Karl Vaters: Well welcome Peyton to the podcast. It's good to have you on with.
Peyton Jones: Thank you, Carl. Good to be here. You have
Karl Vaters: written a book called church plants, ology, and it is a hefty tome.
Peyton Jones: I'm not going to lie. There was 800 pages of a manuscript submitted dishonor and Zondervan said thanks Peyton. But. You have to chop it down to 400.
It still clocks in at nearly 500 pages.
Karl Vaters: Yeah. Oh, I, as a writer, I know shorter is harder than longer, but it's thorough. There's no empty space in there. Cause obviously you chopping it down from eight, 800 and it's so practical, so helpful. I got it in the mail. A church planter. I'm a guy who was called to existing churches and I've been, you know, 29 years in my church that was existing when I showed up, but have a real understanding of the need for church planting and appreciation for those who do that.
So give us a little bit of your background, how you came to be a church planter and how the book church plantologist cannabis. Well,
Peyton Jones: I think you and I have a lot of similarities. I mean, you are definitely an advocate for small churches. And I think the way that I approach church planning is definitely very similar.
I'm not a large launch guy at all. I'm a missionary. So I think in very brass tacks, I think in very first century principles and I'm by vocational, so grown this big thing and all the bells and whistles that doesn't apply. But I started in Huntington beach, California at a church now known as refuge back then.
And. Calvary Huntington beach. I was on my way to becoming a mega church pastor and God loved me and had a plan for my life. And thankfully did not include that. He called me to a mission work. I ended up in Wales and Martin Lloyd Jones is Dockside Presbyterian church, where I was promptly beat up, which happens in a town like that.
By a rugby player on the juice, but I was the evangelist and I helped them plan a church out. Of course, you know, over the years I had been part of church planning teams and New Zealand and hungry. So I found myself overseas planning churches. Deal did not see myself as a church planner. It wasn't till I took a Baptist church, a small little church of about 2030 people that hadn't had a pastor in 20 years that eventually we started accidentally planting churches.
I thought I was doing evangelism with college students. We were planting churches and eventually I planted, accidentally in a Starbucks. And that grew to about 50 unbelievers. Talking about Jesus and I was on my way back home to America and didn't want to do it. But five years later, I finally did return planted in long beach in a park there downtown and just kept helping others.
I finally realized in that Starbucks, I was a church planner, but over the years, I've trained for north American mission board. I started church planner magazine. Certain a number of church planning podcasts, and wrote a few books like church, zero reaching the unreached and now church plan tology and that's, that's my truth.
As I know it, that
Karl Vaters: gives some serious credibility to what you're writing here, because first of all, it's so biblical, you start with the biblical texts. You take a look at it in ways that I haven't seen others look at it, but it also comes out of your very real life experience where. You, you didn't go into it for the glory.
I don't know what church planter, who does
Peyton Jones: the money, the
Karl Vaters: fame and the power. Yeah, there we go. But you kind of found yourself, Hey, wait a minute. This is a thing I do. And maybe as a thing I'm called to do, and I love that part of your story. Well, I want to walk you through a bunch of questions and as I was reviewing your book, cause I actually did read the whole thing all 400 plus I know we are not going to make it out of chapter one.
Because in just the first after you really lay out everything and that's really what a podcast is, kind of introduces people to it. Plus in that first chapter, there are a handful of wow moments, including starting out with an oh no, he didn't moment on page two. So let's start there. Page two, you bring up, you know, illustration from dead poet's society of Mr.
Keating's. Take out your textbook and rip out that first page in which. Th they give a boring assessment of what poetry is, right. Rip it out. We've got to unlearn those things so we can relearn other things. Right. And then out of that, you put some fictional words in, in a similar character who might be talking about planting churches, where you say this.
Finally, he looks at them with that gleam in his eyes. Now my class, you will learn to think for yourselves, much of what we believe about church planting is because we've inherited a system that is built on something that no longer works. The church growth movement. This is the, oh no, he didn't moment. I read it.
