Luke 10

The seventy were sent to say something.  They were sent to preach a message (Lk 10:5b, 9).   We don’t see “church-planting” per se in the Bible.  Jesus did not send the seventy out to start a church.  The Apostle Paul did not go to start a church.  Churches were started, but neither the seventy nor Paul were sent to start a church.  Scripture is sufficient.  Silence does not mean permission.  We ought not to be sending men to start churches.  Jesus didn’t and Paul didn’t.

We send men to preach.  We don’t send them alone.  We send them in twos.  That’s what we see.  We may think we have a better idea, but that’s the model that Jesus left us.  At least two men go.  They go into a town or city and preach.

As the men go to preach, they find out who receives the message and who does not.  If a person receives the message, that’s the possible start of a church.  If no one receives the message, the two don’t tweak the message or consider a different method. They leave after proclaiming judgment on the town or city.  Each home is a microcosm of this.  If a home does not receive the message, the men move on to the next home.  Look at vv. 1-17 (below) if you don’t think this is the case.  I’m open for your alternative ideas, but at least consider the text.

There is no pressure on the preachers to “produce.”  They don’t need to see a certain number in a certain number of weeks or months or years.  Their one goal is to preach just what God said.  From there, they just gauge the response.   They are not required to toil in obscurity with no one listening.  They are actually not supposed to do that.  They should preach—if no one wants it, move on; if someone does, park there.  If it succeeds, it will be because of the gospel, not the preacher.

The preachers Jesus sent out, He said He was sending as “lambs among wolves” (Lk 10:3).  Jesus didn’t say that people would like the method or the message.  It would be worse than a turn-off.  Most would hate it.

Demographics don’t relate at all to Luke 10.  Everyone was preached to.  Nobody was left out.

If the emphasis is on the preaching and not the starting of a church, then the point or the real goal will be met, that is, everyone will be preached to.  Many church planters go to a town and immediately start inviting people to church and the people of their community never, ever receive the gospel. They still haven’t preached the gospel to everyone.  They don’t even know that is what they were supposed to do.  They thought they were supposed to start a church.  They go with a pack full of non- or un-scriptural methods and get to building a crowd.  That is not the rock upon which Jesus said He would build His church (Mt 16:18).

2.  Ignorance of the Money in Luke 10

“Church planters” travel the country raising support to plant their church.  I understand that the seventy were a second phase of Jesus’ sending, after the twelve (Lk 9).  Later in Luke, Jesus sends them with money (Lk 22:35-36).  I’m not opposed to supporting missionaries.  What I think we need to know, and this is one of the lessons of Luke 10, is that money is not necessary to be a missionary.  Jesus wanted them to see that in Luke 10.

Today we hear there are “needs” in order to see a church “launched.”  One professing fundamentalist, quasi-evangelical, who had read all the studies, the missional philosophy, the cultural engagement strategy, said that he needed to raise at least $300,000 to launch his church.  People believed him. They supported him.  He was a hot commodity because he was up on all the latest techniques necessary for a successful church launch.

The building is another important “need” for the church launch.  (“Launch” is important for a launch.  Use the word “launch” if you want to launch.)  But the building must be something that people are going to want to attend, you know.  All of this really is a lie.  Jesus said nothing about a building.  Paul said nothing about a building.  A building is not necessary for a church to start.   You don’t need money, and you can see from reading Luke 10 that your first building is the house of the first person who will receive the message.

The building is really about an impression that becomes necessary for “church planting.”  You want to have a church and church has a building.  And you are not going to get a lot of people to stay if they aren’t comfortable with your building.  You won’t look classy or successful enough for those people, which the church planter perceives are a lot of people.  Plus, the program the church planter expects to succeed as part of the attraction to his church needs that facility.  That requires money.  So the desire for money relates to the alternative to the Luke 10 method.

