TITLE: A church planting team
By David McArdle
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A church planting team
“ … Haggai … Zerubbabel … Joshua … “ [Haggai 1.1 NASB]
We all hear, at some time or other, some startling fact or information, which, without any effort on our part, finds a place in our minds and the impression we originally felt at that time, remains throughout the passing years.
For example, when I was a Bible Student, I was ravenously hungry and one day, I hope, upon reflection, an eventful day, I heard that it took the founder of the movement, which I was in, three days to start and establish a church. To say that I was arrested by that fact was an understatement.
In this verse, there were three men involved in the church building movement, Haggai the prophet, Zerubbabel the foundation layer, whom God had given the seal of authenticity and confirmation to [Haggai 2.23], and Joshua, who as well as being skilled in spiritual warfare, was also the high priest [Zech.3.1-7].
Together, they made a formidable team. Haggai ministered the fresh and relevant word of the Lord, Zerubbabel, who would also finish the work, and Joshua, who outlined in great detail the theological practices and principles for this new work.
What can we learn from this structure?
To start a new work, we do not need the finished article with a portfolio without a blemish. What we do need, however, are people who are available, adaptable, unsuccessful but willing.
To have a successful church planting team, we need someone with a prophetic gift in our midst. Even if he is not yet fully mature in the demonstration of this gift, his knowledge and experience will increase and develop as he moves from place to place.
Secondly, we need an apostle. Not someone who will lord it over the people, but, like Paul, who will be able to lay down a foundation that will stand for decades.
Finally, we need someone who is interested in reading, studying, analysing and expounding the word. Where will we find such a man?
I am sure that there are people, where we are, whom God has already prepared, and all that they need to do to develop their ministry, is to submit to the wisdom of the prophet and the experience of the apostle.
The word of the Lord is the connecting link, which holds and enables these three ministries to work effectively together, that is, the present word, the previous one and the written one.
We hear a lot in our day about God restoring to the church what we have lost, but it is not often, if ever, that we are able to see and experience a full restoration of the great healing evangelists ministry of the 1930’s-1950’s.
At that time, in some of their lives, the prophetic, the apostolic, and the theologian were all found residing in the same man, as well as the miraculous, which is of paramount importance in every aspect of church planting.
This is all good and well but what can we do in our day?
If you feel like moving out and starting a new work, it is highly likely that the majority of the people will not agree with you [Haggai 1.2].
If this happens, then you need to align yourself with those who are obedient [Haggai 1.14]. [David McArdle]
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