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It’s a danger for any church planter. We suddenly realize that the focus of our heart has shifted, that we’ve started to functionally trust in the wrong things.
Of course, we don’t plan to do this. But as time passes and the trials of ministry begin to take their toll, we can compromise on crucial convictions we once held. Like car tires that lose their traction, our hearts veer towards ministering in worldly ways.
Core - Team - Realization - Weakness - Dependence
Perhaps as the core team initially gathers there’s a humble, daily realization of our weakness and dependence on God. But then, more people start to come and momentum gathers and websites need designing and flyers need printing and . . . you know what I’m talking about.
Desperate dependence on God can all too easily morph into subtle self-reliance. Our concern shifts from the pursuit of holiness to drawing crowds. We become enamored with worldly marketing tactics, spending inordinate amounts of time deciding which font looks best or whether it’s worth paying for online advertising.
Light - Paul - Letter - Church - Corinth
In light of all this, Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth ought to be required annual reading for any church-planting pastor, because he’s writing to a church who’s experienced the allure of the world. He also wants to address the issue of the “super-apostles,” whose model for ministry was sounding plausible and attractive.
Humble dependence upon God can all too easily morph into subtle self-reliance.
Corinth - Paul - Day - Ways - Cities
To visit Corinth in Paul’s day would in many ways be like touring various global cities today. Boasting two harbors used for trade, it was a city of excessive wealth. Social elitism and rampant sexual sin were everywhere. Thus the city provided ample opportunity for superficial satisfaction.
When Paul visited Corinth in Acts 18, it was the largest city in Greece. Large, powerful, and impressive. It would’ve been so easy for...
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