3.  Ignorance of the Message in Luke 1o

“The Lord” (v. 1) appointed the 70 and He sent them to go ahead of Himself to towns where He would come after them.  Their message was “peace” (v. 5) in the “kingdom of God,” which was “nigh unto” them (v. 9).  A kingdom has a King.  The offering of a kingdom meant the King was coming.  If He was their King, He was their Messiah, as well as their absolute monarch.  They would be turning their lives over to Him.  If they relinquished their selves to Him, He would bring them the kingdom.  They had to receive Him as King. If He was King, He was Lord.  If He was Lord, they were His slaves.  The message Jesus sent them to preach was no different than the gospel that He preached from the very beginning of His earthly ministry (Lk 4:43).

If people receive the message Jesus expects of His evangelists, that is, the truth, the kind of building they have doesn’t matter.  Slaves aren’t offended by some discomfort.  Those who have denied themselves to follow the Lord aren’t concerned with those peripheral, superficial interests that captivate many church planters.

Jesus did send the seventy to preach.  That’s what he wanted them to do.  If a church started, it would come out of the affirmative responses to the message they preached.

For Reference, Luke 10:1-17

1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.

5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.

6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

10 But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,

11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

12 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

14 But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.

15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.

16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.


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  1. Danny Vanhoose
    September 27, 2010 at 5:32 am

    It is so amazing how the Bible contradicts what fundamentalism has been taught for many years

  2. Gary
    September 27, 2010 at 7:40 am

    This kind of reminds me newly weds. Many start off in great debt trying to buy a big house and fancy cars, because that’s what their parents have. They don’t realize that their parents worked years to obtain these things.

    Our church started in a house, when it out grew the house it was moved into a Howard Johnson hotel, and after several years of prayer and saving, we were able to buy property and build an actual chuch building.

  3. Christian Markle
    September 27, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Brother Brandenburg,

    Interesting and I am sure helpful observations regarding evangelism; however, it appears that you assume (contra. some) that the church is in the picture at all in this passage — that churches started in these areas where preaching happened. That does not seem to be the case and some would argue it was not supposed to be the case (church was birthed at Pentecost not before the cross.) This, however, you appear to disagree with.

    Second, church planting in some form does appear to be in the NT — 1 Corinthians 3:5-23.

    As I said I think you offer some good thoughts, but they need perspective. For instance, you are correct about a building, team ministry, and I think you identify excesses in the area of money, but the NT does indicate validity to support (as you rightly point out). I am not sure we have ANY post-Pentecost missionaries that are sent explicitly without support.

    Hey, why no application to healing (vs 9), demon subjecting (vs 17), and the particular message they were to preach (vs 9). 😉

    For His glory,
    Christian Markle

  4. Buddy Woolbright
    September 27, 2010 at 8:51 am

    This article is especially appealing to me since my wife and I spent about 45 years starting churches or helping very small churches which couldn’t afford a full time pastor. I guess the reason we started with the idea of seeing a church birthed was because it seems that everywhere the apostle Paul preached, we find a New Testament church following. Of course to start the church we began by knocking doors and witnessing of Christ to those who would listen. We were never big gimmick people and at times saw only a modicum of success. But, someday we will stand before the LORD and see how much of what we did was more than wood, hay and stubble. In Him, bw, 2 Timoteo 1:9

  5. September 27, 2010 at 10:33 am

    There are some questions here. Some discussion. Thanks.

    Christian,

    Paul took the same approach as these 70. An argument from silence isn’t a strong one. We look at what is recorded. Churches did start out of the converts, but the evangelism was the emphasis of the missionary. Churches come out of people who are saved. That order is significant. Salvation, then a church. I think that your 1 Cor 3:5-23 text, as it would, since the Bible doesn’t deny itself, corresponds with Luke 10. What was Paul planting? The gospel. And that’s how a church is built, from the increase that God gives. It is the Lord building the house (if not, we labor in vain).

