Church Planting – The Coming Exodus


Today’s going to seem a little odd, as I am going to talk about something that’s really mentioned only once in Scripture.

Doctrinal rules say we do not use a ἅπαξ Hapax (Greek for once) to derive doctrine from. And I’ll even explain further and say that this verse already has a fulfillment.

But I’m going to join together two seemingly unrelated verses and explain them, and say this is going to happen VERY soon.

1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. 2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. John 16:1-3 (KJV)

This has already had one fulfillment. Once Gentiles outnumbered Jews in one branch of Judaism, the Rabbis boldly declared it to no longer be part of Judaism. Meekly, the followers of that brand of Judaism obeyed, and began calling it a separate religion.

Christianity. In reality, they left US by rejecting their messiah. And we somehow got this idea that Judaism was only for Jews, and that it was the teachings of the Rabbis. Well, I could write entire articles on that. Most Fundamentalists read the Bible and see the connection that the faith of Abraham and Moses found its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. Revelation 2:1-5 (KJV)

I think we all agree that Revelation 2:5 and John 16:2 are talking about two completely different things. But I’m going to share one of my pet beliefs (not a docrine – we get our doctrines from the Bible).

I think that the apostate churches will begin throwing Fundamentalists out. I think the Fundamentalists will declare “Ichabod” first (you should know the meaning of that!!! – “The Glory is Departed, Gone”) and begin leaving churches left and right. Shortly after that, the Purpose Driven churches will begin casting Christians out, because we’re ruining their good time by speaking about sin, damnation, hell, and… that’s really negative!

I think its coming, and very soon in the United States. To my readers in AFrica, we’ve got a problem in the United States that the churches are so wealthy and corrupt, that they don’t even like to preach the Bible! It makes their “good time” attitude seem, well, unBiblical. Which it is.

The biggest, most important decision a Christian can make is what church to attend. If you’re in one, and considering leaving, you need to be on your faces in prayer before you make a move. If you can’t point to doctrinal decisions for wanting to leave, then the answer is “No”. Stay. Do not leave.

But if youhave noticed you’re not being taught, if you’ve noticed their presenting unBiblical teachnigs, you need to be praying.

And I think the Lord will, knowing Christians and comfort zones, will indeed make those churches throw you out. No sense in a church of the unSaved being brightened by the presence of saved Christians – it might convict them, lead them to repentence, and get them saved!

There are three things and probably a fourth that the experts are saying will lead to the one-world church that puts the Antichrist in power…

  1. The Purpose Driven Church & the Ecumenism that propelled it
  2. Charismaticism
  3. CCM
  4. Modern bible Translations

One thing that doesn’t work is a King James only in the midst of people preaching and teaching from modern translations. You hear them making proper conclusions and doctrines base on that text using Biblical Hermeneutics principles – and they’re doing it right! – and the doctrines they’re coming up with are heretical. Well, right. You can’t derive good doctrine from a bad translation.

The experts are saying that CCM unites churches. And there’s MANY quotes from those musicians about trying to build bridges. Well, I can tell you from living in an area with bridges, that bridges go from one place to another. They connect things. By building bridges, they mean to Rome. And it wasn’t too long ago that Rome was burning, hanging and drowning Christians. They’d be still doing it, but they’ve lost political influence. In some countries they are starting to make that threatening posture again, such as Central and South America.

Charismaticism teaches that the sign of the sealing of the Holy Spirit is speaking in glossolalia. They call it tongues, but what they call tongues is not Biblical tongues. And the biggest issue for Charismatics is that Mormons and Roman Catholics are now both pseaking in tongues – so that must mean they’re Christians!!!

And trust me, I know this from experience, that Charismatics when you push them to look in the Bible and defend their faith, stop, drag their heels, and refuse to do it. That was proved to me again recently. They WILL NOT go to the Bible to defend their doctrine!

The issue is, if they speak in glossolalia, and listen to CCM of their personal taste, they must be Christian. That’s not even remotely how the Bible defines it.

As far as the Purpose Driven Church movement, Rick Warren has openly accepted the Pope, only declared his intentions is to bring the “church” back to Rome – and people still sing his praises.

