August 27, 2013

Discerning The Call To Plant A Church

by Eric Davis

gideon_fleeceIt’s easy to over complicate the call to ministry. But there’s nothing particularly magical about discerning it, even when it comes to church planting. And we need not put out a fleece or wait for a vision. In fact, if you’re looking for that, then you’re probably looking in the wrong place. The call to plant a church is similar to the call to pastoral ministry since a church-planter, by definition, will do all that a pastor does, though a bit more. Church planting, then, is fundamentally pastoral ministry, which makes discerning the call simpler than we might think.

Here are 5 criteria to help discern the call:

1. Current shepherding and leadership competency.

Before a guy sets out to plant the most sacred institution in the universe, his skill and giftedness should already be evidenced.

How is he, by God’s grace, already effectively shepherding souls in the church? Does he share the gospel with people? Has he effectively shepherded people in the local church setting, for example, in a home group? Can he walk with people through marital struggles? Does he know how to grieve with people and do a funeral? Does he know how to have a relationship with unbelievers who aren’t like him? Do people benefit from sitting under his teaching and discipleship? Or is he the guy that the flock has to tolerate? And are people regularly trying to quietly leave his shepherding sphere? Can he admonish the unruly, encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, and be patient with everyone?

And is he humble enough to admit that he has a ways to go in all of this, evidenced by a pattern of taking advantage of avenues to grow as a shepherd? Or does he have an arrival-mode mentality? Is he socially awkward? Since church planting is about people, he’ll need to grow out of this. And how is his family doing? If he’s single, how about his roommates or his discipleship group? Is his presence a benefit to them?

And is he gifted and trained in preaching? The pulpit is critical to a healthy church plant, both for evangelism and equipping the saints. Some competency in this area is necessary prior to planting.

Furthermore, can he persevere without being too easily discouraged? Is he a visionary? Is he ok with not being financially well-off? And will he be able to handle, and shepherd the core team to handle, the rigors of starting up ministries from nothing?

And speaking of the core team, much of the strength of that new church will depend on that team. Will he be able to lead them through the rigors of core team dynamics as they set out into the exposure of the world as a sapling church?

Best case scenario, some, or all, who might be the future core team are already being shepherded by him in some capacity and can say, “By God’s grace, that guy competently cares for my soul.”

plant2. Local church leadership affirmation.

The previous point necessitates this one. The necessity of discerning competency in shepherding requires local church leadership affirmation. No guy should assess himself in isolation, then proceed to plant.

As Spurgeon said:

“I had sooner accept the opinion of a company of the Lord’s people than my own upon so personal a subject as my own gifts and graces. At any rate, whether you value the verdict of the church or no, one thing is certain, that none of you can be pastors without the loving consent of the flock; and therefore this will be to you a practical indicator if not a correct one” (Lectures to My Students, 30).

The best people to help him discern that are his local church leadership who know him. Before a guy thinks he’s called to plant, he needs to ask the leadership in his local church questions like, “Do you think God has gifted me in shepherding, demonstrated in this church by a pattern of effectively ‘exercising oversight’ (1 Pet 5:2)?” and, “Do I competently shepherd souls, not ‘lording over them,’ but as an example (1 Pet 5:3)?”

This assumes that he is a churchman; he loves the local church and his elders see that with clarity. They know him and he knows them. They love him and he loves them. It would be bittersweet for them to see him go. Though the guy is not indispensable, there should be a ministry void when he leaves.

not calledAnd it’s best to take this step in discerning the call as early as possible. Please brothers, let’s avoid the lone-ranger church-planter mentality. Despite some of the church-plant calling advice out there, the call will come through transparent, godly, mutually-accountable, one-anothering community in the local church. I’m alarmed at the growing aversion professing Christians have towards local church membership. Even more alarming is to see this now and then among those looking to plant churches. Such an attitude demonstrates that they’re not called. The church planter loves the church; he’s immersed in the local church, a member, a servant, known, and accountable to the authority of his elders, otherwise, his calling, at best, ought to be suspect.

ordination3. Ordination by existing called and qualified elders.

It’s surprising how many people are talking about the call to plant a church without mentioning the key criterion: is he elder-qualified and have existing, called and qualified elders recognized this? If he is, has he been ordained yet?

Now, a guy might be called to plant but not yet ordained. He might still pursue the planting process provided that his local church leadership has affirmed him to do so. He might be in the ordination process, for example. If one is not available to him, he ought to pursue it through other avenues such as another local church close to his.

