The Genius of Church Extension Part II: The Personnel for Church Extension -- By: Luther L. Grubb

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 119:475 (Jul 1962)
Article: The Genius of Church Extension Part II: The Personnel for Church Extension
Author: Luther L. Grubb


The Genius of Church Extension
Part II:
The Personnel for Church Extension

Luther L. Grubb

The pastor of the local church is God’s key man on earth. Largely the success or failure of the church depends on him. Yet, sometimes we hear enthusiastic servants of the Lord expressing what is certainly the desire of the heart although perhaps not a well considered one. “Anybody can start a church. After all we have the Lord and the gospel; this is all we need.” Certainly we agree that God can use any one of His servants any time and perform a miracle through him. But today in our complex and specialized society the qualifications for church pioneers are extremely important. By discussing these qualifications we are being objective and benefiting the whole program of church extension.

Paul says, “How can they hear without a preacher?” We might also ask, “Will they not hear better with a properly qualified preacher?”

Paul’s qualifications for the pastor in 1 Timothy 3 would first apply here. But, now we are concerned primarily with specific qualities needed for church pioneering.

The Church Starter Should Be Pioneer Material

We must first of all face the issue and face it practically that not all preachers are pioneers. This is not to their discredit in a single regard nor is it necessarily to the credit of those who are excellent church pioneers. It is simply recognizing God’s revelation and will. In 1 Corinthians 12:11 Paul writes: “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” God’s Spirit delivers to each one separately the sovereign gift for service. Why should we expect, then, either from experience or from understanding of God’s purpose that any preacher any time can successfully start a church? Certain qualifications are necessary.

1. It seems that for this type of work a man should have a special call from God. In Acts 13:2 we read: “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” The Holy Spirit made clear the will of God in this call.

Barnabas and Saul were church pioneers in the full sense. There can be no doubt that one reason for the eminent success of these men was their special call for “the work whereunto I have called them.” God used their talents and multiplied their ministry as they obeyed the call. This was pioneer work. Just as God separated Barnabas and Saul for a special type of work ...

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