Well, not the readers of this blog. They’re pretty unanimous that Rick Warren is a heretic. Well, his poison is infecting almost every church, like an open sore. Like some kind of communicable disease.

And Rick Warren openly teaches that one of the first things a purpose driven church must do is get rid of the Fundamentalists in the church. “You may have to get rid of some people… they may be pillars of the church, and what does a pillar do? They hold things up…. and every church has a few people that they wouldn’t mind getting rid of.”

That’s a scary quote. Scary.

So when those “fundies” don’t leave – sooner or later, they’ll throw us out.

This church planting series is hopefully timely, so that those of you God is calling, will be ready and inplace with your church plant. You’ll be hopefully squatting behind home plate, saying “hey batta batta batta!!!!” (okay, that’s a baseball thing. I remember that from when I was a kid and they made me play sports in school, which I objected to on religious grounds that I was Jewish…)

Anyway, get ready to receive. Be ready to heal and nurture, because leaving a church is traumatic. It hurts. You’ll need to be ready to heal that pain.

If you think that the Lord may be calling you to church plant and you haven’t started praying about it yet, you’re about 30 days late, because the Lord’s been dropping hints all at once to a lot of people. Get on it today. Start praying. And just in case the answer’s yes, you needed to be working on all the paperwork already.

You’re late. Get busy.

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Church Planting – Assorted Thoughts


Tomorrow, I plan on giving my whole construct. I’m writing this on Nov. 11, and I’ve almost finished all my paperwork for a church plant. I’ll give it as an example. I don’t know whether to make it as a download, or a blog post. A blog post would be HUGE, literally, if I did the whole thing. So I’ll have to decide if I’m going to work on putting it online in condensed form? We’ll see. I may end up not deciding for two more weeks.

Anyway, what have we neglected?

Church potlucks – remember, your church plant is new. A potluck basically consists of asking four or less families to bring a dish. really, a potluck shouldn’t happen until you’ve got a building, and more than ten families. This way, you’re not financially stressing the congregation too much.

Dressing down – every now and then the Pastor will have to rebuke the congregation. Do this sparingly. And for the sake of the Kingdom of God, do NOT write sermons specifically against someone in the congregation. I had a pastor who swore he didn’t do this, but at least twice someone in the congregation mentioned Facebook (the first time) and Cell phones (the seocnd time), and the following week, the sermon was about Facebook (the first time) and cell phones (the second time). One time my wife and I sat in a different spot in the church, and the following week the sermon was – “Be in your place.”

Don’t do this EVER. Do not scold your congregation in sermons unless you derived that from this week’s sermon study. I once did the bonehead stunt of having everyone turn to Matthew 29, to prove to the congregation that they needed to spend more time in the Bible. Point made, but I made everyone feel stupid. Don’t do this.

As an IFB pastor, PLEASE refrain from endless tongue lashings against women and teenagers. There’s a highly esteemed pastor in my city, nationally known, but he had a habit of tearing down the women in the congregation regularly, and also the teenagers. one particular class in their Christian Academy graduated, left, and… only a handful attend churches now, because all they remember is the constant tongue lashings they got WEEKLY from the pulpit. Kids are kids. Encourage them. Point out the right way. But do not hesitate to point out that they need to be saved. Encourage them to separate from the world, study their Bible, get saved, know the Lord.

21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Colossians 3:21 (KJV)

Of the anti-IFB church websites out there, many are from women who were broken by the endless tongue lashings they endured from the pulpit. Encourage your congregation, point out the correct ways. That’s all I’m going to say. Scold them? Yes. but sparingly.

Church discpline – this should be practiced rarely, and know that every time you do it, you run the risk of a church splt. Some IFB churches do this to members who don’t attend often enough. I’ve heard from a pastor who did this once over a doctrinal issue, and the church meetings it created he described as “close to splitting the church.” It literally calls for the forbidding of someone to participate in the Lord’s Table, an inability to vote in church business, or to partake in the pot lucks (which really should only be two or three times a year anyway). Don’t make a big issue of having them on the prayer list – simply put their names on, without saying why. They can still attend at many churches, but they are not recognized until they repent. If it sounds like a shunning, it’s not really – you greet them and say, “we’re still praying for you, brother!” They will either leave (I hope not) or get right with the Lord. Other churches actually forbid them to attend until they get right with the Lord. It’s harsh, but it’s in the Bible.

