Jesus, the Church Planting Failure? (Intro)

Has it ever struck you that Jesus, the founder of Christianity, never planted an actual church (i.e. an institution with the connotations of “church”)? He formed a group of disciples who are called “The Church” in a universal sense, but he did not plant a church with a building, staff, etc. Funny, ain’t it?

So while musing upon this noble theme, I decided to start an advice column for Jesus with thoughts on how he can plant churches. (Note: and if you can’t recognize this as a satire, may God have mercy on you!)

It will be a short series and here is the intro:

Jesus did not plant one single church. How can the founder of Christianity escape criticism for this glaring failure? He had no problem wandering the desert, visiting his friends for dinner, and promising the Holy Spirit, but he never left his mark with a church building. What was he thinking? It is abundantly clear today that Jesus’ failure is rooted in his ignorance of today’s accumulated church planting wisdom. Perhaps we can offer Jesus some friendly advice on where his method falls short and how to get on the right track.

Lesson Number One: Noboby Was Left in Charge
To be continued tommorrow.

6 thoughts on “Jesus, the Church Planting Failure? (Intro)

  1. bob

    I don’t know, man… not to rain on your parade, but 120 sitting in an upper rorom together, committed to prayer, taking care of each other, listening to the Apostles, particularly Peter who had been told "feed my sheep"…

    sounds like a church!

    And boy did they grow…

  2. Ed Post author

    Right. But did Jesus start an "institution" with paid staff, formal training, seminary requirements, buildings, etc.? When you apply to become a church planter, you are required to do a lot of things that Jesus never did.

    Jesus planted "the church", but our modern definitions for what a church is, in many circles, does not match up. Remember, this is a satire. I’m writing is if I’m a modern day church planter giving Jesus advice on how to plant a "real" church. What Jesus left and what we plant are very different in many ways, even if you can point to some similarities.

    They both may really be a church, but if I went and did the same thing Jesus did, some would say that I did not plant a church correctly. While we agree with some of what Jesus did, many other parts the Church he left do not line up with conventional church planting wisdom. That’s where the satire is going.

  3. bob

    ahhh… it becomes clear. Yes, by modern evangelical standards, Jesus’ church plant wasn’t quite up to snuff.

    "You’ve been going for three years and you only have 120 people???"


  4. Ed Post author

    Thanks Grace, glad you’re tracking with me.

    Bob, I thought you were looking at my post in from the "wrong perspective." Yeah, 120 may be OK in Vermont, but in the birthplace of 3 major religions???

    I should mention that I read the qualifications for church planters with a certain organization, was kind of shocked, and then this series of posts came to mind.

  5. Zane Anderson

    Hey Ed,

    True words. Jesus never planted a church nor did any apostle. I realize that comes as a big shock but it’s true.

    The moment anything other than planting the gospel, aka evangelism, takes the ascendency, we have created an unscriptural, unsanctioned institution.

    Christians simply meet as the church, the true institution which Jesus is building or adding to – not being planted here and there.

    Thank you for a fresh look at this matter!

    <a href="">House Church Network</a>

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