21 July 2017


By John Ollis

I have the awesome privilege of relating these days to  a number of Church Planters who are planting churches in a number of nations of the world. Some of them were my students, one probably 20 years ago.
I began to think about Jesus’s words in Matthew 16 after Peter had made his confession “Thou art the Christ the son of the Living God”. Jesus said on that confession I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH.  Some people have the crazy idea, that we sit around and watch Jesus do the work. The best interpretation of course is JESUS WILL BUILD HIS CHURCH THROUGH US. What a challenge that presents. Sadly, there are many church’s foundations that  are  built around either a man’s personality, or his doctrine or some other weak foundation.
If we want Jesus to build His Church through us, we need to make sure we are building on the right foundation. God promised in the Old Testament that if we “BUILD ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN” we will get the God type results, In the Old Testament the result was the Glory of God descending on the Tabernacle and Temple. Surely the principle in the New Testament would be God’s manifest presence and of course visible results of people being translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God, and people growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am sure there are those right now as they read this are asking:


I am coming to see that God does not work as if by a formula, and then you press the button, and everything falls into place. I am sure there are  some “essential ingredients” and we may talk about them some time. The Bible clearly reminds us that God looks at the heart not just the externals. We can have a clear call of God to plant a church, but our motives and attitudes can be faulty. I know the depravity of my own heart (Jer.17:9) and literally pray every day, that the Lord would help me to keep my motives pure. We need to regularly ask ourselves some questions:
Why am I doing this???
Is it for my glory (or my denomination’s)?
A church Planter needs a lot of help, naturally speaking often there seems  visibly that there is not much help and he is labouring almost alone, the ideal of course is to have a like minded team who work together to build a church. But the greatest need is:
To have if possible a team of Prayer Warriors who will intercede for the church planter, he will have many prayer needs.
His health
His family
The attack of the evil one directly and indirectly through opposition
That he maintains a “progressive vision”
Then the new converts, and all the challenges that can present.
And so the list goes on.
I have covenanted  before the Lord that by His grace I will pray for these Church Planters DAILY. Fortunately they are all on WhatsApp, and the Lord helping me I am going to also send a brief message to them every week to encourage and inspire them. Would you pray with me in this desire please?
We need to pray that God would raise up an army of Church Planters in this day, that they would raise up churches ” that will impact their communities, their towns and cities and even nations”. AMEN