Tithes

When should you accept tithes? My personal feeling is, not until you start to incur expenses. I think it’s coersive if you have two families attending, and you pass a collection plate. Just put a box with an opening in it in the kitchen and label it “offerings”. However, when you’ve got five or more families in your living room, and everyone’s bumping each other with knees, Bibles and elbows… and it’s becoming vastly clear to everyone you need to look into larger spaces… then you need to bring it up. “We’d need X amount a month of income to move into a place. Can we commit to that right now? If not, how many more people do we need, and when do we start evangelizing to get people in???” Maybe, have one of your pamphlets on “church growing pains!” and explain the issue. “Right now, we’ve got enough room in my house. But Lord willing, we may soon outgrow this, and occur expense…”

However, if someone in the church while you have only one or two families wants to make an offering, don’t turn that aside. Use that as a time to talk about stewardship, and ask for input about how the church should handle offerings. If anyone has input on how you think this should be broached or handled, leave a comment! If your comment is a “I don’t believe the tithe is for today and here’s why…” hold off on that. I strongly disagree with you, and we’re not discussing it. But if you have some input on this issue (aside from that) leave a comment!

Church Planting – Software


Since this is the computer age, and Christians by definition tend to be cheap (most of us are not high income people), we tend to think in terms of, “What software do I need to run a church?”

and, “Is it free?”

Well, that really depends. I’ll say this, and say it strongly – Christian software tends to be HORRIBLY overpriced. For instance, while I’m writing this, WORDsearch is running a “Pick 4” sale. You can pick any four of their packages on the list (there’s 25 choices) and all it costs is $100 a month.

I suppose that’s reasonable. But that’s a big chunk of change for most Christians. Especially when (as i’ve said before) many Independent Baptist churches are trying to pay their pastor $12,000 a year. That means most Independent Baptist pastors cannot afford a sale like that.

There’s a Church Membership program that a few years ago was $99.00. That’s again a huge chunk of change for a Pastor who (pre-tax) is only making $250 a week.

Logos Bible is $4,995 for the entire package. If the pastor was bi-vocational, and could spend his whole $250 a week on books or software, then in 23 weeks (after taxes) he could afford to buy it.

That’s six months.

That’s what I mean by “horribly overpriced.”

For church software, you can get LibreOffice for free. It comes with Writer, Draw, Impress (a powerpoint), Calc ( a spreadsheet), Base (a Microsoft Access clone for databases) and Math (for scientific calculations – and you probably don’t need it).

Church Membership Database

I’d take LibreOffice Calc or Base and create a Church Membership database. It takes a little fiddling, and any how-to tutorials on Microsoft Access will work with LibreOffice Base. But that saves you a hundred dollars on what is essentialy the same thing. A Calc spreadsheet will work just as well, I think. I mean, you just need name, Category, address, City, State, Zip, phone number, email, occupation, marital status. You can add any other fields you think necessary. It’s your church, so you may discover you need other things in there. Other fields you might want to add is “Member” (a date field – leave blank if not joined) “Method” (letter, baptism, statement), “Originating church”.

I have a template already ready. Modify as needed. It will work for both Openoffice and Libreoffice.

Church Accounting Program

I’ve found of course Microsoft Money, which is now free. I tend to prefer this. I have both versions, saved on a backup drive. I also have a legacy version of Quicken, which after getting used to Money, I found I didn’t like as much. Both are free.

The pastor should handle the money only as long as he has to, until someone else can take over it. After that point, the Pastor should make sure someone ELSE handles the money. Even if the church is closing, and a congregant runs in with a tithe check and hands it to the pastor, you should CALL the money guy right then, “so and so just handed me a tithe check for X dollars, I’m going to put it in the office under the computer keyboard till you get there to pick it up.” or something like that.