We are hard-pressed to make the case that a guy is called to plant a church who cannot get ordained. It’s one thing if he hasn’t yet been able, but quite another if a good elder team who knows him will not ordain him.

chain of callingSo where is the verse that says “I need to get ordained to plant a church”? Near the part of the Bible that call us to local church membership.

Ordination is the idea of the formal recognition of the Holy Spirit’s work of calling him to pastoral ministry through existing called and qualified elders. It’s the way God works. Christ appointed the Apostle Paul to his apostleship, yet he was formally commissioned by a plurality of leadership for his first church planting journey (Acts 13:3). Paul then ordained Timothy and Titus. Timothy and Titus were to ordain others. Those others were to ordain others, and so it continues.

“But isn’t ordination for elders/pastors only?” Not every elder is a church-planter, but every church-planter needs to be an elder, by nature of the work. Church planting involves all of the normal ingredients of pastoral ministry: shepherding, leading, evangelism, preaching, administration, and counseling. Since these are pastoral in nature, the man must be elder-qualified (1 Tim 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9, 1 Pet 5:2-3). Elders and pastors are not self-nominated or self-appointed. For that reason, the call to plant needs to come through the Spirit’s work in the context of the local church. Ordination is the confirming of that call.

ordination failAnd by ordination, I’m not talking about those vending-machine, “send-me-your-30-bucks-and-I’ll-make-you-an-elder” gimmicks from people who don’t know you. But real ordination.

Some reject this along the lines of, “Well, we’re more about letting the Holy Spirit discern the call and less about men through ordination.” This is unhelpful because it assumes that the Spirit works independent of his word and those he indwells and guides through his word. The Spirit spoke all of the helpful ecclesiological stuff in the NT. Plus, it’s the Holy Spirit who calls and qualifies the man (Acts 20:28). And it’s existing called and qualified elders in a local church who recognize what the Spirit has done in the man’s life. Which means as far as discerning the call to pastoring and planting goes, the most in-line-with-the-Holy-Spirit way to do it is ordination through existing called and qualified leadership.

There may be a case where his leadership affirms his desire to plant but they want to take a little more time to ordain him. The man needs to be humble enough to embrace that. There’s nothing wrong with taking a little more time for some spiritual seasoning through leadership. Church planting is a rough endeavor. He’ll be glad that his leadership slowed him down a bit for the same reason a SEAL takes a little more time for training before he’s parachuted at 2am into the middle of the Indian Ocean, 200 miles from nothing but pirates.

Consider that the Apostle Paul, a competent church planter, did not plant a church until he had been saved for well over a decade. And he was an Apostle. So as a rule, erring on the side of a little more time for growth under the care of one’s elders, than less, is going to be beneficial for the well-being of that future church. And that’s what a called planter wants. Ordination, then, is a critical step of accountability and recognition for those who want to avoid playing fast and loose with the Lord’s church.

4. He wants to plant a church.

He should have an unforced, Spirit-given desire and excitement for the work of the ministry (1 Tim 3:1). This will be evidenced, in part, by shepherding and pastoral competency. A biblical desire for church-planting will include more than the desire to shepherd the flock of God, but it will include at least that. He should be excited about the pioneering aspect of it, such as starting new ways of outreach, training up leaders, and meeting new people in a new place.

He’s prayed about it, searched his heart, and can say with integrity that God has given him this desire.

5. Others want to plant a church with him.

If he has a family, they are on board, and especially his wife. His wife needs to like him, be shepherded by him, and enjoy the ministry. This, too, should be confirmed by leadership who know him and his wife well. His wife should have some competency in discipleship as well. She’ll be greatly needed in the church planting process.

togetherAlso, a potential core team needs to like him and desire to plant with him. Unless he’s an Apostle, and he’s not, I would be slow to recommend that anyone plant a church alone, without an equipped, united core team. He’ll need a plurality of giftedness and skills. They will need to have air-tight unity, maintained and furthered, in part, by his shepherding giftedness. A case can be made that most church plants fail because of poor core team dynamics. So in discerning his call, it should be verified that he’s gifted and trained enough to keep the team together.
In addition to this, as the man discerns his calling to plant, he ought to consider a few related points:

1. A desire for a specific location need not constitute the call. I omitted “Location” as a criterion because it’s not a must in discerning the church plant calling. It’s important, but places in need of solid churches are not hard to find on the planet.

