Church planter?

2 06 2012

Just this past week we were invited to listen to a guy who was a church planter. He explained how his organization operated and that they had planted hundreds of churches. But is this what God wants from us? Does He want us to establish places of worship, or does He want us to establish people?

Let’s read the following verses in order to understand where the term “church planting” comes from:

1Co 3:2-12 KJV  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.  (3)  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?  (4)  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?  (5)  Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?  (6)  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.  (7)  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.  (8)  Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.  (9)  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.  (10)  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  (11)  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ

Did Paul plant the church at Corinth as we understand the term “church planting” today? In verse 6, he says that he planted. The Greek word for “planted’ is “implant”, and in verse 10 he goes on to explain what he implanted. He implanted Jesus Christ into these believers. He was not a church planter but a Christ-planter!!!

Let’s focus on being Christ-Planters rather than church-planters.  The difference is a key differentiator in understanding who we are and what it is we’re trying to do! If we try and plant churches, we are institutionally focussed. Church-planting implies brick and mortar – a thing!

Paul’s focus was not brick and mortar nor any other “thing”.  And Paul continues to warn those to follow:

1Co 3:12-15 KJV  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  (13)  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  (14)  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  (15)  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

I believe that he is saying that we cannot build on Jesus Christ with “things” – like gold, silver, wood etc. We are a spiritual building and spiritual buildings are not built with ‘brick and mortar”.

Eph 2:19-22 KJV  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  (20)  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  (21)  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  (22)  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Col 2:6-10 KJV  As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:  (7)  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.  (8)  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  (9)  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  (10)  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Paul’s focus was Christ.

Gal 4:19 KJV  My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

Christ-planters not church planters!!!!



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