Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sowing seed

There's been some confusion about the finances involved in the Apprenticeship. I want to clear that up.

But first I want you to consider two numbers: $717 and $79.

$717 is the cost per semester hour at the Graduate School of Theology at Abilene Christian University. The typical 12 hour class load for one semester comes to $8604.

$79 is the cost per 45 minute coaching session on the website of a Christian ministry we looked at.

We considered charging a fixed amount for the LK10 Apprenticeship but rejected that idea for one reason... We are committed to making listening to God the starting place for everything.

Instead, we have asked everyone in the Apprenticeship to come as close as they can to these commitments...

1. For a period of 12 weeks, set aside 10% (a tithe) of your income as belonging to the Lord in a special way. (Of course, it all belongs to Him.)

2. Invest some part of that 10% each month in the person who is facilitating/coaching your cohort. (This is the principle that Paul set forth in 1 Cor. 9:11. "If we have sowed spiritual seed in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?" The facilitator of your cohort will be investing in you in several ways including two coaching sessions each month.)

3. The amount invested in your facilitator each month comes from your listening to God. The amount could be $5/month or $500/month. Whatever God tells you.

Please understand that we are not advocating tithing as a Biblical mandate. (I could either side of that issue.) The last thing we want to do is to put someone back under legalism. Rather, we are setting this forth as a spiritual discipline (like "checking in" with your CO2 partner as close to every day as possible) for three months.

I understand that there were sometimes serious financial abuses in traditional church. However, I also believe that it's time to return to the principle that Jesus taught - "the worker is worthy of his wages" (Lk. 10:7)

The leaders of the cohorts will be investing deeply in the members of their cohorts to make this a high quality learning experience. (In fact, one of our cohorts will be made up entirely of master's level graduate students at ACU. That's how good the training will be!) We believe the Kingdom principle is a reciprocal investment (God determining the amount) into the lives of those leaders.


For more on this subject see my commentary on 1 Cor. 9:1-14 at

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