This comes straight from MY pastor.

Bible Program

2017 Update – when I wrote this, I was still using Wordsearch. Since then, I’ve upgraded to Logos. If you’re a Pastor, you really owe it to yourself and your congregation to invest in Logos. Get the Starter package for now. For me, there’s only one choice. Logos

WORDsearch. Wordsearch to me is easy to use. Wordsearch BASIC is free… if you want the upgrade, it’s $50. I upgraded gladly.

Now, Wordsearch DOES have a platinum package, which I can’t afford. You can get the whole shooting match for $1995.00. To me, that’s hugely overpriced. Number one, I’d never use most of that, number two, a bunch of it is Evangelicalism and not Fundamentalism, so I’d probably go into a tirade reading most of it (but on the other hand, it would no doubt give me fodder for all of 2016’s blog articles!!!). But it does have a lot of useful stuff. Take a look and see which package you’d need. Myself, I think most of you would do well with just the $50 version and all the free books they already offer. If you reallly want to start spending a lot of money, get the Teaching package, which is just a little bit more than Wordsearch 11. I’ve probably already gotten most of that anyway, from the free book library downloads anyway. But if you’re one of those guys like me who’s constantly worrying if you’re missing some kind of major tool you could otherwise be using… don’t go look at the packages. Just get Wordsearch 11.

On the David Cloud “essential Bible Student” video series, he comments he can’t do his devotions on his computer – too distracting. I have so much time invested daily on Wordsearch that wow… I can easy lock out distractions and get into some real study.

Most IFB churches seem to use Swordsearcher. And it’s a bonus because it’s nicely laid out, clean, and you can get the David Cloud books for it. It’s $60, minus the David Cloud books, which I think is $30. So for $100, you get… well, not much really. It’s a nice program, but not as many add ons.

Yes, E-sword is free… but the programmer makes it clear if you plan on using it, you should send a donation. We’ve already lost RCL software because Christians did not donate money. Keep that in mind. I’ve gone on several rants about how promising E-Sword is… but you need an uber-computer to run it. I’m sure the programmer will disagree, but every IFB pastor will add in the Webster’s 1828 dictionary, and suddenly the program will bog WAAAAAYYYY down!

TheWord, to me, is clunky. Some people swear by it. I just couldn’t use it because it’s cluttered looking. Ugh.

Bible Analyzer is really cool. If I weren’t using WORDsearch, I’d be using that extensively.

LOGOS is hugely overpriced. Really. You need a 1 terabyte or larger hard drive for your computer if you get it, and I’d make sure you’ve got 16 megs of RAM or better. And I just get this HUGE check in my spirit about the program, because I’ve tried it several times, and it just REEKS of One World Church, Antichrist, Number of the Beast. You probably disagree with me, but that’s okay – everyone else does. Beginning packages I think are $299??? UPDATE: Trust me when I say, I’ve tried Logos, learned to use it… and now can’t go back. Nothing compares.

PC Bible Study has a LOT of people who swear by it. But the $200 price tag puts me waaaay off. They have no demo you can use. Packages start at $79 I think, and go up.

Other Software

The Pastor’s Study by RCL Software to me is indespensible. I did a search back in 2013 for “Free Church software” and I found a small website with several free programs. I downloaded all of them. I began using “the Pastor’s Study” and found it helped a LOT for church administration, for sermon writing, for prayer list, visitations, Calendar, Journal, Counseling notes, Finances, goals, etc.

The only stipulation was that believers should donate if they were able to support the ministry. Nobody donated. The website went blank when the money ran out, and now it’s no longer available.

If enough people were to express an interest, and a pledge to donate to the programmer, I’d make it available again. Personally, I think WORDsearch should hire the guy, and have him add his modules into WORDsearch 12 when it comes out!

Email

I use Thunderbird. I know, everyone in the world likes to use Web interfaces for email. Not me. I like to download and archive all my emails. As a matter of fact, if i hadn’t been attacked by viruses twice in 20 years, I’d literally still have every email I’d ever sent or received!

