In order to fully understand the thoughts in this blog, I suggest reading my post called "Family Matters" where I talk about what I have formulated as the three types of ways to start a church.
If you haven't read it go to it now, then come back.
Go ahead, I'll wait.
The Step Parent.
The Illegitimate Child.
I want to clarify and make sure you understand; that when I say illegitimate child, I am in no way referring to the actual child of how we think in the natural. I don't believe there is a such thing as an illegitimate child, God has a purpose and a destiny for every person. It's been best said, "there are no such things as illegitimate children, only illegitimate parents."--Rick Warren.
When I use term illegitimate child--I'm referring to whatever reason starting a church without the blessings of the Pastor or leadership where you attended or served volunteer, staff at ANY capacity before starting your "new work."
For the rest of this post, I'll refer to the "illegitimate child" as "unauthorized church plant" for clarity sake.
Over the the last year or so as I've surveyed new church plants, a majority of them (not all of them) would fall into the category of unauthorized church plant. One or or two would fall under a church split acknowledgment, those that say they did not come out of a church split would also say they started without the open blessings of their previous pastor, regardless-----unauthorized church plant.
While surveying these unauthorized church plants, I've ran across a few (not all of them) that no doubt are doing great things for the Kingdom of God. It's clear they are impacting their city, winning souls and making disciples for Christ. Lives are being changed and I rejoice with them and cheer them on.
So my question is.....
Whether it's a messy church split that has had years to recover, leaving a church without that pastors blessings and starting a church or simply leaving the church you've attended for years and going across the street and starting a new work......does the end justify the means?
Or to put it in the context of a father/son, parent, step-parent mentality......what do you do with the baby?
Acts 18:4-11 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles." Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized. One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city." So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.
A mentor of mine gave me that verse to ponder, and I have been. He was not advocating for starting a church next door to the church.
I guess the real answer has to come from the pastors and leadership that caused the unauthorized church plant to begin with, right?
I'd also like to point out that I do recognize two other major issues that are key in these verses that play an important role to a satisfying answer to the specific issue in those verses, you can tell me if you see them too. ;)
"What do you do with the baby?"
I'm all ears, give me some wisdom to think about how this plays out.
Yours for His Kingdom!