More important than place is the guy, just as a sought-after NFL draft pick can go to just about any team. Talent, not team, determines his capability. Similarly, the Apostle Paul was called by Christ and could go anywhere and be faithful. He just needed to pick a place and have the means to get there. Not everywhere worked out, but many did. Lack of fruit in Athens didn’t mean he wasn’t called. Once a guy meets the above criteria, he can easily pick a location with the help of leadership.

2. If the church plant fails, that does not necessarily invalidate his calling. The latest statistic I heard was that 80% of church plants never materialize into a church. He has to be prepared for this. If it happens, he should not automatically conclude that God did not call him and, with the help of church leadership, he should examine himself to see where he may have erred. But it is not necessarily a ministry failure. What constitutes failure is unfaithfulness to Scripture, for example, disqualification of elder criteria. Many ministries of godly men over the centuries who were called, like Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Jonathan Edwards, did not see numerical growth or receive positive response. Even so, God called them and they glorified him in their ministries.

pragmatism3. Even if a guy seems to plant a booming church apart from discerning his call in a biblical way, that does not mean we should make the way he discerned his call our fixed principles. In church planting, we should be slow about asking, “Well, what did awesome-church-planter-guy do that worked?” then indiscriminately adopt his methods. Instead, we should ask, “What did he do that was biblically based, and how can I apply that in my situation while being faithful to Scripture?”

The call to plant a church may not be as complicated as we think. But let’s do what it takes to respect the Lord’s care for the only institution he promised to build and bless as we discern the call to plant biblical churches and help others do the same.

Eric Davis

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Eric is the pastor of Cornerstone Church in Jackson Hole, WY. He and his team planted the church in 2008.
  • Ted Bigelow

    Hi Eric,

    I’d like to offer one more thought and then a link –

    I appreciate that you wrote,

    “In church planting, we should be slow about asking, “Well, what did awesome-church-planter-guy do that worked?” then indiscriminately adopt his methods. Instead, we should ask, “What did he do that was biblically based, and how can I apply that in my situation while being faithful to Scripture?”

    But I think there is something else that should be said.

    Never, ever, once in the New Testament a church planted where another church exists, and to do so would have been regarded as a sure indicator that the one doing the planting was not a slave of Christ (Rom. 16:17-18).

    This is confirmed, it appears to me, by the fact that there is neither New Testament precept, or example, of a church ever being planted where a gospel church already exists. In fact, I would argue that Titus 1:5 is the undoing of multiple churches in each city: the merging together of all the schisms and separate plants and all whatever else had produced so many rebellious men leading churches (Titus 1:10) under one set of qualified elders. Crete’s churches, like the church in Rome, had their roots in Pentecost and were not planted by Paul (Acts 1:9-11).
    (http://www.churchsonefoundation.com/pauls-reformation-on-crete/), and (http://www.churchsonefoundation.com/paul-did-not-sin-on-crete/)

    Once church planting is looked at from the perspective of, “what does the Bible say about it, and we give place to what God says before we give place to what well-intentioned men say, we must come to grips with the hard reality that the apostles never taught church planting where the church already exists.

    Instead, their efforts were always aimed at planting churches where Christ was not known, loved, and worshipped (Romans 15:20ff).

    Here’s my recent article on why planting a church where the body of Christ already exists is schism: http://www.churchsonefoundation.com/planting-schism/

    • AEG

      Pastor Davis, thank you for the post, I am so very encouraged by this.

      Pastor Bigelow,
      In a sense one can argue that there is in fact one church in each city (the true Church), which is made up of believers of any denomination. :)

      So many Church bodies (regardless of denomination) have been corrupted by error, and infiltrated by non-believers, and as a result have become unsuitable for many believers, (especially new ones), It should be no surprise that the Lord is sending brothers to plant new churches in order to the equip and keep safe His saints. On the other hand He may send more seasoned, or naturally equipped brothers to serve in the Churches that are more “tainted by the world”, in order be a light there.

      Let us never forget that there are biblical reasons to leave a Church, if my Church for example begins to teach error regarding the doctrine of hell, (universalism, annihilationism, or purgatory) I have to address the problem and if it is not righted I have to leave. There are some brothers who may not have been granted insight into this and therefore do not have the same conviction. The most extreme example of this being the Reformation which I have gathered you are in agreement with.

