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One of the things I think we’ve done wrong as the Church is that we think the human quality of our leaders and developing large organizations is how we “grow” the Church.

However, Jesus told us that He would build the Church.

We’ve tried to build it.

It’s fascinating to me that the God of the universe, in the flesh and blood body of Jesus, after He had done the most monumental thing in human history, left it all to—eleven guys. No organization. Just eleven men that He had taught and then empowered with the Holy Spirit. Eleven individuals who really hadn’t “gotten it” yet. Somehow, this amazingly intelligent God—remember, He created this amazing world and everything in it—thought this was sufficient.

“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18–20).

Consider Paul. How did the church grow through His ministry? It wasn’t through his or anyone else’s human abilities.

“What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth (1 Corinthians 3:5–7).

This is how God purposes to grow the Church.

Here’s one example, from the book of Acts. After Paul returned to Jerusalem after his missionary journeys, he met with the elders there. He told them “one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry” The response of these elders? “And when they heard it, they glorified God.” Acts 21:17-20a). How would we respond today? Yes, we would also glorify God. And then we would ask Paul how he did it and try to replicate it, using our organizational skills. The apostles didn’t do this.

The account of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch is another example. Philip shares the gospel with the eunuch. Then, miraculously, Philip is taken away by the power of God. The eunuch heads back to Ethiopia. By himself. The church started there. I can’t imagine that God could have made a more emphatic point. Philip was not allowed to go with this man. That makes some of us a bit itchy.

We’ve done the best we knew how with “doing church.” But in my opinion God has attached the wires to the ignition device and is slowly pushing the plunger. He’s going to blow this whole thing up.

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