Okay, there’s a start – and the only program I recommended that costs anything is WORDsearch 11! See, I save you money…

Church Planting – Charter Service


The day goes from when you have done all your planning, writing, sacrificing, passing out tracts, witnessing, giving away Bibles, etc.

You’ve been doing your home services faithfully with your family being the only members of the congregation. Suddenly someone else shows up. They come the next week. The week after that, someone else shows up. Eventually you have four or five families tripping over themselves in your living room for services.

It’s time to ask if any of these families are willing to commit to the church. They may well raise the issue themselves.

It’s time to have a chartering service.

Shortly I’ll turn this over to Dan Botterbrodt, but for right now, some things to think about. Dan writes from the preferable position of a sending church and the church plant.

But sometimes, there is an issue. For instance, someone leaving a denominational Baptist church over disagreement with the things as they happen in the church, or things happening in the denomination. Perhaps its over the willingness to accept blindly anyone who names the name of Christ, no matter what their doctrine.

In such cases, one is now in a position where, if there is no local church available and a commute is not possible, that one may need to start a church themselves. I caution you, this is not to be undertaken lightly. You must pray about this as anyone who starts a church as a pastor is responsible to give an account for how they rule that church before the Lord Jesus Christ, and that you must be one who has studied to shew thyself approved, and not a new convert. The standard rule now is, one who has graduated Bible College and has been a Christian for at least three years. See David Cloud’s “I am not your pastor” and “keys to effective church membership”.

Here’s how seriously you should consider this… I am completely convinced that the Lord has called me to ministry. This blog is the result of that. I have studied to shew myself approved..

and I have not started a church. Why? I am not 100% sure that the LORD is calling on me to do just that. Yet. Once I am sure of that, then I will consult with others to be sure I am not worshipping my own opinions but being obedient to the Lord. After that, if they and I agree…. then I will prayerfully start all the things I’ve discussed in this series.

From Dan Botterdrodt’s church planting ebook…

1) Explain the qualifications for becoming a charter member.

● A clear testimony of salvation and separated living

● Immersion baptism in a Baptist church of like faith

● Agreement with the statement of faith

● Adherence to the Church Covenant

2) Teach the people about the importance of the local church.

3) Meet with prospective charter members individually to hear their testimony.

3.4 The following elements could be included in the charter service.

1) A brief history of the new church for the benefit of guests

2) A sermon regarding the ministry of the church (the pastor of the established church which helped start the new church could be invited in for this)

3) Reading of the Church Covenant (often contained in the constitution)

4) Raising of the hand to express a testimony of salvation and agreement with the statement of faith

5) A signing ceremony of the official membership charter that can be framed for historical significance

6) A fellowship meal could follow the service and ceremony

3.5 The charter can be left open for a few weeks and emphasized during the invitation.

The same procedure should be followed for individuals wanting to be added to the charter after the charter service.

4. Accurate records should be maintained.

4.1 Visitor and prospect cards should be filed and used for follow-up visits.

4.2 The membership record must be updated when changes occur.

******

Okay, there you go. a charter service is not necessary, but is a good memorial to the first members. I mean, once you complete the Church Constitution and by-laws and the church covenant… your church is alive, and a real church before the Lord. Even if you’re the only member. I’m sure some will disagree with that, but that’s how I see it.

Church Planting – Thanksgiving


November’s series has been a little off of the usual “heretic hunter” beaten path. Hopefully it’s something you’ve all found interesting and enjoyed. And even if you’re not called to church plant, reading this should cause you to have a new sense of respect for your Pastor .

Today, Americans celebrate yearly the giving of thanks to God that a small group of people did in Plymouth, Massachusetts, upon leaving a land of tyranny, where they could finally worship God freely. This subject is very important now, because there remains nowhere else in the world where freedom of religion is permitted – except Israel.

America is losing its rights to freedom of religion, due to liberal legislation that thumbs its nose blatantly upon the Constitution of the United States.

Today, while we still can, let us give thanks while it’s still legal, that we have the freedom to even CONSIDER planting churches. Because there are countries where that is illegal.

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