    I said nothing about healing, correct, demon subjection, correct, but I did say something about their message, which I think is significant. It wasn’t a crowd-pleasing message. I don’t mind talking to the healing and the demon subjecting. We don’t heal today. We don’t cast out demons. Of course, the demons could have subjected to the gospel power, as they would today in those cases.

    I’ve got to go in a minute, so I move to….

    Buddy,

    I understand the title: “church planter” or even “missionary” (which I used). I’m happy to hear what you did. Thanks! Seeing churches started, churches reproducing, should occur and people involved in that legitimate work—thanks!

  6. September 27, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Thanks, Pastor Brandenburg.

    This is a useful, though-provoking post.

  7. September 27, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    This seems like a very poor text to apply to church planting. Jesus had given no instruction about starting new assemblies. His church was mobile as it followed Him. He didn’t even instruct about baptism. Are we to literally follow this pattern? Did Jesus actually abandon these areas? Aren’t churches established throughout this region in Acts?

  8. September 27, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Jack,

    Give me a church planting text, then. I’m open.

    I think this is the NT pattern. Look what you see them do in Acts. Romans 10 asks how they can hear unless someone be sent. Sent so that people can hear the gospel message. The Great Commission wasn’t even a command to start churches (Mt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15). Before Jesus sent the 70, what did He do? Went to every town and village preaching the gospel of the kingdom. You don’t have a church without people believing the gospel. I think this is a major emphasis in Mt 16. Peter makes a confession. Jesus said that confession is revealed from heaven. And upon that, Jesus will build the church. Salvation is what holds the church together. They go out from us because they were not of us. People stay in the church because they are saved—that should be the reason.

    Jesus doesn’t say anything about baptism, but that’s another argument from silence. Silence doesn’t mean “no baptism.” We have passages on baptism. We should take the pattern from what Jesus does say.

    What church started in Athens?

    Look at my comment #5 to see what I think about churches starting from the converts.

    • BB
      October 2, 2010 at 10:25 pm

      Wasn’t the Great Commission given to that church in Mt 28 (if you agree that the church started with Jesus’ establishment while on earth)?

    • October 4, 2010 at 2:08 pm

      Sorry for the delay in answering; I’ve been out of town. Churches are to start from converts. Converts can’t be established and the Great Commission can’t be fulfilled if churches are not established. Titus had to set things in order and supply what was lacking by ordaining elders & organizing the churches. I think we agree on that.

      My point is that in the Gospels Jesus gave no indication that any new assemblies were to be organized in other places. Christ’s assembly was with Him as He traveled. That is why this is a poor text to address the concept of “church planting” vs “church organizing” because Jesus had given no indication of forming any assembly other than the one He currently presided over. The pattern for organizing churches is in Acts and other epistles not the Gospels.

      • October 4, 2010 at 5:35 pm

        OK. Let’s start with Acts. Where are church planting verses in Acts? I’m looking for something where it says that Paul went to start new churches.

        I agree that churches should start. It’s just how they do. Titus doesn’t disagree with what I presented in my post. Churches are a logical conclusion of converts, yes. But I’m talking about “going out to start a church”—that mentality.

  9. Anvil
    September 30, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    You mention the Luke 22 passage, but it appears you don’t believe it really modifies the model in Luke 10. The way I read this is that Jesus is saying that now that he is no longer going to be present on this earth, they should take a purse, a scrip, and he even tells them to take a sword. That seems to indicate to me a different level of preparedness than they previously had as a special mission in Luke 10.

    I’m not saying I disagree with you that they are not necessarily planting churches, unless those happen as a result of preaching the Gospel, but getting the support they need to carry out the mission (vs. going and hoping that some take them in) certainly seems to be implied in Luke 22.

  10. September 30, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Anvil,

    How can I be criticized for not applying Luke 22, when I was the one that mentioned Luke 22? I said that it’s fine for men to get support. It isn’t necessary for them to get support. Jesus did it both ways. In Luke 9 with the 12 and in Luke 10 with the 70, he was preparing them to learn to trust in God for support, which is pretty good, because Paul didn’t get any support for at least 10 years. If he had been depending on it, he would not have survived.

