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It always seems to amaze the passersby of large skyscraper building projects in our larger cities.  They watch for weeks and even months as the initial work of the project is directed downward instead of up.  Some of them wonder whether or not the building will ever come up out of the ground.  What they do not understand, though, is the size and importance of the foundation required for these high-rise buildings.  Thousands of tons of concrete and steel have to be supported by something immensely sound and secure.  For that reason, much effort goes into the ground at first.  Finally, once the foundation is properly built, the rest of the building (which is the most obvious to the public) can quickly go up.  It’s no different with the church and its nucleus. 

Pastors of local assemblies may sometimes feel frustrated that the initial growth of the church is not more rapid.  But they really should not despair.  They must pass through the initial laying of the foundation, which in this case is the identification and emergence on the scene of  the nucleus.  On this they can feel secure to build something lasting and strong.  No doubt that it is easier to build quickly with no foundation, but in Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus called that “building on sand,” with the guarantee of imminent collapse.  Like those watching the skyscraper construction, there will be passersby that wonder when the pastor is ever “going to build something.”  Just give him time, though, and something great will start to spring up! 

We started this chapter by looking at the passage in 2 Timothy 2:19-20.  Let us now go to the next verse in concluding the study of this principle of the nucleus.  In verse 21 Paul writes, “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”  As we saw earlier in this chapter, the four characteristics that we outlined as useful criteria when identifying the nucleus (spiritual, displaying integrity, compassionate, and dynamic) serve as connectors to our personal relationships: with God, with ourselves, with others, and with our own ministries.  These four characteristics of those in the nucleus also serve as indicators of the qualities shown in the verse above:

  • A spiritual man is a vessel unto honor
  • A man of integrity is sanctified
  • A compassionate man is worthy of the Master’s use
  • A dynamic man is prepared for every good work.

Arriving at the stage of identifying and building on the nucleus is one of the most important principles that can ever be adhered to.  Let us do it carefully, but in full expectation of great reward! 


About Jim Poitras

Enlisiting, educating, equipping, empowering, and encouraging members, ministers, and missionaries in apostolic global missions. Director of Education/AIM