Ok, imagine if you go into the office tomorrow morning, and you go up to your boss and say, “you don’t give a damn about this company, you are just here for a paycheck” what is likely to happen?
Whether you get a laugh or get fired obviously depends on your own relationship with your boss. But the statement is at least kind of true and also, your boss, and you, would deny it is entirely true.
A running gag on the TV show Big Bang Theory is that Sheldon is an aspie autiste that doesn’t understand the most basic social cues, so sometimes his normie friends will tell him, “this is a non-negotiable social custom” and he just accepts it because he thinks the normies, not him, are the crazy ones.
So everyone knows that people are working for the paycheck. Everyone is going to claim that they love their profession in some way, and some people really do love their jobs, but everyone understands that no one is working for free. Obviously, right? If they stopped paying you, you would stop showing up.
So really it’s the same thing if someone told you they wanted to be a pastor. No one chooses to be a pastor for the money – it pays next to nothing. Some pastors – the best pastors – don’t even get paid. They have a real job, pastoring the church is a volunteer position that he does because he believes in the cause.
That is not always true, of course. Some pastors want a large congregation, maybe with multiple campuses, they want a number one selling book that appeals to both the subculture as well as the wider “world” while still keeping your orthodox cred. You’d have a podcast, co-hosted by your daughter, perhaps, who would also write a book for an audience of young women, etc. Some of these megachurches have Youtube channels and sometimes feature the employees who model themselves after dot-com social media start-ups, which they are, of course.
They will say they are saving souls, and others will say they are “selling out” or whatever, but it’s a free country, you can have your opinions.
But as a hard core five point Calvinist, I believe in predestination. We are to witness, but that does not mean that you stand on the street corner passing out tracts trying to get some random passerby to join your church. That is what you do if you are humping for your alternative rock band – you stand outside the coffee shop passing out flyers.
So, if I were a church plant I wouldn’t even advertise, which I am not saying is sinful in and of itself but you have to admit it is kind of worldly. In fact, if you really want to get into it, it’s a product of the Moody Bible Institute’s radio marketing strategy from the 1920’s, itself based on the marketing strategy of the founder’s original business, Quaker Oats. That is not a joke, look it up.
So my church plant would be for the Elect. Who can know the Elect? Only God. But I can always start with my own family, and the family of my friend.
So, let’s say two families that have four children. That is four adults and eight children. Add surviving grandpas and grandmas and you’re up to, say, sixteen. Add one more family, friends of friends, who have Dad and Mom, one teenage boy and a daughter and her new husband. That’s five more, we’re at 21.
Obviously you would just start as a House Church, meeting on Sunday mornings. From the group of twenty one people you can probably get a piano player and two decent singers to lead worship, then the fathers may as well just take turns giving a homily.
Obviously you would just start as a House Church, literally, meeting in the family’s house. Believe it – news will spread by word of mouth, and people will want to join.
Only God knows the Elect, but you can simply go with your gut if someone wanting to join is sincere, and if their – and your – witness would be strengthened by their attending your House Church.
If you don’t invite them, you aren’t cutting them off from anything – it’s a free country and their are various church organizations in every town, many of them. In fact, it would be really presumptuous – quite vain – to believe that your little Church congregation is for everyone. Did Jesus say you, personally, and your group of families, are responsible for finding random people and integrating them into your specific congregation? No. So why do it?
If your house church grows to a certain size, you can maybe rent a building. Or buy one, or build one. As long as your have a group of men who are willing to put some sort of collateral down, you can get a building loan from a credit union, and it is obviously tax exempt because it is not a business – you are not advertising, certainly – it is a religious organization for the purposes of worshiping God. There is nothing to tax because there are no earnings.
If you do get big enough you fill out the form to get a tax ID and then everyone’s tithes – ten percent of every paycheck – is a tax deductible donation.
Now let’s say you have grown to fifteen families and between everyone you have ten children between the ages of five and ten. Well, Mrs. Smith, Robert Smith’s wife, was a teacher before she became a full time mother to Timmy, eight, and Susie, six. At that point, she can run the Church school for children up to, say, ten. That is obviously tax free, and the days when you had to spend thousands of dollars on proprietary curricula are long over. Educational materials are free, the only thing that costs money is paying a teacher. But you have twenty families now, paying ten percent, and now you have a school for your own children.
You don’t have to worry about what those insane people in the public schools are doing teaching anti-white hate and weirdo cross-dressing stuff. Everyone in your small church plant just sends their children to Mrs. Smith – and now Jannie, who just graduated high school, is helping Mrs. Smith for baby sitting money – and everyone knows Mrs. Smith will teach them reading, writing, math, science, and the basic academic subjects they need to learn at that age.
Now you know these kids these days with their “Fediverse?” Yeah, the Baptists invented “federation” three hundred years ago. The anarcho-syndicalists in Spain stole it from the English and Dutch Baptists. But, you know, if you don’t understand polity, if you have to ask, it is not for you. But you may federate with another church in the next town over. Now you have a denomination.
Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. That means you are going to have to fill out the tax forms and follow all the IRS rules. But you are not aiming to be a Televangelist with a hip podcast for the young people on fire for Christ and a book deal and a TV show with a 1-800 number to Donate Now.
You aren’t a carnival barker, or one of those nightclub bouncers, standing outside trying to lure passers-by into your church. That is worldly. You aren’t trying to start a public accommodation here – that is worldly.
Then you’ll have to work on spiritual growth, which means the men meet on Tuesday nights for Bible study and maybe some beers afterward. Some people will gravitate toward a very relaxed, conversational type group while others will want deep accountability – even accountability software, like parental filters, so the cell group leader you are personally accountable to can verify you aren’t watching porn or something. Some people gravitate toward even a military like discipline.
Really, if there is a sin the American Church is truly guilty of, it is arrogance. The Church needs to be in Revival before it can witness to the world. The Christian men of America need to focus on themselves and their families and their neighbors, not using evangelism as an excuse to hawk your podcast.
Maybe after working on yourself, and adopting some quietism, in private, for, say, one hundred years, you can then start inviting the public. Or not.