It seems the churchwatchcentral pseudonyms still don’t get it. They’ve replied to the article ‘Envious critics confuse projection with prophecy’ with a post that demonstrates their inexplicable lack of understanding of what constitutes a mission statement, a targeted objective, or a projected means to accomplishing a goal.

What is a project?

A project is defined as ’an individual or collaborative exercise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.‘ Its projection is the way in which it is promoted amongst the stakeholders. So you have a project, now you want to promote it. You want others to catch the vision and help accomplish it. That is projection. Simples.

Clearly, setting out to plant a thousand churches over the course of fifteen years is a project. Its promotion is the projection. C3 started out on this journey with around 100 churches already established, and have added around 500 and growing. The target is 1,000 churches. They’re on their way. It’s a project.

But the pseudonyms can’t work this out for themselves. They even try a weak visual joke referencing the wrong kind of projection, which confirms their inability to grasp basic English. An old photo of a projectionist in a cinema? Really?

Who is being presumptuous?

Then they bang on about presumption, these presumers of all things negative and discordant.

‘Presumption is the act of ‘believing something is true without having any proof,’’ they claim, whilst accusing a minister giving a proposal of being presumptuous, when, in fact, the minister has been setting goals that have been largely achieved, and are still being accomplished.

This accusation comes from anonymous authors of innuendo, opinion and supposition who rely on the works of atheists, anti Christian media and cessationists for their content.

By the way, ‘presumption’ is also defined as ‘an idea that is to be taken as true on the basis of probability.’ Yes, in English there’s more than one definition. However, a vision statement isn’t presumption if it has a reasonable possibility of being achieved.

The polemicists only look for failure. They are not interested in success. They can’t bring themselves to acknowledge progress, however big or small. They live to find fault. If you target 100 apples on your apple tree this season and you end up with 60, that would be a failed crop according to the naysayers at churchwatchcentral.

Even Jesus says that the seed sown would produce some 40, some 60, some 100 fold. Each seed sown has the potential to produce far more than itself. The number, in the end, is irrelevant to the fact of growth.

What would be a failure is if the seed was not sown in the first place. If the sower withheld the seed from being sown it could never produce. Sowing, watering and nurturing are the keys. God gives the increase. The end result is in His hands. Our part is to sow, water and reap.

God’s will

On defining projection, I wonder how the nameless critics at churchwatchcentral take the notion that God has said that He would like every man to be saved and none perish when it is patently clear that many will perish and many will not be saved.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

God desires, clearly, that all be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Has this happened? Will it happen? Will all be saved? We know they will not all be saved because many will reject Him and die in their sin. Yet it is His will.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

God doesn’t want anyone to perish. Will this happen? Will all be saved from perishing? Will any perish? You know they will, for they have rejected God and remain in their sin. Yet He has projected that it is His will that none perish.

It’s God’s desire that all men are saved, but not everyone will be saved. That is clear. He doesn’t want any to perish, but some will. Is God therefore a failure? A false prophet? No. That would be a stupid idea. God’s fervent desire is for all to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth.

It is His projection, His desire, given through the Apostles Paul and Peter, so is Paul now a false prophet because he declares this, or Peter? Evidently not. God came for everyone, yet everyone will not be saved. It is still His will that they are.

Are goals valid?

And this is all about will. It’s the will of the genuine church leader to see as many souls brought into the kingdom as possible. Should we set goals, then? Of course we should. Do we always reach our goals? No, but if we gain one soul we have done well.

Is goal setting prophecy? Not necessarily. It can be, but isn’t always. If a minister gets up in front of a congregation and declares a goal is that prophecy? Maybe, maybe not. There is such a concept as declaring and decreeing. The cessationists and polemicists hate this idea, but that is their problem.

Declaring a goal for increasing the kingdom has to be an honourable pursuit. It is of faith, and pleases God. It glorifies God because it adheres to His commandment to make disciples. A vision for souls matches God’s vision for souls.

The leader has to get the people behind the vision. Jesus spoke many things into being before the project began, even things that his disciples didn’t initially grasp. He said that the leader needs to go through first so that others can follow, but the leader needs to know where he is going or there is nowhere to follow.

The goal for 1000 churches was a difficult but potentially achievable target that has inspired many to jump onto the train and enjoy the journey. As long as a single church was planted and established it could never be a failure. 600 churches in 40 years is a marvellous accomplishment, for which God receives all the glory.

It’s been a real experience for tens of thousands of people who now call the kingdom of God their home, and will continue. It’s been stretched out even further into another seemingly impossible task, but God will work with those who want to venture on the pilgrimage towards the new goal, because faith always believes the impossible is possible.

Only the naysayers have a problem with this. Envy is a dreadful companion.

Press on

The point is that we press towers the goal. We may not complete everything we set out to do. Look at Abraham and his descendants. They died in faith moving towards their vision. Many never saw it personally, but continued in that direction in faith.

Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth.

Was Abraham a failure because he didn’t receive the promises? No. He saw it in his spirit and moved towards his goal regardless. They died in faith.

Our project should always be ahead of us and we should always have a project we’re moving towards. If we die before it is reached, or if it is not completely reached before any given time, at least we will have been in faith on our way to the goal.

Think about it…do you have a goal to extend the kingdom in His name? Or are you simply doing nothing but being critical of those who do?

The challenge to the critics is still extended…

Here’s a challenge for the critics. Let them see, over the next decade, should the Lord tarry, how many churches they can plant between them. Jeff Maples claims to be an evangelist. How many congregations will he reach and help establish in the next ten years? Let him put that number up now and see if he comes anywhere near reaching that goal. 

If he says he’ll plant five churches in that decade, and he genuinely tries, but only reaches two individuals for Christ, we won’t say that he has failed. We will praise God because two people have been reached and have given their lives to Christ.

Why? Because the whole of heaven rejoices over one soul saved. 

That is all we need to know.

Envious critics confuse projection with prophecy