A few years ago I spent a week teaching disciple-making and church multiplication to pastors in Thailand.
On that trip I met a man, with no formal education, who has launched 47 highly successful churches. He ministers among the “hill tribes” in the country.
Sadly, a few days earlier, in Japan, I met a man who wants to require that all pastors be college graduates who also attend a seminary.
That guy would obliterate the ministry of the first man.
His ‘vision’ would have prevented this church multiplier from being in ministry at all. The guy became a pastor after being discipled by another pastor. He already had a wife and children–hence no time or money to spend for a formal education.
A few weeks later, I was in New Zealand and met the same problem from a different angle. I was able to partner with a young movement of just nine churches. Every pastor was trained in the local church.
All are bi-vocational and only one church is able to lease a building—the rest meet in public schools.
Most have a university education and several own businesses. But they felt substandard due to their lack of formal theological training.
After the conference three of the nine pastors expressed the same sentiment separate from one another.
Each said they had felt they were either “out of line” or inferior due to the training they had received. One man said that the teaching time had shown him that he is not crazy for training others in the way that he was trained.
Restraining others over education is tragic in itself. But there is another dark spot to the restraints of education. The guy who wants to demand education is actually pitting the classroom against the model Jesus left us. He makes the seminary into the “hole in the hourglass,” causing it to become an obstacle rather than a blessing.The guy who wants to demand education is actually pitting the classroom against the model Jesus left us. Click To Tweet
We need our schools. They bless anyone fortunate enough to attend. But we should never allow them to hold back the process of church multiplication.
If you plant a church you can, and should, immediately begin discipling a few people towards reproducing yourself and your church… We can multiply without restraint if we choose to!