    I don’t believe we follow a biblical model or pattern today. That dishonors God and it results in many destructive problems. It drastically changes the nature of the church as seen in scripture.

    Shouldn’t we be discussing what the Bible says about church planting? I read a lot of pablum on church planting that spend way more time exploring “cultural engagement,” both linked to and published on fundamentalist sites. I guess that’s what they judge that people want, which is ironic. This isn’t of interest, I would understand, because I use the King James, the third rail of fundamentalist politics.

    Thanks for coming by and commenting.

  11. Don Johnson
    October 1, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Kent, this reminds me of something I read on another guy’s blog about what young ‘millennials’ are looking for. #1 is a “mentor”. While I am all for training, what kind of weak kneed young people are we raising? When you talk about men going out preaching, I think that is exactly what we need. I am ready to help a young fellow as I can, but he needs to be ready to do his own work, too. Enough with this corporate-speak! Let’s get some heralds who know what they are about.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  12. October 1, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Thanks Don. Exactly.

  13. Anvil
    October 2, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Actually, I was trying to question your approach more than criticize, and I recognize that you always try to deal with all the scriptures in question rather than ignore those you don’t like. That’s one of the reasons I read your boards, even though I don’t always agree with how you interpret all those scriptures (hence the differences on the KJV issue, for example).

    Regarding Paul, I see him in a bit of a different light than where Jesus sent out the 12 and the 70 before the end of his ministry. I’m sure Paul was grateful when he was taken in and supported, but he was willing to ply his trade to support himself (rather than just departing if no one took him in), even when he believed it his “right” to be supported full time. I’ve always wondered why many modern missionaries aren’t more willing to be tentmakers — is it because they feel any church support they *are* getting will dry up if they are working to support themselves? At the other extreme, I certainly would have trouble supporting a missionary who just moved around from field to field hoping for someone to take them in so they can have a “full-time” ministry. I still believe those conditions from Luke 10 were a special case that was modified by Jesus’ later instruction in Luke 22.

    And I agree with you to an extent about “cultural engagement.” I think it’s reasonable to not expect a new church plant to hold to 1950’s, middle-class, white-bread American traditions, but I also disagree with those who are trying to give people what they want rather than what they need (the Gospel). The Gospel is offensive on it’s own, but we should avoid offending based on our personal sacred cows rather than what the Bible says. I understand it’s hard to walk that line without going down the road to the Warren or Hybels model, but ministry was never intended to be easy.

  14. October 4, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Anvil,

    Luke 22 really says nothing more than it’s OK to bring money, which we might be able to stretch into an application to receive support. Luke 10 says that we don’t have to go with money. I believe Jesus said explicitly “no money” in Luke 9 and 10 because He wanted them to learn to trust Him. Those two chapters also say it is not necessary, so the 300,000 dollar “launch” philosophy is man-centered.

    We don’t go out to engage the culture. We preach the gospel, which is timeless. We should obey the Bible when we do. What we teach people after they are saved will affect their relations to the culture.

    Thanks.

  15. Jon
    October 6, 2010 at 8:33 am

    My first time reading this blog, so forgive me for jumping in with both feet. 😉

    But your last post kind of describes what is wrong with the lesson you are taking away from this passage. You said:
    “Those two chapters also say it is not necessary…”

    What these two chapters are _actually_ saying is that it _was_ not necessary, not “is not necessary.” The Gospels and Acts describe, not prescribe. True, Scriptures teach through example, but we must be careful when we transform something that _was_ into something that _must be_. This is where I believe your mistake in this article lies. Worse, it seems to me, that you are making a non-sequitur, and going to the point of describing people who do not follow the Luke 10 approach as “man-centered.” Yes, there are man-centered approaches, and the extreme example you describe–needing three-hundred grand to “launch”–could certainly be described as man-centered, but this does not justify the leap in logic that your article appears to be making.

