Blogging live: thirteen things for a planting call

Driscoll spoke at the first session of the Seattle boot camp. He spoke about the unique gift of 'lower case "a" apostleship'. Then he said that to have the this gift, you need the first of these and at least one other:

  1. Have you responded to the gospel call and received the Holy Spirit?
  2. Is the Holy Spirit out ahead of you planting the church? (You don't plant a church for God, you plant a church with God). When people, places and money begin to show up, these may be signs that this is happening.
  3. Is it obvious to other leaders? The best assessors of church planters are succesful practitioners, not theoreticians.
  4. Has God confirmed things with miraculous power? For example the rapid, unusual growth of Matt Chandler's church.
  5. Am I reaching lost people? Not just turning Arminians into Calvinists or something.
  6. Has Jesus just told you to plant?
  7. Has God called you to plant through a vision? This only happens sometimes. This needs to be tested by others. But it can happen.
  8. Has God providentially relocated you to plant?
  9. Does your current church not need you?
  10. Are you wasting your time in a toxic place? Be careful that you're not just young, angry and impatient.
  11. Is God calling you to be a catalytics planter or founding a movement church? Mark suspects that it will be a new trend for young pastors to stay in one place and build a church planting centre.
  12. Has God given you a deep burden for a people or place?
  13. Has God given you a core group?
A few thoughts:
  1. How does this relate to the MTS movement's approach to calling? In the first place, it's a matter of semantics. If Driscoll had used the word 'gift' rather than 'calling' then this would make it clearer. He's asking 'How do I discern the 'gift' of church planting?'
  2. The examples taken from the book of Acts felt more like proof-texting than anything else. I'd rather the Bible not be quoted, to be honest. What authority was the Bible giving in this address? Simply permissive authority, really. The logic, if analysed, is 'this happened in the Bible, therefore it is legitimate for this to happen.'
  3. His treatment of miraculous revelation was attractive because of its restraint. He acknowledged that it can happen, without saying that it will happen, and with many warnings about how it must be tested.
  4. Somewhere along the line he said 'I like bacon. My naturopathic friends tell me, "If you keep eating your bacon, you'll die." But that's not much incentive. Then I'll go to heaven full of bacon. Jesus. Bacon. Great.'
  5. In passing, he mentioned that he sees himself as more the British form of charismatic, rather than the American form. The British charismatics believe the Bible, while 'The American charismatics lost theirs'. He went on to say that Bible-believing and charismatic are synonymous in Britain. It is a shame that he has completely passed over the Proclamation Trust movement.