Peyton Jones: And this is when we knew we'd be friends. Carl. Yeah,
Karl Vaters: exactly. Even as the church is sinking in the west, it continues to cling to this failed movement. Like a life saving ring made of iron, much of what is called church planting is really church growth packaged as an ecclesiastical as a, as a queasy old business startup.
Okay. We got to talk about that paragraph, right? What is it about the church growth movement? That is not going to work going forward and church planting, or maybe didn't work before, and it's not going to work now, whereas it never worked out. What's your take on?
Peyton Jones: I really like what Ellen, hers says. He says the church is designed to accomplish exactly what it's accomplishing.
In other words, the design is wrong. So church planning, growth movement. I, I spell out in the book a little bit later. The church growth movement is what happens when you leave an evangelist. I of course believe in the Apess functionality of leadership, which shows that we're a mixed bag and we're a team sport.
So I'm one of many, you know, I might be more with a little a, I got to give that caveat there that I'm just a missionary. That's just a fancy, that's a new Testament word for mission. I'm just. So I plant churches and move on. I don't stay, you don't want me being your pastor long-term I start to smell like the old banana in the closet, but at the beginning I am ripe and bold and dang it.
I'm bright yellow, and I plant churches. But as time goes on, you know, those other gifts, those other people on my team, their gifts start to wax as mine starts to wane. But what we do in the body of Christ is we split into these different areas. Prophetic type leaders tend to gravitate towards Pentecostal charismatic movements.
The episodics, we just all hit the mission field or just go do something like start up a business and to start ministering to people where we're at being catalysts and creating community and kingdom culture, wherever we go, the evangelists, you know, they, I make fun of them and I pick on them. Carl, they're hard to get along.
The, the rise and fall of Mars hill right now that big podcast is really telling you, this is what happens when an evangelist does not have people around them to balance them. So to answer your question, yes, the teachers go to Calvary chapel, word based movements, reform movements. So we've split, but the body of Christ, we're all men.
To be together, right? We were in the missional movement, the missional communities, moon, that was a bunch of shepherds. That was a shepherding movement. So when you find, you know, the body of Christ fragmenting, everybody grabs her piece of the elephant and says, this is the right way. And I, I think what happened during the church growth movement was it was the evangelist grabbing hold of the elephant and saying, this is success.
Or the prophetic leader stood back and said, well, I remember coming from the mega church world. And I remember when our movement was small people lay hands on each other and pray for one another. And people would, would really get involved in and there'd be like intense prayer. I would occasionally hear someone bust out like a word of prophecy when the size happened, all that stopped.
And I remember looking back thinking I saw someone healed and we were not a crazy church. We were just sustained little. Thing that met in a school, 50 people, but it was a family and we actually saw life change happen. And so, you know, those that were over in the prophetic leadership slice would say, well, we lost something as we grow.
Those are in the shepherding would say, we used to be a family. Those in the teaching might say, well, the teaching is good, but it's a little watered down now because we want more numbers. The mission might've been lost, that little family church might have done incredible things. And so. I would just say the church growth movement was the evangelist and each, each of those different Apess leaders, just to keep it controversial.
Like I do. If you took any one of those different styles of leaders, each one of them comes with a price tag. If you let any one of them go unchecked, it starts looking. I mean, I could spell that out, but I'll offend your entire audience and you
Karl Vaters: do spell it out well in the book, you walk through a whole bunch of that.
And for those who are unfamiliar with Apess is from the fold ministry gifts, apostle prophet, evangelist, shepherd, and teacher. Those five gifts need to be operated together for a healthy church rather than simply being led by any one of them that just simply goes off on its own. When you do that, you end up with imbalance.
So basically your take is you're just, anti-Trump growth is.
Peyton Jones: You know, it's funny, you mentioned that. I, you know, I don't know.
Karl Vaters: I, I bring, I bring it up because I guarantee you, some people who heard that opening paragraph, that's what they came away with. Yeah. You have issues with the church growth movement and that there are downsides to it, but some are going to walk away going, well, I guess he's just antitrust.
No, I'm not,
Peyton Jones: you know, it's funny because what I'm anti is what exponential would call the level three type church, which is a church that only seeks to grow by addition just by size, rather than multiplying. So when, when you look at even, you know, cause we would all agree. The first thing that the holy spirit was dropped a bomb on.