    Now, while you may not find “church planting” prescribed in this passage, and in Acts, it is clear that this is what is _described_. Look at Acts 2, “41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

    and

    “47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”

    Now, we need to keep in mind the original meaning of the word translated “church”, but we see that the very first effect of preaching the Gospel, and of souls being saved was the gathering into churches or assemblies. There are lots of terms we can use to describe this “founding,” “establishing”, “planting”, etc. But the result is the same–churches began.

    This same process, as organic as it may be, is repeated everywhere the Gospel was preached. The only incident where we do not know the result is the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch. He travelled home, and that’s the last we hear of him in Scriptures.

    Furthermore, you seem to downplay the role of the Great Commission, as we call it (Matt 28,18-20; Mark 16,15; Luke 24,44-49; John 20,21-23; Acts 1,8) The fact that we find it in all four Gospels, and in Acts means it is very important. The fact that each emphasizes different aspects of Christ’s last command (go), adds weight to it.

    But for our purposes here, let’s look at Matthew: “18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
    19 ¶Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen”

    The heart of this passage is 19, with 20 filling in the gaps. I think it’s common knowledge that the words translated “teach all nations” means also to “disciplize” (sic) or “make disciples”. What follows is the description of what that means: “baptizing them… teaching them…” Unless you believe that baptism ought to be completely separate from membership in the assembly, then one can hardly ignore the importance of this, especially when you add the second half, “teaching them…” Both of which are the primary function of the assembly (cf Eph 4,1-15[?])

    Now, this verse is not merely descriptive, but prescriptive. It is an imperative–something Christ is telling us to _do_. Ought not this take greater weight over a passage whose intent is descriptive of what happened?

    Nothing in the Bible is there by accident, but on the other hand, we cannot attribute equal weight to all passages, and we must be careful to weigh that balance carefully. I find it interesting that those aspects of Christian life that receive the least weight in Scriptures tend to cause the most friction and misunderstanding. This whole issue of “church planting” is one of them.

    What we must realize is that there may actually be a reason for this! The truth is, times change. Culture changes. People don’t change, but their culture or context changes. We need to keep this in mind, and also remember the most important aspect of this issue–it is a _Spiritual_ work. It must remain in the spiritual realm, and not be reduced to a numbers game, or be, as you seem to repeatedly stress–man-centered. Acts 1,8 ought to remind us of that: “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…” In other words, we need to be careful to allow the Holy Spirit to lead the individual. So long as what he is doing to proclaim the Gospel does not cross clear-cut scriptural commands and teaching, we need to be careful in our criticism. And manufacturing criticism, which is what I find this article bordering on, falls within this.

    Not, mind you, that I don’t think that the specific people you are pointing out are worthy of criticism–actually, I don’t know them, so I daren’t comment too much, only to say that, based on what I read here, I would agree with your assessment, but you have painted with a broad brush, and laid what I can only call too great of weight on a passage, in contrast to clear teaching of the prescriptive kind. And I say all this, keenly aware that overall, what I’ve seen on this site is very much in agreement with what I’ve been teaching and saying for 20 years. 😉 In fact, I would hope that we might have a nice, constructive discussion on the concept of missions, to which I’ve devoted the vast bulk of my adult life.

    -Jon

  16. October 6, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Jon,

    Thanks for coming by. As you might expect, I don’t agree with some of what you commented. We should be regulated by the example of Christ and the Apostles with few exceptions (signs and wonders)—that’s the point, isn’t it? If we aren’t going to follow their example, then who is our example? The only time I said “man-centered” was in a comment (#17) and that was in criticism of saying that $300,000 was necessary for a church launch. And I wasn’t criticizing anyone in particular. I didn’t mention names. I was targeting what I see to be a primary emphasis in church planting in evangelicalism and fundamentalism.

