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DaveW

Starting a church

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Just thought I would ask in the general sense - I know the standard IBF run down on the issue, and I don't particularly want a whole big argument going on, but maybe people could give their understanding of who has the authority to start a new church.

This is almost, if you will, a survey of PEOPLE's thoughts on the matter.

If you want to include some scripture to support that would be fine, but I am really looking for people's understanding, so even a general reference to the "the Bible says..." without a direct quote would be acceptable in this instance.

 

So the Question:

"Who has the authority to start a Biblical church?"

and secondarily, 

"what would be a short description of the process of starting a Biblical church".

Answer either or both, and anyone is welcome.

 

Thanks,

 

Dave.

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Only a New Testament Church of the kind that Christ began during his earthly ministry can establish another New Testament Church.  

It starts through much prayer, a pastor and his family is called and sent into the area that the sending church has a burden for.  

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The Great Commission, Matthew 28:16-20, was given to the Apostles (according to Ephesians 19-22), as part of the foundation of the church.

The Apostles are representative, and a pattern, of salvation, the church, and how the church should grow and start more churches through missionary efforts (Paul, etc...). "Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting." Therefore, the Great Commission is given to the church through the apostles.

1 Timothy 1:16 In Paul the Apostle we see the pattern for starting churches, soul winning efforts, the qualifications for a pastor (Bishop) of a local church. Please take careful note; all of the churches that Paul started were local churches (assemblies). No denominational hierarchy. When Paul left an area, such as Crete, he left a man (Titus; Titus 1:5), that was qualified to be a bishop. Titus then taught others, elders, Titus 1:5 and 6, to be the pastor, or bishop, of the local church.

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Hmmmmm - I though I might get a few more opinions.....

I guess few people think about whether or not there is a right way to start a church.....

Thanks to those have commented - I appreciate it.

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38 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

It is hard to give an opinion when your opinion lines up with what has already been said.

I understand that, but as we have many different people here, some of which have indicated at times opinions other than these two given, I thought we might get some of those opinions.

I was wanting to know more about what PEOPLE think about starting churches, since it is apparent that some have been involved in churches that have started differently, and indeed some may have started churches differently.

I put it into the "general lounge" section for just that purpose.

It will help me in formulating some Bible institute lessons on the church, if I can get some opinions on this.

But I certainly appreciate those who have posted, and your agreement with them.

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7 hours ago, DaveW said:

it is apparent that some have been involved in churches that have started differently

A related question--happy to move it to a new thread if needs be--that occurs to me is how diligent should somebody be about researching this information if they're thinking about attending/joining a church. I hear plenty of good advice about checking a church's teachings and practice, and indeed it should be easy to find out who they are fellowshipping with at the time, but finding out how that church started if it's, say, 150 years old might be quite difficult (I've never even tried). And then do you check that the church that established it was in turn established by a New Testament church 50-100 years further back and so on and so on...? Obviously nobody can trace a lineal timeline back 2,000 years, but how far is sufficient?

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I understand your question, and it can cause some consternation among some, but rather than start a debate about that end of things (which can get very heated) in this thread, I would prefer to keep it about the process of starting a church today, rather than the history of a particular church.

Another thread specifically about the history of existing churches would gain some notice I am sure.

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Here's my two cents,  

A church starts with the Pastor.

A church must have a BIBLICALLY QUALIFIED Pastor. The Pastor is the anchor, the leader, of the local NT church, and the church is only as sound as its leadership.

If a Pastor is not biblically qualified according to the requirements set forth in 1 Timothy 3, and Titus 1, he is not fit to be a Pastor....those aren't my rules, they are God's.

Those 2 chapters instantly rule me out, because I am a woman, therefore I cannot biblically pastor a church, for example, and neither can Joyce Meyers or Paula White, whether they agree with it or not.

Once a man of one wife, with children (plural) who are obedient, who rules his house well, is not given to wine(doesn't drink alcohol), not a novice (must be saved for a couple years or more, read the King James Bible cover to cover 10-20 times & studies it daily), is slow to anger(except it be righteous anger), has a good report outside of church, etc....has been a good servant of his local IFB church for at least a year or two(the more the better), desires to win souls to Christ & preach the ENTIRE Word of God in season AND OUT, isn't afraid of persecution, refuses to compromise, proven himself faithful & desires the work of a Pastor, and his sending church approves & the sending Pastor approves, THEN he can be ordained to Pastor a church & be sent out to where a good IFB Church is needed, and approved by the church and sending Pastor.

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So in reality we have only one view presented here?

If I may summarise thus:

A church must be started by a biblically qualified man who has been sent out under the authority of an existing church.

(That the church should be a biblical church for me is just obvious.)

 

I am surprised than no other view has been presented, because there are people here who always seem to have views opposing the normal baptists doctrines, and some here who have indicated that they may not align with this view, or possibly not practiced this view themselves.