And the church of thousands was born overnight. Right? So you look at that and you go, okay, so God's not anti, you know, large churches or large movements, but that wasn't the goal. In fact, they th the holy spirit in his wisdom knew that they were going to multiply. They were going to spread out the apostle Paul was going to rise up.
He was going to hit that church man, the early church, like I'm dating myself here, but Gallagher. Hidden a watermelon with a sledgehammer and the seeds of the gospel. We're going to go splattering all over the map of the Mediterranean. And what's great about that is, you know, if you look at like Antioch, what happened?
You know, the apostles are camping out. They're the only ones that says who stay behind. Everybody else gets scattered, but they stay in Jerusalem. They hunker in the bunker. And as they're doing that, they say, Hey, we heard these reports. There's a church in unauthorized church. Outside of Jerusalem up in Antioch, we better send Barnabas up there to check it out.
Or what had happened, acts 2 42. Those that met together daily in the, in the apostles teaching and fellowship and the breaking of bread and prayer sharing their possessions. That really well discipled bunch of believers. When you spread them out, they couldn't have. But plant churches because they were so well discipled.
And so what I argue in the book is, so it's not size, that's the problem. It's actually the intentionality of the church of the churches goals to, to grow big. That's certainly not what Jesus said when he gave the great commission and say, You will grow big, go plant churches and grow them large. He basically said, go make disciples, go into all the world doing like, so there's an outward trajectory.
And before he ascends, he tells the apostles, start with Jerusalem, go to Judea Sumeria and the ends of the earth. So they had. Outer circle. Right? We have our drusen Judea Sumeria, and then we have our ends of the earth. So we're meant to spread outward, not build upward. And of course I wrote a book culture, zero, which when that got published, that's how I first heard of you.
People say you need to read the grasshopper myth. You and Carl would get along.
Karl Vaters: I had people telling me to read zero two at the same time. Yeah. Yeah. So
Peyton Jones: it's not anti-growth it's anti multiplication, like non multiplication. That's what I'm saying. Concerned about if you're going to be big. Great. But that should never be the goal.
The goal should be to keep multiplying outward rather than building
Karl Vaters: up. Yeah. Again, still in chapter one, you, you very clearly say that Jesus never called us to plant a tree. Yes. He called us to make disciples. And then you talk about the cause and effect that we sometimes treat church plants as the cause for discipleship.
When in fact it shouldn't be seen as the effect of discipleship. Am I getting that right? And if so, unpack that for
Peyton Jones: us. 100%, you know Ralph Morris said it really, really well. He said, when you plant a church, discipleship does not necessarily happen, but when you decide. Church plants always happen. And after I'd written the book, I got approached by a very large mission organization that came to me and their, their specialty is to translate discipleship tools into multiple countries around the world.
And I was working with them on another project and they said, Hey Peyton, can you come over here? Because look, we're in the church planning. We are not a church planning organization. We didn't mean to, but we have church plants popping up all over the place, simply because we've trained people how to disciple.
And because of that, we're now a church planning organization. We have no idea how to train people, how to church plant. So could you come over? Well, they got the DNA. They can't help, but be a church planning movement. And I wished I had had that for the book. Cause I could have told countless. Stories in future, I'll be doing a church plant ecology podcast that will actually unpack these stories from all around the world that actually show these principles at work that just naturally lead to planting churches.
Karl Vaters: So it sounds like what you're saying is if the goal is to plan. Churches then it's like in the nineties, when they talked about a vision statement and you create a vision statement, and then you've got to constantly tell people over and over and over and over again, drive them crazy with the vision statement I'll it finally gets through.
And that always kind of struck me as backwards. Like if I've got to just simply drive the statement into people, then maybe it's not coming out of their hearts to begin with. And same thing if I've got, if I've got a church planting emphasis and I've got to try to convince churches to plant churches and people to plant churches, that seems backwards on the other hand.
If people are truly being discipled in a new Testament manner. Yeah. Church planting will naturally result from healthy disciple-making. If we are making disciples who become disciple makers, they can't help, but plant.
