Saturday, February 10, 2007

Not planting churches

This past Wednesday we discussed the beginning of Acts 13 in our home Bible study. We were discussing how, most often in the New Testament, we see people going out in groups of two or more. We spent some time discussing the fact that we thought there was much wisdom in sending groups versus individuals, but soon after that , our discussion turned to how this might relate to Matt. 18:20

"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."

(This passage is clearly in a section dealing with church discipline, and this should not be forgotten, as many do when they quote it out of context. In its context, though, it can help us understand the church since in v. 17, Jesus had just told them: "tell it to the church." As Miroslav Volf points out, as seen in More on Defining the Church..., there is a long tradition [Ignatius, Tertullian, Cyprian, John Smyth] that sees Matt. 18:20 as the foundation of, not only determining what the church is, but also of how it manifests itself externally as a church.)

Maybe, then the importance of sending out two or three was not only practical, but was also a way of sending the essence of the church. In our discussion Theron S. (who, by the way, has NOT written much at all lately) stated it best: they were not planting churches, they were sending the church there so that it might be salt and light and God might grow it in that new location.

1 comment:

Alan Knox said...


This is a great post. I agree with you on two counts: 1) The church is not planted but sent. And 2) Theron needs to post more often - especially when he has things like this to say. We need to hear it.


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