    I’m for churches starting, but with the approach that we see in the NT, which starts with evangelism. If no one is saved, a church isn’t started. It’s true that I didn’t get to the great commission, but converts are those who become disciples—no converts, no disciples. And who do you teach to do everything He commanded? Converts. The Luke 10 approach does illustrate what the Great Commission should look like at the start—the “going” part of it.

    You write “what he is doing to proclaim the gospel,” which I wonder what you mean. What do you mean, “what he is doing to proclaim the gospel”? You seem to be intimating that due to change in culture people need something relative to that culture, but you don’t say what it is. That is your whole second to last paragraph.

    Thanks.

  17. Jon
    October 7, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Kent Brandenburg :
    You write “what he is doing to proclaim the gospel,” which I wonder what you mean. What do you mean, “what he is doing to proclaim the gospel”? You seem to be intimating that due to change in culture people need something relative to that culture, but you don’t say what it is. That is your whole second to last paragraph.
    Thanks.

    Here. Let’s try to put into practice the lessons we’ve learned from your little essay.

    How would you put them into practice in a couple countries that come to mind. Let’s start, I guess, with Jordan, where if you were caught preaching the Gospel, you would likely get expelled, beaten up or killed, and any believers would face almost certain death. I’m sure you understand something about muslim countries, so I shan’t say more. How do you apply your lessons to this country?

    Second country. How do you apply this to a country like Poland. A little background. Poland has a 1,000 year history of deep Catholicism. Add to that 50 years of Soviet oppression. All foreigners are suspicious. You won’t get into anybody’s home, and nobody will visit your home. Good luck getting somebody to rent to you. Try preaching on the street, and nobody will listen, and in small towns, the priest will actively work to eject you–and the police will do what he says. How do you apply your lessons to this country?

    You see, it’s not about being “relevant”.

    BTW, I fear you are seeking to manufacture criticism of my post as well… I do not find that to be encouraging as far as this discussion is concerned.

    -Jon

  18. October 7, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Jon,

    Persecution is a factor in preaching, but also almost another topic altogether. We could look to see how persecution was handled in the NT. Paul preached until he couldn’t, because of the physical threat (see Damascus), and then he left. Sometimes a church, however, was left from the new converts. This doesn’t contradict the Luke 10 approach.

    I think Luke 10 works on your second example too. I don’t think things were any different for Paul when he went from town to town. Jesus went to a Samaritan town in Luke 9 and they rejected Him altogether. What did He do? He moved to the next town and tried there. That’s the pattern.

    I couldn’t very well know what you were trying to say with your “culture” comment. That’s why I asked. And now you’ve explained. How is that manufacturing criticism? I’m sorry if you are not encouraged by my asking, but I didn’t know what you meant, especially in light of what I read in missions and church growth philosophy today. I don’t know you, Jon.

    Thanks for coming by.

  19. October 7, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Jumping in late…

    I think what Kent says here is very pertinent to American church planting. When we introduce the difficulty of another culture, it complicates things. I said once to someone, “I don’t believe there is any NT example of foreign missions.”

    1. While Paul could speak many languages, he didn’t need to.
    2. While he went to many cities, and saw some differences in culture, he remained in the Roman Empire at all times. Which was culturally a continuation of the Greek Empire. (Paul did not study cultural anthropology.)

    In today’s language, Paul was a “church planter,” not a “missionary.”

    I’m not trying to hijack the thread, so if you have a comment about missions, let’s hold it for another time. I just wanted to voice my agreement with the ideas here as they relate to how churches start.