Peyton Jones: Absolutely. And one of the things that I do in chapter one, as I contrast church planning with church starting.
So church starting, we, we all know like this, you talked about the church growth movement. This is the recipe of planting churches or starting churches. I don't even call it church planning because the new Testament knows nothing of this. There was nothing, there's no link. You can trace between what Paul did or what Jesus was trained in the 12 to do, or what the 12 themselves did.
To what this is about to become. you'll recognize this. This is what you do. This is how you start a church. First thing, grab a flashy church. Okay, get your church name, picture in your head right now, build a sexy church logo branding. It's all about the branding baby. Then build your flashy website. Now let's talk about advertising marketing.
And so it goes, and so then you rent the space. You get a bunch of disgruntled Christians together. You play musical chairs with other churches and boom. That is church starting as we know it. And it no longer. It doesn't matter if you're the sexier flashier, faster version of this stupid church next to you, you know, those old fuddy duddies over there, it doesn't matter because this next generation doesn't care.
Karl Vaters: So when you say that no longer works, you're not just saying that it doesn't produce a biblical result. You're saying it doesn't even produce the result that we are intending it to produce. It doesn't even bring in the numbers of.
Peyton Jones: No culture's moved on, you know, the society. It's, it's really interesting to me to note what's happened with younger people.
Like, you know, this, like we all have kids and I can't just watch a movie, any more of a young person's watching a movie. They are on that device talking about it. They're looking at not just walking dead, they're on talking dead and they are texting and they're Twittering. And they're tic talking about.
Nonstop. There is a social media layer where interaction is the key. Now, when I look at where culture's at, the only place where you're told to sit down, shut up and pay attention, is it the DMV or church? Right. That's it. And so. Culture's moved on. And yet when I read the new Testament, I see this amazing formula for interaction and community and these 30 something, one another's.
How do you do those? Carl's staring at the back of somebody else's head sitting in rows, but the early church was the place. And I think the church, as we know, is probably the place that we have the greatest opportunity to rethink. How we meet together. For example, when I planted out of Starbucks, I was just planning to do a Dan brown DaVinci code reading group.
I was working on the Bart Starbucks, finishing up my man theology thinking I'm moving home. And people came through that bar because people need God and coffee, good coffee, you know, and this was whales. They make great tea and terrible coffee. So very am serving God and coffee. And people would come through and they would hear my accent.
We start a conversation. What are you doing here while I'm a minister? Where's your church? Well, I don't have one right now. I'm finishing up a degree and I'm coming home and they would say, man, what do you think? Because this was in borders books. May they rest in peace? They would say, look, what do you think of Dan brown, DaVinci code?
I just read it. And I thought, man, I can't speak to it because I haven't read it. Now. We all know it's bunk, right? I mean, you read that thing and you go really? That's the best you got. That's all you got. Dan brown, come on. This is the big, bad Wolf. So I read this thing. I think, man, I'm going to throw a reading group, got a new Testament scholar from the local seminary.
We through this group, 30 unbelievers turn up, they're talking all night. I shut it down. At the end of the night, it was a one night only. They said, can we do it again? And I sit now, no, we're not going to do it again. I mean, we, we kind of dealt with it. Right. And they're like, oh yeah, yeah, damn around, you know, that guy's bunk and these are all, unbelieved that new Testament scholar, five minutes just dismantled him.
Yeah. And they said, we'd love to do it again. And somebody said something. They said, I've never had an experience where I could drink, good coffee, eat good cake. Keep in mind this and whales and talk about Jesus and God and stuff. And nobody yelled at. Wow. And I went, wow. So what they wanted was a conversation.
Well, you look at Paul, right? Paul goes into the synagogue and he reasons what the Jews, right. That's another way of saying he had a conversation with him and I started realizing synagogue style evangelism, this, this conversational approach. When that actually became a church plant, we made it interactive.
So we didn't sit in rows. We took everything and transplanted over from Starbucks. I'm not saying this is the way to do church. I'm just saying it was one way to do something interactive. So whether your church, maybe it's a small church plant sitting in. And have a time where the preacher asks questions and people feed off or break them into groups.