      Surely a truly God called Church planting is to a degree a judgment on that community, failure or success. How do we know if it is God called? (are they being faithful to true doctrine), Is he ordained by called and qualified elders? etc…

      As you surely know, you can drive all over CT, and see a bunch of dead church buildings, with rich tradition, Though some brothers may be called to revive the tradition of those buildings, some may be called meet in new buildings, shed a corrupted leadership and doctrine, and create a church plant. Let’s be sure to not legalistically condemn them for it.

      FTR I found your website, and your statement of faith is beautiful, how I wish we had such a eloquent statement at my 150yo Church community.

    • Cheryl Sheahan

      Ted,
      I was troubled by your article.
      It seemed more like a personal situation you encountered than a proper exegesis of the primary text regarding building on another’s foundation.
      Who would be the determiner of a biblical church? Who would determine the proper “radius” for another church to exist?

      • Eric Davis

        Cheryl, AEG:

        You both bring up some great points. Thanks for interacting.

      • Ted Bigelow

        Hi Cheryl,

        In 1 Cor. 3 Paul is addressing the one church in Corinth which is moving toward schism (1:10-13) and Paul is laboring to keep that from happening. In 1 Cor 3:6 he planted but Apollos watered the same church with the one foundation – that foundation is Christ the cornerstone and the apostle and prophets the foundation stones. That is to say, the church is founded on the person and work of Christ and taught by the the writing we have collected in the 27 books of the NT.

        Therefore when Paul warns men about building on another foundation in 1 Cor 3 he speaks of them using doctrines opposed to their writings, and one such wrong doctrine is the schism of the local body of Christ, which in Corinth is the one church in Corinth (1 Cor. 1:2, 12:27).

        “Who would be the determiner of a biblical church?”

        Please read my article, Jesus Defines His Church (http://www.churchsonefoundation.com/jesus-defines-his-church/).

        Radius? There are biblical principles that I reference in my article, The Local Body of Christ (http://www.churchsonefoundation.com/the-local-body-of-christ/), but ultimately those who live in a region and committed to biblical unity must decide that for each locale.

    • thatbrian

      Well said, Ted. This is definitely something we need to think carefully about before planting churches where others already exist.

    • http://thecripplegate.com Jesse Johnson

      Hey Ted,

      Always good to hear from you. I agree that often it is a mark of schisim, pride, or (more often) simply a lack of planning to plant a church right next to another church that is doing gospel ministry. I can think of a friend of mine who pastors down in Florida, and was turning a church around, and was experiencing fruit and growth, and then a guy came and launched a church that met across the street. In fact, he even put up signs out side my friend’s church directing people to his church! And all that w/o even a phone call with the guys to see what was happening there to begin with.

      That said though, there is a way to do a church plant that shows humility, and a way to support a local church plant that fosters gospel preaching. I know a church in Arizona that supported a church plant on their own property–it was a group from a church that disbanded, and the remnant wanted to set up shop for a while and pray and seek the Lord and get a sense of unity before advancing, and so they partnered with a local church to do that. And in the years that followed, the Lord seemed to bless both churches with growth, and they have always been marked by unity.

      The truth is, the church in Corinth didn’t plant a church in Ephesus bc the church in Corinth was on fire and had serious issues. Would Paul have been in favor of a church plant in Corinth from somewhere else? Heck, depending on the timing, Paul probably would have even gone to it himself!

      Finally, I think we do need to be careful of a sense of entitlement–this isn’t a moon race, and the first person to plant their flag in a city does not claim that city for Jesus. Paul was thankful that people were preaching the gospel, even if they were not under his authority or the authority of those whom he trusted–and even if they were in a city where a church existed. Just because some one is not with us, does not mean that their work should be hindered…after all, if they are not against us, they are for us.

      • Ted Bigelow

        Hi Jesse,

        “Would Paul have been in favor of a church plant in Corinth from
        somewhere else? Depending on the timing, Paul probably would have even gone to it himself!”

        Jesse, please read the article. Nothing could be further from Paul, as the article goes to lengths to show – in Corinth.

    • Eric Davis

      Ted-

      Thank you for stopping by and giving some thoughtful comments. I have not had a moment to read your articles, but I wanted to respond to you briefly. In doing so, I will somewhat echo AEG and Cheryl’s response.

