For the last little while I’ve been working my way through reading Leviticus and now I’m into Numbers. Now, if you’ve ever taken the time to read through these books of the Bible you’ve probably had your eyes glaze over at one point or another. These two members of the Pentateuch are not thrilling accounts. Rather, they’re composed of lengthy lists of rules and detailed instructions. They aren’t real page turners. And up until just recently that’s too often how I viewed them – literary deserts with the occasional oasis of life giving text.

The other night God challenged me on this view. These two books are primarily about how the Israelites are to order their society so they can maintain a healthy relationship with a holy God. They are chuck full of purity laws, sacrificial requirements, and tabernacle blueprints. Here God outlines how they can best organize, manage, and maintain their corporate lives.

Here’s where the crossover struck me – as church planters in a pre-launch stage our main responsibility is to work to craft a corporate culture that helps people best achieve a healthy and growing relationship with God. And to be honest, sometimes this work makes my eyes glass over too. Our preparation often isn’t glamorous. Whether slogging our way through the creation of articles of incorporation and bylaws, working on the supporting leadership structures of organization, or striving to put together a budget for the next year – the details of how to best plan for and structure a new church can get tiring. The to-do lists can get monotonous. The responsibilities can seem unending.

Sound familiar? That night, God pressed upon me the fact that in many ways our current stage of preparation and formation, as we work to plant Center Point, mirrors the biblical books of Leviticus and Numbers. Similarly to how God instructed Moses and the Israelites, he continues to instruct us, his people, as to how to best create a church body that encourages people into healthy relationships with him. Like those ancient texts, our work isn’t always page-turning stuff. But the details are still so important. Moses and the Israelites went to great lengths to follow God’s leading those thousands of years ago and we too must be willing to go to great lengths as we prepare, implement, and organize a church community for his people today.

So, the next time you crack your bible to Leviticus or Numbers ask this question: How do God’s instructions to the Israelites challenge and inform how we should work to structure our churches?

And as you read these books, pray for the organization and preparation that goes into the creation, maintenance, and growth of the church of Christ today.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.