“My Journey Out” (Part 4)


Click on following for earlier articles: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

David Yonggi Cho, pastor of the world’s largest church with 830,000 members, was once asked, “Will America ever have a church as large as Yoido Full Gospel Church?”

“No,” he replied, “Americans are not willing to spend the time in prayer that such a large undertaking would require.”

Though this interview took place twenty years ago, Cho’s answer still bugs me today. Not that his words were wrong, but rather, they irritate me because they accurately describe us American Christians.

You see, Pastor Cho’s church has prayer meetings where 300,000 people get together and pray for hours. (The number would even be higher if there was room for all of them to show up at the various satellite sites.)

The median church size in America is 75 members. Now, let’s say a pastor of one of these median-sized churches decides to start prayer meetings, how many people can he expect to show up each week? Three or four; maybe five. And even this small number will most likely tail off over a period of time.

And of course, there are exceptions. But for every praying church, there are scores of churches who have no prayer meetings at all.

In the 1990’s, I joined a prayer team at a church. After the services, the prayer team members gathered at the front of the church to pray for attendees who needed prayer.

Though  new to the church, it was not long before everyone knew I had a strong prophetic voice. And each week, the line in front of me grew longer and longer until finally, most of the other prayer team members stood around, watching me pray for people.

The pastor did his best to encourage people to receive prayer from the other team members, but most people shook their heads and said, “No, we’ll wait for Larry.”

One Sunday, I looked at the long line of people awaiting prayer from me, and a revelation smacked me along the side of my head. “We are doing church wrong!”

So, maybe you’d say, “Wait a moment. Prophecy is for the common good of the Body, right? Shouldn’t you give words to everyone who needs them?”

Yes, I’m called to give prophetic words to people.  But at the same time, I’m called to help equip believers to do the work of service … not do the work for them. (Ephesians 4:12)

Sadly, our traditional church system has trained people to sit and expect the so-called professionals to do the ministering for them. You know, the clergy versus the lay people system.

And let me tell you, this does not please Jesus because on account of this reasoning, we have a weak, dependent Church. One that is a sitting duck, waiting to be blown out of its pews by soon-coming calamities hitting our nation.

(Continued in Part 5)

Larry Who’s writings and teachings appear on this site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.


Filed under Christianity, Christians, Church, church planting, Emergent Church, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Red Letter Christians, reformation, spiritual warfare

4 responses to ““My Journey Out” (Part 4)

  1. that david youngi cho quote pains me.

  2. fireball3316,

    For years, I had a copy of the interview hanging on my wall. It pains me, too.

  3. Pingback: Swimming Upstrteam: “My Journey Out (Part 5)” « Larry Who

  4. Pingback: “My Journey Out” (Conclusion) « Larry Who

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