  20. Travis Burke
    October 11, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Pastor B,
    Thanks for the post, it truly is thought provoking. I agree that the purpose is souls being saved and discipling those converts. I commend, pray for, and weekly get updated as to what the Lord is doing there with Marlowe, Becky, and your church outreach in Sacremento.
    It is for certain that the Gospel was preached first to the Jew(Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8) and then to the Gentile. I believe one commented earlier on the Lord’s church He started being mobile throughout Judeae. Upon His ascension, He of course told them to wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon them-which He did at Pentecost. The Gospel was then, as He said it would be, preached in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria, and the uttermost part of world. That church began doing just what the Lord instructed them to do-Preach the Gospel.
    The only thought that I have that may be contrary to you is that I believe the Lord in the Gospels did not ‘church plant’ because it wasn’t time yet to church plant. After the Holy Ghost came upon them, it was time to “be witnesses unto the uttermost parts.” This commission (given to the church) was to evangelize, enlist, and educate to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you-this would have to include the authority and necessity of the church. One danger of your teaching here-which I know you are not, but others could run with it is-that we are all one ‘church/body of Christ.’
    One last thought to share, I was reading today in the “Martyr’s Mirror” by Thieleman J. Van Braght a reference from an ancient history book which read, “It is testified of this Dionysius (a convert of Pauls in Acts 17:34) that he so increased in the Christian religion, taht Paul afterwards appointed him bishop at Athens.” I know it is not Scripture, but historically, there was a church at Athens. Just a thought to consider.
    I rambled, but my point is I agree with your post that it’s not about a building, money, or a church getting started with no converts to attend-which is the typical pattern seen in Fundamentalism; but I just don’t want to fall in the other ditch, for the church should be a result of proper missions. It is the local church that is the pillar and ground of Truth and so necessary for the maturity and growth of the beliver.

  21. October 12, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Pastor Burke,

    Thanks for the comment. I understand the importance of the church. I believe, however, that the error of this order–start church, evangelize, converts—instead of—evangelize, converts, start church—is a major basis of the problems today in churches. I believe Jesus set the pattern for that order and the Apostles, including Paul, followed that.

    One of the Baptist distinctives is a regenerate, immersed church membership. We can miss out on that when we don’t start with regeneration. The church is an outgrowth of the gospel. I believe that was in part what Jesus was saying to the disciples in Matthew 16. I want true conversions to produce a church.

    I don’t think I’m in a ditch with this. I am sincerely happy for you to be concerned about that. I’m certainly open for criticism. However, up here right in the main path, looking into the sides, I see a huge crowd of people in the ditch I’m exposing with this. I think it’s a major problem.

  22. Travis Burke
    October 12, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Pastor B,
    As I stated, “I agree with your post…” I think you are right on target. I do not believe you are in a ditch at all on either side. All I was pointing out is that to a reader it can come across from your post that the church is not a result of proper missions. You seemed to focus so much on the “don’t start a church but evangelize” that it could come across that a church has nothing to do with missions. You said it best in your response to me, “I want true conversions to produce a church.” To that, I AMEN!
    We cannot fulfill the Great Commission fully without producing a church in the end. I totally agree with your post, I just wanted to point out that the church is of great importance for how can they “observe all things” without a church? You cannot observe the Lord’s Table without a church. You cannot observe proper discipline without a church.
    Anyways, I apologize if I seemed to be suggesting that you were in a ditch, for I was not. I know you and your stand-but many of the “Fundamentalist” that read these post believe in error concerning the body of Christ and the local church, and I felt it important to point this out. Have a Great Day!

  23. October 12, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Pastor B (also),

    It’s tough always to get the sense of the tone here. I’m happy about your question. I said that, but it may have come across like I wasn’t. Your tone was excellent. You didn’t say I was in a ditch, but it is true that someone could have gotten that implication, so I was making that clear. I probably could have used a few extra words to make that clear. I don’t foresee you and I having problems. We are looking at things similarly, I believe. I was not offended, didn’t feel offended or attacked. I also want to be careful to listen to someone such as yourself to see if I have blind spots. Thanks.

    Just for your info, our Sacramento work parallels with this, but what got me into writing it is my series through Luke on Wed evenings. I do think that providentially the series in Luke and the Sacramento work are going together. Thanks for keeping up with what’s going on. I’m driving up and back with Marlowe and Becky every week, so we get a good deal of time together. I always ask her how you’re doing. And she gives me whatever she knows, which is all good.

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