I wonder why such have not posted, especially since I explicitly said that I did not want this to be an argument thread?

I would hope if they got howled down or attacked that the mods would step in and remind of my intent.

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A church can start in a number of ways. 

1. A local body of believers organize.

2. A missionary/pastor are led to start a church in an area without a good church.

Both models are seen in the new testament in the Apostle Paul's ministry

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It's been a while,  but Paul was beckoned in a dream to go to Macedonia.  Also I believe her name was Lydia and her husband sought the Apostle to come start a church.

Most new testament churches were started in this fashion as the Roman persecution pushed Christians all over the world 

The apostles were sent by a local church to go out, but believers were already organized in many places. I believe that the key is for the organization of the church to be led by a pastor,  but that doesn't mean that a body of believers can't meet while looking for God's man

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16 hours ago, DaveW said:

Can you give an example of No.1 please?

 

 I posted this in Alimantado's offshoot thread, but will copy here as it applies to your question.

Last night, I was reading the account from Jonathan Goforth on the revival in Korea in the early 1900's (When the Spirit's Fire Swept Korea). He told of an incident in Korea where a rural man visited a city during the revival, heard the Gospel preaching and obtained a Bible. He took that Bible back to the county with him, and read it to his friends, until about 50 of these rural people believed (the story doesn't say when exactly the first man got saved). They understood from the Scriptures that they should be baptized, and part of a church body, but they weren't sure how to go about it (seeing as there was no missionary, pastor, or even original evangelist). After reading and praying extensively, they came to the conclusion that they should all go home and have a bath, and then meet back and start a church. :D 

(And here's a link!! This is an excellent account to read. https://www.gospeltruth.net/koreafire.htm)

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18 hours ago, Pastorj said:

The apostles were sent by a local church to go out, but believers were already organized in many places. I believe that the key is for the organization of the church to be led by a pastor,  but that doesn't mean that a body of believers can't meet while looking for God's man

Of course anybody can meet for prayer, study and fellowship, this does not mean that thy are organized into a NT church. You can be a believer and not be a part of a NT church.

A NT church is organized when those people are properly baptized and discipled and under the authority of a scriptural NT church that sends a man to teach proper Baptist doctrine.

This may be a matter of semantics and we are actually saying the same thing "in other words".

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31 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

Of course anybody can meet for prayer, study and fellowship, this does not mean that thy are organized into a NT church. You can be a believer and not be a part of a NT church.

A NT church is organized when those people are properly baptized and discipled and under the authority of a scriptural NT church that sends a man to teach proper Baptist doctrine.

This may be a matter of semantics and we are actually saying the same thing "in other words".

I agree with this, but have a question...Can a church ONLY be a church when it is organized under the authority of a scriptural NT church that sends a man?

The reason I ask this is because I know of churches that started out unscripturally (as in, not following proper doctrine. i.e., starting out as pentecostal or southern baptist) but, as the pastor studied scripture and grew in the Lord, God showed him that the doctrines of that group were wrong. And so the pastor led the church out of that movement, and the church became IFB

No scriptural NT church sent him. But God worked on his heart (and when I say "his," I am thinking of at the very least 3 pastors to which this happened) and changed him. And thus changed the church.  I do believe that church (or those churches), if they are now following scripture, are scriptural churches. 

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Good question HC and it may also be one of those "Now you've done it" moments because my answer is not short or simple. I'll first give an illustration and then my reasoning behind my beliefs concerning this very important issue.

Illustration: All authority has a source, whether it be secular or religious. In the secular world for instance,  a single person or people in general cannot just decide one day to form a police force. That requires authority from a higher source than the individual. If the people in a community decide that they need a police force they must then go through the proper channels and petition the entity that has the authority to do so. In that case, the government. Once the higher authority grants the request the community is then authorized to form a police force in accordance with the requirements of the government.

Reasoning: As Independent Baptists we know that Jesus started His church during His ministry on earth and promised it perpetuity.  Mt 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Jesus, being God in the flesh is then the authority. Outside of Jesus there is no authority to establish a church. This was the mistake of the reformation, they came out from the RC church, but would not conform to, or seek the blessings of the already established, scriptural churches that were in existence. All the reformers were led by a man that had no divine authority.

The scriptural example we see in the NT is churches begetting or planting other churches. The Apostles were more than just some guys wanting to start a church, they were representatives of established, scriptural NT churches who had the authority from their church to organize new churches.

Just because some pastor of a denomination sees his mistakes and comes out from the denomination does not give him any authority. This is not to say that he cannot assemble a group and lead them in the truth, but to attempt to organize them into a true NT church is not his to do, he has no authority. The proper method to organize his people would be to seek out the blessing and authorization of a true NT church if he truly sees his error.

