Can You Start a Church Like This?

I love this story from Neil Cole.

“While doing some teaching in Japan, I had a dream that Heather, my daughter, started a church. In the dream, a room was full of young people who were all seriously worshiping God. When I returned from the trip, I mentioned it to her just to let her know that she was on my mind and in my dreams while I was away.”

“The next day she said, “Dad, my friends all want to do it!” “Do what?‘ I asked.” “Start a church.”  I told her that she would have to do most of the work, and I would coach and lead only a little. She said that was fine. The next day she arranged a house to meet in, picked a night of the week, and found a worship leader; flyers were soon being passed out to friends on campus.”

“After the church had been meeting for several months, I met with these students and we all sang praises to the Lord. I felt the Lord‘s pleasure. I asked the students what was the biggest church they had ever been to. Living in Southern California there are many options of megachurches, and a number of churches were mentioned, ranging in size from two thousand attendees to more than fifteen thousand.”

“I then told them that I think Satan is more intimidated by this little church of fifteen high school kids than by any of those Godzilla-sized churches. They all sort of chuckled and looked around the room at one another with smiles.”

“I showed them why I thought this way: “How many of you think you could start a church like one of those megachurches?” No one raised a hand. I asked, “How many of you think you could start a church like this one?” and all raised their hands. I asked them to look around the room at all the raised hands, and I said with a new found soberness, “I assure you, Satan is terrified by this.”

(Neil Cole: Organic Church (Jossey-Bass, 2005), p211-212)

I know the objections that you probably want to raise but rather allow yourself to get caught up in the simplicity, the beauty, the missional excitement of the story.  And then ask yourself is our church too complex, too professional, too difficult to reproduce easily?


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