We actually did. We didn't Starbucks, we had little Ikea coffee tables. We had half circles and I had about eight groups of eight. Right. So 64 people, my math is right. And my math is terrible. You got it right. Okay. I was a little worried. You never know with me. How many people go to your church, Peyton, 5 million.
My math might be off, but then again, I read grasshopper myth. That doesn't matter, but here's the deal, right? So 64 people total could have come. And I I'll never forget a guy came in and he was looking at what happened. Now, keep in mind, like. This thing was just growing service went an hour and 40 minutes because we had 25 minutes of discussion.
And the thing just kept growing. The only people that got cheesed off at it were Christians, but this pastor came in and he was looking one day and he experienced the whole service. He said, that was amazing. He goes, but you know, you could get so many more people in here. If you put Rosen. I mean, that's a goal, right?
To get more people in. And I looked at him and said, no, that's never been my goal. Never if I got to plant another church, we'll plan it. But what's happening here has wrecked to these people for the rest of their lives for anything non-interactive
Karl Vaters: no, that's huge, which really segues well into, let's talk about the title of this podcast, which is, you know, can this work in a small church?
So what would you say to do you have any pieces of advice for. Leaders of small congregations that would say, oh, we're too small to be church planters. That's not something that they could work for us because we've got a picture in our head of, you know, we've got to peel off 20, 30% of our people to go over there and we've got to be able to afford a building.
And we've, we've got this old paradigm when you were talking about, you know, what you gotta do is get the website and so on and all the big stuff up for the big bang opening. I immediately went back in my head to the nineties. There was a short era in the night. Where there was a burst in church planting of doing the robocalls and they had it figured out that 1% of people will actually show up for a church service from robocalls.
So if you want 200 on your first Sunday, you gotta make 20,000 robocalls and they showed the numbers. It was one of those things where this church starting, maybe, but it's not sure it's planting. And in most cases it wasn't even church starting. It was crowd gathering. The second Sunday might be 10% of the first Sunday.
And it might just be the core group that was starting. And all of a sudden they're looking around going what happened? All these calls. Well, you call them to come for one service. 1% of them came for the one service and now they're done because they don't need a cool Sunday morning show. They'd rather sleep in or what they really are preferring is something what you're talking about, which is an actual relationship conversation about important things.
Where are. The questions are allowed. First of all, where their questions are put into the mix and you don't provide overly quick answers to it. And that wasn't as needed by young people in the nineties as it is today. But today I don't see how you're going to get. Well, I was going to say, get away with the old church finding style.
You can get away with it because you can still gather a crowd, but if you're really wanting. That even closely resembles a new Testament church. I don't know how you do it by looking for a building first, building a website first, getting the cool logo first. I'm not against buildings. I'm not against websites.
I'm not against logos, but if that's what you think is going to be. Your foot in the door, you're starting on the wrong foot. You've got to start relationally. So if that's the case, what would you say then to small church pastors? This feels like something that really is is going into the strength of the healthy,
Peyton Jones: smarter.
Absolutely. I mean, to me, my favorite part of a church plant is when it's small. When it gets to a certain size, I, I, I'm always training up church planners and breaking off groups. So you have the micro church movement right now. We call those cogs. Some people might call them missional communities or small groups with a purpose.
We would do things like we would say, Hey, we're going to meet with people in the community. Let's let's find what you guys love to do. I've always believed that old quote that says the world doesn't need Christians to just go out there and trudge into evangelism. What the world needs is for Christians to be fully alive in their gifts, practicing them with great joy.
When that happens, like, like evangelism is not a one size fits all. There's a, your spiritual gift. When you use your spiritual gifts and you find out what they are, your immediate. Evangelistic right. You can't help it. So if your gift is serving, you go serve people. Like, I think this is the time for the healthy small church, because people are looking for community, you know, the, the, the young couple, you know, this next generation generation Y or whoever it is, They're having babies and they're thinking I need community for this baby because they've had community online community as part of their cultural values now.
