by Peyton Jones: In France, the efforts of the French Resistance were significant enough to make a significant impact on the outcome of the war. They dismantled tank treads, put sand in the grease of vehicles, and stole ball bearings.
It’s the enemy’s oldest and favorite tactic. He sabotaged Eden. He infiltrated the children of Israel by seduction when Balaak’s army couldn’t defeat them in a head on confrontation. In the early days, his tactic is to sow tares among the wheat making it clear that “An enemy has done this.” He is trying to derail the carriage of the troop transport off course. In WW2, my grandfather who served in the 101st airborne was delayed from crossing the Atlantic, but the ship he was originally scheduled to be on was sunk by a German U-boat.
In the early days, you’ve got to chart a course, set your face like flint. Like Jesus heading towards the cross, set your face steadfastly towards Jerusalem…and lock your sights on Calvary.
ILL FITTING ARMOR
Launching with the right focus is essential if your plant is going to avoid defaulting just another big church after you’ve grown. If you’re using the New Testament apostolic model, then the solution is hard-wired into your church already. You’re not wired to grow big, but to reproduce. As soon as the tender shoots begin to grow, you’ll be splicing them to ready them for transplants. Outgrowing your building means that you’ve got to start assembling some new teams for planting outwards. Multiple services, outlying campuses, and other forms of ecclesiastical greed will make you want to vomit instead of causing you to salivate as you indulge your insatiable appetite for more. Getting your priorities right from the start involves setting a missional agenda that seeks to grow the church outward, rather than just upwards. It also details how to ensure that you’re starting by reaching the lost, rather than just attracting disillusioned Christians from other churches.
But starting out well isn’t a guarantee that all will end well. It is possible to start out a champion like Gideon earning the moniker of “Baal-slayer”, only to end up establishing your own form of idolatry in its place as people bow down to your sacred ephod. If people worshipped Gideon’s armor, rest assured that they will find ways to worship your success too… If you let them. The masses will flock to you and burst the fire capacity of your four walls, but at that juncture, you have a choice. If I had my way, most of you reading this would constantly be shedding the ephod like David, finding Saul’s megachurch armor too big and cumbersome. Instead, you’d be opting for a sling-shot, the Spirit’s power, and enough confidence in the Almighty to keep running at giants.
Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.