      Since my post pertains to a man’s calling to church planting, I’m assuming from your comment that you would rank “location” as one of the chief factors in his calling, if not the most important.

      In any case, a few random thoughts:

      As far as schism goes, what if churches in a particular area have already schismed by nature of their doctrinal error? Should a church be planted nearby so as to equip the saints such that they grow up in all things, complete in Christ, not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine? And where do we draw the line at doctrinal schism such that we could determine, “Ok, time to plant a new church b/c the church/es in this region are schismed and not faithfully equipping the saints and evangelizing the lost”?

      What if they preach a no-lordship gospel? Or what if they have a view of the gospel whose implications result in refusal to practice church discipline? Jay Adams rightly says that a church which will not practice church discipline is a non-church. Or what if they are Pentecostal, Arminian, or something? Would that constitute doctrinal schism? How would that determine planting in such an area? Is Christ already being proclaimed in these areas?

      Also, I heard a pastor who you and I both respect greatly recently say something along the lines of, “The American church seems to be in such bad shape that we may just need to go and start churches from the ground up all over the place.”

      So, I don’t believe the Apostles would’ve opposed the idea of more biblical churches filling Roman cities so that every person could get saved, plug in, get discipled, move towards completion in Christ, and in turn start discipling others. Paul might’ve agreed w/ Moses that would to God that all the Lord’s people were prophets.

      And what if, like many areas of the world, you have several small rural towns lined up against each other w/ populations of a few hundred. Should we plant a church in every single one to be faithful to the pattern you suggest? In areas near me, for example, that would look like 5 churches lined up on a 10-mile stretch of highway available to a population of a few hundred people. But in a metropolis, that would look like 1 covering a few million, if I’m understanding you correctly.

      Also, the existence of multiple churches does not automatically mean schism. It can just mean more faithful churches making disciples among more people, while still not even getting the ear of 20% of that city’s population. Should we determine that the 80% are not elect so as to not plant? I talked to a pastor from Nashville recently who listed off several churches in that city with whom he has unity. There is not schism. Though they disagree on some doctrinal issues, they pray for each other and do not lob bombs at one another from across the city.

      Finally, I would echo Jesse’s moon illustration. How do we determine to whom the city belongs and how will that flesh out in keeping 1 church?

      Thanks again, Ted. I appreciate the interaction.

      • Ted Bigelow

        Hey Eric, great thoughts. And a very well-written article, I should have added at first.

        Before I begin with two or three interactions, I would just encourage you to take the time and read the article on church planting. I’m confident it interacts with most of the items you bring up, so if it looks like I’m not holding up my end of the comm box discussion either in length, or in discussing each good point you bring up here, please refer there for my fuler comments.

        #1

        Should a church be planted nearby so as to equip the saints such that they grow up in all things, complete in Christ, not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine?

        This passage you are quoting out of Eph. 4 assumes that the believers are maintaining unity in the local body of Christ (4:3, 4:4,
        4:12). When Eph. 4:16 speaks of the “whole body” it refers to the local body of Christ in all its members, not the universal body of Christ. Eph. 4:16 speaks of each individual part building up the others, something that can’t be true of universal body. For example, you are not building up the body of Christ living in Lima Peru.

        So when you speak of growing up in all things in Christ, you are borrowing from the biblical paradigm of a single church in a
        single locale, such as the church of Ephesus. Until the whole body of Christ where you live meets in your church, you can’t claim Eph. 4 as supporting your independent church since it contains only a part of the local of Christ. It is impossible, in its present schismed state, to help the believers either in your church, or in the others churches where you live, to grow up into Christ into all things.

        For one thing your church lacks the spiritual gifts of those others members which were given by God and designed by Christ to build up the body (Eph. 4:12, 4:13, 4:16). Second, there are so many biblical commands the folks in your church can’t obey. All the “one another” commands of the NT are predicated upon all the believers being together in one church. For example, when Paul tells the Philippians to prefer one another, he speaks to all the believers in the city who are in the same church (Phil. 1:1, 4:15).

        Your desires are excellent – to serve Christ and His body. ust don’t confuse your single church as a body of Christ.

        “The American church seems to be in such bad shape that we may just need to go and start churches from the
        ground up all over the place.”

        That statement is made without any biblical support, and is entirely contrary to the precepts and examples of the NT. It is in fact a pragmatic to a spiritual problem. The body of Christ belongs to Christ, not to us. The reason the churches are in such bad shape is schsim.