So a healthy, small church has community built in. They love, I always tell people, old people in a church plant are like gold bricks to me, because if I can find an older person who has a bunch of time, Right. Who says, Hey, I look, I worked professionally most of my life, and now I'm here and I just want to go on one last hurrah.
I want one last mission, Caleb, one last mountain, before I die, tell you what's rad about old peoples. They got wisdom. They got a bit of insight they've been around. Not too much is going to shock him. They know how to love on an addict. They may never have worked rehab like I did back when I was a psych nurse, but I tell you what.
They know how to love people and that never fails. So the healthy, small church has all this stuff. So we would do these cogs. We would just say, just find what you want to do. You know? So we had a couple chefs that said, Hey, the mayor's asking if we can throw cooking classes for single unwed mothers. So let's throw a cooking class for that.
So we work with the local authorities. This is in Europe and we through cooking class. Why don't you young, single mothers got saved. People use their gifts in this people. Couldn't wait for this to come back around every other week. On the off week, we'd have a Bible study and we'd raise people up to teach and lead.
And these are, we had a film club. We had a reading group, we had all these just crazy things. There was a fitness group that was a soccer club. There were all these different things that people did. And for a healthy, small church, you don't need a bunch of these just come together. I call it affinity based mission.
Find what you all are kind of passionate about. Maybe have a couple of these and do them. If, if you love to read, enter, and I, my wife will occasionally go to Barnes and noble and join that reading group and infiltrate it. And, you know, we don't take it over. We don't just throw Jesus in every, every other statement.
But we'll start building relationship and doing that. And that's because we love reading groups, right? We planted a church off of reading group. So for the healthy small church right now, I really do think this is your time and any healthy, small church, even beyond just the Sunday gathering, you know, these are those cogs, micro churches, whatever.
But on the Sunday gathering itself, they could actually just incorporate a little bit of discussion. Some people move over to the fellowship hall after the service, they could do that. You know, they could just incorporate it. But what we found is during our service, if we incorporated that time even if it's 15 minutes for discussion, people start sharing their heart and start sharing their soul.
People don't get listened to it. There's not a lot of safe spaces for people to share stuff. If you're a healthy, small church and you're a family, you can do that. And you can start knowing people by name and asking about their lives and getting involved. And what happens in those little groups is discipling.
Karl Vaters: Yeah, but what you're talking about is such a structural shift. I want to say it out loud because I know there are a lot of small church pastors and leaders listening to this and going, if I were to tell my congregation that we're going to have listening groups on a Sunday morning, you know, they're still sitting in bolted down pews and we've got arguments over color of the carpet.
That is a. A step too far. I want to say it out loud because yeah, because we both understand that saying this and understanding the value of it is one thing actually taking the multiple difficult steps that it takes to get there is something else. And so, but if we aren't seeing. It as even a possibility, we'll never even begin to make the small steps to get there.
We will sit where we are in the rows that we're in fighting this, the old battles that we're continuing to fight and not even seeing a potential way out of this to a better way. If we don't at least hear crazy people like Peyton talk.
Peyton Jones: Yeah. And listen, this is not the way, it's a way. This is just the way that it worked out for us because of how we started.
And I, you know, the book is subtitled, the art and science of planting churches, the science are those principles in the new Testament, there are principles, but the art is how you decide to apply those principles. And you're, you know, w we talk about Jesus talked about wine and wineskins, and your wine skin may not allow.
For you to do some of these things, you have a structural constraint and that's okay to be honest, like Carl, you have to know this and your audience should probably know this. I am a lot more high church in any buddy even knows I was saved and went to an Episcopal church. Cause I could get there easily.
I'm not an Episcopalian, but that was the church I first learned to worship in. So I got no problem. With traditional churches with churches that are, I served in Wales for gosh, 10 years in Presbyterian churches, you know, you had the hymn sandwich, I've been a Baptist, I've been all over and it's been all over me, but I've worked within those constraints.
And so I understand in some of the denominational settings and different places, I haven't always been a free, radical, and I actually. We'll probably this next time plant Anglican. Everybody thinks I'm more punk rock than I am. Yeah.
