I’ve been thinking for some time of what it would take to start a church. That is, what it would take for me to start a church. It sounds like a fun, challenging, and worthwhile idea — at least, it did until I watched my friend in the middle of one.
It seems the problem lies in whatever meaning people pour in to the word “church”. In English, the word could mean a building, a meeting held at the building, or the group of people who attend that meeting. But even more difficult are the things people attach to the notion of church. There appears to be an assumption that a church should have certain features, like youth group and moms’ day out, and provide certain offerings, such as marriage ceremonies and confirmation classes. People may start attending because they like the pastor or whatever, but sooner or later it seems they inevitably start looking around for the other stuff.
Maybe it’s because the church takes money. If people give to the church, maybe they think the church should be doing something for them.
So I don’t want to start a church anymore. Instead, I’d like to be part of a community that does the four things the disciples did in Acts: the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, eating together, and praying. Let’s not call it church. Let’s not take money. Let’s just start doing the stuff the apostles did — and see what happens.