        “the existence of multiple churches does not automatically mean schism”

        If the local body of Christ is divided among them, it most certainly does.

        Please read my article, The Local Body of Christ.
        (http://www.churchsonefoundation.com/the-local-body-of-christ/).

        • Eric Davis

          Thanks brother Ted. I’ll check out your articles.

  • Jenn Wood

    As a member of Pastor Eric’s church and a professing believer, I can affirm that
    living out the will of the Lord is humbling and challenging. Having a local
    church that supports solid theology and practicing the one-another’s faithfully
    is refreshing! As believers we are running the race of Christlikeness with
    endurance and need a support team to run hard with. We are all working parts
    connected through our love of Christ and know that we are hopeless apart from
    His great love and the ministry of the local church. Laying aside my own will
    and actively seeking the will of the Lord is a life long journey I am thankful
    to not have to make alone.

    Pastors set a benchmark as a living example of a life devoted to ministry. I am so
    thankful to have a pastor who takes the time to check in with me and support me
    through trials in addition to a faithful girlfriend. We are all human and hopelessly wrecked without the love of Christ. Having people in my life that hate their sin and love the Lord is a blessing. Cornerstone is broken down into smaller groups whose leaders are held accountable before the Lord and each other. Community, when you know you belong and are supported to life a life that brings glory to God.

    • Eric Davis

      Jenn-

      You’re a blessing to me and the church. Thank you for the encouragement. Praying for you

  • Don

    I have always been concerned that so many guys feeling led to plant a church all seek to plant churches in new, upper-middle-class suburbs. Few (if any) feel led to go into the abandoned inner-city, or the overlooked and long forgotten rural area with sparse populations. I have been concerned that if these guys are truly “led” that God/the Holy Spirit is no longer concerned for the rural, urban, poor, destitute, minority,…
    “Our Father, Who art in heaven…lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from ourselves…”

    • Eric Davis

      Don-

      Thank you for your helpful comment, brother. I think you are on to something. Which is why, as mentioned above, I think the potential planter ought to be in much communication/counsel with his elders to help steer him in the right direction. They need to shepherd him to be sure he is really called and going in the right direction, spiritually and geographically. So once again, the presence of existing called and qualified elders in the potential planter’s life, as he discerns the call, is critical.

  • John Chester

    As a church planter, one year in and experiencing a modicum of “success” (we have grown in numbers and more importantly love for God and one another, stabilized and have gone from a core group to a functioning church), I have to say I never felt called to be a church planter or had a particular desire to plant. I was pursued by the elders of my Church to consider it, and actively recruited to be a church planter, they saw something in me I didn’t in myself, and I am enormously thankful for it. I love my ministry and my calling, but I never had a great desire to plant. Sometimes obedience to calling comes before the desire for the ministry you are called to.

    • Eric Davis

      John-

      Praise Jesus for how he is using you, brother. That’s great news! I love to hear about that. And I’m grateful for your definition of success.

      In your case, we can of course give God glory for how he’s using you. Along those lines, I would still say to potential church planters that it’s important for them to have a desire (“lust” in the Greek, as you know) for the work of the ministry (1 tim 3:1), even to plant. I would say, which seems to have sort of been the case w/ you, that it’s more important for the guy to have this desire than it is to specifically plant. The Spirit gives us undeserving wretches the desire for the work – and church planting is fundamentally pastoral work – then he may flesh out that desire for the work to become the work of planting. So while desire to plant is not necessarily essential, the desire for pastoral ministry is, since, again, church planting is pastoral work in nature. Hope that makes sense, brother.

      May the Lord continue to bless your ministry!

  • David Selvey

    Eric, Thanks for a well written article. I like your emphasis on the leadership of the local church in missions. It is precisely the lack of such emphasis that motivated our church to create a mission agency that keeps the missionary’s sending church in the drivers seat. We are a local church ministry to other local churches. I have recently posted the first three particles of a series I wrote entitled Biblical Roles in Missions. I would invite you and your readers to read the series and interact with the contents. You may access the Faith Global Missions blog at http://www.blogs.faithlafayette.org. Keep up the good work. David Selvey

    • David Selvey

      I’m afraid I left an incomplete link. You may reach the Faith Global Missions blog at http://www.blogs.faithlafayette.org/missions.

    • Eric Davis

      David-

      Thanks for the comment and the link. Sound like you guys have a good thing going there.

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