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Starting a Church the Way Jesus Did It
This has been a challenge to me---start a church the way Jesus did it. After all, Jesus is the Author of it all---the church. He is the only Way to please the Father.

If we want a church pleasing to God, we have to do everything as Jesus did it.

So, how and where do you start it?

You start with yourself.

Well, the usual way is to go around the neighborhood, tell people you're a pastor and invite them for bible studies or prayer meeting.

But Jesus never did it like that. Filled with the Spirit, he was first sent to the wilderness to be tested and then came out in the power of the Spirit.

That's always step one---you have to be taken and exposed to the wilderness and there defeat the devil. A lot of people who want to serve God in church have never been to the wilderness and never defeated the devil there.

Some had their wilderness experience, but instead of defeating Satan there, they were deceived. They joined him do the ministry.

Anyone who wants to serve God should first live in the wilderness. If God called you, he will lead you there. During your wilderness experience, it's the best time to defeat the devil. That gives you tremendous power for ministry. But of course, churches today don't realize this and they'd probably just laugh this off as nonsense.

To them, what matters is to get as many church members as possible.

And many pastors hate the wilderness. They want to have a big church pronto so they'd have big income. They'd choose to pastor moneyed churches already established. They go for mega churches. They despise small and poor churches because they think there's no power there. To them, big is always powerful. So they prefer established ministries. It's lots easier this way. Some of them minister abroad for greener pastures.

Some pastors who do experience the wilderness easily fall to the devil's deception. In their hunger, they listen to the devil's smart and practical ideas and turn stones into bread. They also climb up the pinnacle of the temple, only to later throw themselves down.

And then, because they want to plant churches everywhere as fast as possible, the devil shows them the kingdoms of the world and promises to give all to them if they bow down and worship him. Of course, they won't do that literally, but they'd do everything in the ways of this world, not the ways of Jesus. It's the same thing. Doing things in the ways of this world means bowing down to Satan.

Pastors starting a church in a locality always begin with hunting for potential members. They trouble themselves with that everyday. They worry about not having anybody in their ministry. So they pull anyone they see around and beg them to attend their bible studies---and make them keep coming back, by hook or by crook.

Jesus never did that. He just subjected himself to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Only the Father decided when things would start taking shape. Meanwhile, Jesus "grew up before him (before the Father), says Isaiah 53:2. He "grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" [Luke 2.52].

It's very important to grow up before Him. In fact, it's the only thing important in ministry. Bible school and seminary are all garbage compared to it.

Don't worry about where to get members. Just grow up and develop good character. The devil is not scared of your bible college or seminary degrees or titles or your being called a Reverend. He's not defeated if you have a big church ministry (sometimes, he even likes it that way).

But he fears you if you have Jesus' Life and character in you---because he literally sees Jesus in you. And that, to the devil, is torment.

"What do you want with us, Son of God?" they shouted. "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?" [Matthew 8.29]
But that's the problem, most times. Most pastors start their ministries without having grown up. While in their immaturity and rotten character, they start church.

I'm often disappointed at pastors who grow old in ministry with rotten characters. They build big churches but remain rotten inside. Why? Because they never had quality time growing up "before Him." They've always been busy worrying about their ministries and membership.

How and where to begin when starting a church the way Jesus did it? Just grow up before Him. And everything else will be added unto you.

[Continued here...]

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