Karl Vaters: And one of the things I love that you do, we will get for this one step out of chapter one, you do talk about when you talk about the apostle Paul, you are very clear in saying, take a look at the apostle Paul.
Unlike Jesus who never made mistakes. Paul was, was fully human and not fully God. And so he did make mistakes. And you actually talk about basically Paul's church planting ideas really came from trial and error and a whole lot of error along the way. So he didn't start out with a perfect idea. We've got this picture, this halo.
Picture of the early church that they did everything perfectly well, if they had, we wouldn't half of the new Testament books wouldn't have been written. If the church was doing everything perfectly and the apostle Paul didn't do it. So if Paul can do it by trial and error, then it's okay for us to experiment and do it by trial and error.
And if this doesn't work, then something else works. And one of the things I love about church plant ology, the way you lay it out is you're not giving us a method or a system. You are showing us the biblical principles that include trial and error that include multiple different methods and multiple different systems.
And then you say, find the system, find the, the way that works in your particular context with a recognition that the context that works this year in your church for church planting might not even work next year. Let alone in the church, down the street. So it really has to come from the gifting and the moment that God has given you right now, rather than trying to apply a system like robocalling, or like setting up all of the websites and everything else, there are all kinds of different ways.
God does this, and we simply need to be open to that possible.
Peyton Jones: I'm so glad you brought that up. Cause fads irritate me, fads and trends irritate me to no end. You know, I, I feel like, and I, I did say this in the beginning of the book that, you know, pioneers are out, you know, inventing new things and vendors are inventing, but scientists, which the book is it's church plantologist because it approaches it from the stance of.
These things existed in church history. A lot of these principles, I there's a heavy emphasis on church history, Rican fine. Some of these new Testament principles, again resurfacing during periods of kingdom expansion, but I scientists only discovers. What's always been there. They're rediscovering is kind of they believe it was coupler or Newton, who said, I'm just thinking God's thoughts after
Karl Vaters: him or rediscovering is the first word of every single chapter in the.
Yes. Exactly. It's kind of an emphasis for you.
Peyton Jones: Yes, it is. Because you know, I'm not smart and I definitely don't want anyone listening to anything that, that I make up. Well, I'll tell you that right now, but it's basically that idea that I am still, I apologize at the beginning of the book. Hey, I wish I knew more new moon.
These are principles that I've uncovered, but I'm still learning. And this is the great thing tracing Paul's learning curve. God allows us to struggle. He allows us to get it wrong. He allows us to wrestle with the thorn in the flesh and minister ministry. He allows us to be weak so he can be strong. He allows us to be at that place where Paul wasn't a, I literally wept when I wrote this part, I broke down in my office, writing this.
I really felt what Paul was feeling. I've been reported. Where he's so discouraged that he just crumbles in a heap and Corinth because he's been driven from town to town, to town and he's left, that's an icon Berea, and he he's been stoned in Lester and Derby Lister in a conium and he finally gets to Corinth and he just.
It just goes back to working with his hands for awhile. You know, we despairs of life. There's just this dark night of the soul for Paul and all of us go through that. I have been there. I have been through that and I know with small churches, sometimes that's going to be something that you're going to go through at times.
And, you know, really, I think even if you're not a church planner, what's great about this book is you I've heard repeatedly. People say you don't have to be a church planner to read this book. This is just almost like a framework. For ministry, because I'm trying to train church planters to too much of this as old school.
I'm, I'm, I'm quoting old school people here that are my heroes. You know, you, you don't serve at Lloyd Jones's church, right? With, without, without having some old school heroes. You know, what I'm trying to get this next generation to do is to realize others have gone before you, they have lit the torch and there were things they discovered, and we've got to rediscover these things, whether it's from the first century or parts of church history, where they grabbed it again.
My hope is that this generation will grab hold of those things that are timeless principles that not only allow you to minister in a church, any place amongst anyone at any time, but plan a church among anyone at any place at any time.
Karl Vaters: Absolutely. All right. We're going to segue from that. There's so much more we could cover, but we're going to segue from that to the lightning round questions that everybody who is on is subject to having to answer.
