Reposted from Peyton Jones @ New Breed Church Planting
Why is it that when a guy graduates seminary the one thing that he’s ill equipped to do is most of the stuff that Paul did in the book of Acts?
Think about it.
If there was one thing that you’d want to train guys to do…
If there was one thing that you’d want guys to be able to do…
Wouldn’t you want to be releasing dangerous delta force teams, or the spiritual equivalent of Navy Seal deployment platoons that were able to infiltrate, accomplish their mission, and then spread out to the next assignment?
Instead, we have generations of guys who can navigate church politics, write blogs, drink coffee, and discuss the finer points of theology.
Our problem is that for too long the church has been content to hold ground instead of take ground. We’ve been content being the army when we should have been rushing the No Man’s Land as bullet stopping Marines. The churches command from Jesus was not to “hold till I return” but to “secure the beachhead” of every distant shore.
The fact is, every time that God has sent His Spirit in power, a wave of pioneering daredevils has charged the gates of hell. The Lollards, Luther’s missionary monks, Zinzendorf and the Moravians, Wesley and Whitefield, the Cambridge Seven, J. Hudson Taylor and the China Inland Mission, Bill Bright and Campus Crusade for Christ?
By the time that Paul lost his head on the Appian Way, he’d set in place a posse of at least 32 pioneering missionaries who were ready to take his place as “sent out ones”. The fact is, they had been trained to pick up where Paul had left off, and they were already doing it when he was sitting in a Roman prison.
Paul’s methodology was not to lock a bunch of guys in a classroom. Paul studied and it did him good. Don’t get me wrong, attending a seminary can have great benefit. I’ve been, and I survived. I learned a bunch. I’m grateful. However, it didn’t prepare, or equip me to plant churches, perform an exorcism, or pray in faith that somebody might actually get healed in the name of Jesus (instead of just praying that the Doctor is given great skill). It didn’t prepare me to help those dealing with heroin addiction, or pornography. It didn’t prepare me to enter a city and spearhead the gospel with covert or public strategy to crash the mainframe of the enemy? Don’t you think it strange that we’re “preparing” guys for ministry, and when they’re done, they’re terrified to leave their offices and take risks for the Kingdom.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury once remarked, “Where ever Paul went, they threw a riot. Where ever I go, they throw a tea party.”
The equivalent would be to ship a handful of commandos to a weapons depot for a couple of years and assign them with memorizing the weapons specs and counting the ammunition. Upon their release from “training” you wouldn’t expect them to storm any terrorist bunkers with any degree of success. The fact is, our men aren’t dangerous.
How then did Paul train train his “sent out ones” in the First Century?
Simple. Paul took them with him. All throughout Asia Minor, Paul planted churches and used them as training grounds to train up future planters like Timothy, Titus, Silvanus, and the other dangerous hombres that Paul tooled around with.
Paul’s methodology was
- I do, you watch
- You do, I watch
- I do, You do
Rinse and repeat with every one of the 32 “fellow workers” that Paul mentions in his epistles, and you’ll see that Paul’s OTJT (On The Job Training) was the most effective practice of preparing guys for ministry.
At least Jesus seemed to think so. He did it with 12 guys for 3 years.
At New Breed Church Planting, we equip guys “on the job” and train up dangerous ministers for the gospel. The stuff that you read about in the book of Acts can only be learnt on the front lines, not behind the desk in an air conditioned office where you hope that nobody will come in and interrupt you from your studies. As we plant a church in one area, we invite you to train with us. Don’t worry about the payback…when you plant, you’ll be training our guys on your turf. It worked in the First Century so much, that Paul was able to say that the Gospel had spread throughout the known world…in one generation!
So, what’ll it be…beat cop, or desk job?
“Peyton Jones was born in Washington D.C. in 1973. Raised in Huntington Beach California, he went into the ministry at Refuge Huntington Beach at the age of 19 years old. After serving on staff for 6 years, Peyton obeyed the call as a missionary to Wales, UK, where he served for 12 years. During that time he founded and established NEW BREED Church Planting and planted Pillar Community Church, Swansea. In addition, he served as an evangelist at Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s legendary Bethlehem “Sandfields” in Port Talbot, served on the executive committee for the Evangelical Movement, and was a Contributing Editor to the Evangelical Magazine. Peyton received his MA Theology: Pastoral Studies from W.E.S.T. (Wales Evangelical School of Theology) in 2011.”