We see this plainly in the example of Apollos at Ephesus in Acts 18:24-27  Once he was taught the truth more perfectly, then he was recommended by the brethren as he traveled to Achaia.

We see the Apostle Paul finding believers in various places that he then organized into a NT church.

So then, as I said in the beginning, authority has a source, in this case that source is The Lord Jesus Christ. We can readily see him giving the authority to act in a certain capacity to his church here:  Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 
 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

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I would agree that a church should not officially organize without a pastor.  However,  it is not necessary for a church to be planted by another church. The pastor should be ordained by a local church and sent out.

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1 hour ago, Pastorj said:

I would agree that a church should not officially organize without a pastor.  However,  it is not necessary for a church to be planted by another church. The pastor should be ordained by a local church and sent out.

Isn't that the same thing really? You arr talking about being sent - having the authority from the sending church to start another work?

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I think it's definitely best for a new church to be planted by another -  but it seems extreme to say that it has no authority if it is not.  You are, after all, independent Baptists – we believe that each congregation and pastor is answerable directly to God.  (individual soul liberty and all that). To require a church to be planted by another  smacks a little of denominationalism to me. 

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1 hour ago, Salyan said:

I think it's definitely best for a new church to be planted by another -  but it seems extreme to say that it has no authority if it is not.  You are, after all, independent Baptists – we believe that each congregation and pastor is answerable directly to God.  (individual soul liberty and all that). To require a church to be planted by another  smacks a little of denominationalism to me. 

I understand the point, but whenever we can see a church being started in the Bible, we see it being started by one sent from another church.

This is the biblical principle, and we should follow it.

But for existing churches, far more important is where they now stand.

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10 hours ago, HappyChristian said:

I agree with this, but have a question...Can a church ONLY be a church when it is organized under the authority of a scriptural NT church that sends a man?

The reason I ask this is because I know of churches that started out unscripturally (as in, not following proper doctrine. i.e., starting out as pentecostal or southern baptist) but, as the pastor studied scripture and grew in the Lord, God showed him that the doctrines of that group were wrong. And so the pastor led the church out of that movement, and the church became IFB

No scriptural NT church sent him. But God worked on his heart (and when I say "his," I am thinking of at the very least 3 pastors to which this happened) and changed him. And thus changed the church.  I do believe that church (or those churches), if they are now following scripture, are scriptural churches. 

That is why I asked the  question I did earlier. If a church can only be a church when started by another NT church then that suggests--although one might disagree--that you could have a church that's totally sound in belief, teachings and practice but still be illegitimate. So if a person seeking a new church can't tell the difference between a legitimate NT church and an illegitimate one by what a church is doing then does it become necessary when seeking a church to research their origins? And it that's so then how far back?

DaveW has said he doesn't want that question answered on this thread in case it distracts so here's a new thread for that question.

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On 8/10/2017 at 7:43 PM, Salyan said:

I think it's definitely best for a new church to be planted by another -  but it seems extreme to say that it has no authority if it is not.  You are, after all, independent Baptists – we believe that each congregation and pastor is answerable directly to God.  (individual soul liberty and all that). To require a church to be planted by another  smacks a little of denominationalism to me. 

Sorry to be so late in getting back to this thread. I would argue that it in no way smacks of denominationalism, since at the time of organization the new work is completely severed from the sending church. The sending church no longer has any say in how the new work operates. In my experience the sending church is "petitioned", if you will, to allow the new work to be organized into a New Testament Church. In other words, an organizational meeting is held to accomplish this. 

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What we see in Bible times, is Apostles who were sent from a local church going and establishing other churches. I see nowhere in Scripture, could be wrong, where the sending church was petitioned to allow the new church to be started. The apostles led people to Christ, trained them and then departed to another area.

In 2017, it is the same thing. There are 2 basic ways churches are started. In both cases, a man is called by God to go to an area and his home church sends him.

1. Mass distribution of material - In this method (Dr. Jessup made this popular), the man of God goes on deputation and raises 2 -5 years of support from other churches. He then spends 4 weeks distributing 50,000+ John and Romans and other Church literature. He then holds a week of meetings where churches from the area come and participate. On Sunday after the meetings, the church is organized and off and running.

This has seen great success in many areas and is definitely a great way to start or even replant a church. The downfall is that many of the individuals who are there for the organization of the church are from other churches and bring baggage.

2. Bible Study to Church - In this method, (Old BBF method), the man of God goes to an area and gets a job. He begins soul-winning and starts a Bible Study with his converts. As his group grows, they determine to organize into a church.

This method has also seen great success. However, the drawback is that it usually takes months before the church organizes and then years before the church is large enough to support the pastor. The major benefit to this model is that the believers were saved within the ministry and therefore much more loyal to the pastor and less likely to cause trouble.

 

I am sure that there are variations of these 2 methods, but both methods work.

Thanks
Pastor J

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