All righty. First of all, what are the biggest changes you've seen in your field of ministry in the last few years? And how have you adapted to it?
Peyton Jones: I will go back to something that I recently heard, Alan her say. He said that for every 100 churches that closed during the pandemic 1000 small groups of. And that to me was very empowering and very encouraging because my one of the things I tell people is once you've cracked getting every believer woken in their gifts, you've cracked church planning, you've cracked sustainability, you've cracked mission.
So that to me, I, I have seen this trend. I believe that people were awoken during COVID to realize I can actually be a player. I can be in the game and not just be a special.
Karl Vaters: Yeah, I think this is a bigger generational shift than any of us are aware of. Yet. We still have to see this play out. Yeah, absolutely.
Question number two. What free resource like an app or a website has helped you lately that you'd recommend for small church minutes.
Peyton Jones: Ooh, free app or resource. Well, I will tell you there is a disclosure here. I work for an app called through the word, which is 10 minute Bible chapter summaries. Every chapter in the Bible aimed primarily at youth people.
But it gets to hundreds of thousands of, of listens per day. But that tool for me, I went to seminary. And some of the guys I serve with this on this app are crazy gifted and they have just read this scripture for decades. And I think I went to seminary and paid for that. And you just got this by reading the Bible a bunch.
Okay. But but that, that would be the free free app. And it would be a through the word it's an app it's free.
Karl Vaters: We will that in the show notes, a number three, what's the best piece of ministry advice you've ever received.
Peyton Jones: Oh, wow. That would come from Peter Jeffrey, who was Lloyd Jones's protege. He was a guy that mentored me.
He used to tell me when I was a young man. He would always say, keep your head down. Just keep preaching the. And believe it or not, it is as much as that is not a popular message. I can look back on many times where I did not take his advice and I thought, oh, I'll go fix that problem and made a complete mess of things.
And I wished I had just kept my head down and preach the.
Karl Vaters: Or we go, yeah, it's hard to get better advice than that. And then the last one is this what's the funniest or weirdest thing you've ever seen in church. Someone tells me sometimes we given your experience. You may have more than
Peyton Jones: one. Well, having planted in urban long beach, all in the, there wasn't a knife fight.
At one point, there was the man claiming to be the next Senator. Psychiatric nursing definitely came in handy, but there was one particular day where a pit bull. One of our Sunday school teachers during the service cause people would bring their pitfalls. We, we had people from Ms 13, we had people that just spent 38 years in prison.
It was rough. But on that particular day, someone also made change from the offering. And yeah, that was the day that we had the knife fight just, just before the service started out in front and I broke it up and as I was breaking it up in the middle of it, my daughter. And my wife walked around the corner and my daughter was about five years old.
And every time froze as I met my wife's gaze.
Karl Vaters: I mean, come on. If you don't have at least one knife fight, are you really church planting anyway.
Peyton Jones: Yeah. And you can, you can read about some of that. Some of those the, my second book was called reaching the unreached becoming Raiders of the law. And a lot of that stuff was in there.
So I knew that
Karl Vaters: I knew those stories were familiar. I was thinking it was from church by anthology, but no, it was rated from that was, yeah, I remember that one. Hey how can people find you online if they want more information on anything that we've talked about?
Peyton Jones: Yeah, they can go to ministry, ninja.com.
I also do the ministry and podcasts with my wife and a Welsh church planter. So you will hear some Welshness, but on top of that, you can go to new breed, networth.org which is our church planning. Now.
Karl Vaters: Great. And all of that will be in the show notes. Peyton, I appreciate your passion for the church.
I appreciate your passion for planting. I appreciate your willingness to say difficult things that need to be said. And I appreciate the fact that you aren't stuck with one particular method or mode, but we simply want to be open to where the spirit of God leads all of us. And that discipleship is key.
So thank you for sharing all of that with our audience.
Peyton Jones: Yeah, thanks for having me. And thanks for your message Carl, over the years, it has needed to be proclaimed and I appreciate you and your faithfulness and just speaking into the church world that I'm trying to plant in, but you trying to keep that sanity.
So thank you. Awesome. Thanks.