A little over twenty-five years ago, I read an interview in Charisma Magazine of David Yonggi Cho. In it, Cho explained the success of Yoido Full Gospel Church (830,000 members) and why America would never have a church that large.
“Yoido is built on prayer,” Cho stated. “All of our hundreds of pastors and elders average three hours per day in prayer. Hundreds of thousands of other members pray at least two hours each day. Our prayer meetings number over two hundred thousand participants and Prayer Mountain has over one million believers, visiting it to pray and fast for days at a time in special cubicles. I don’t believe Americans are willing to pay this high of price to have a church like Yoido.”
Cho’s words bugged me. So, I cut the article out of the magazine and hung it on my wall to spur me on to prove him wrong about us Americans.
Fast forward to today’s America.
I mostly now agree with Cho’s words because let’s be honest, okay?
How many people do you think will attend a church which announces ahead of time that its foundations are built on the 8 Beatitudes and Sermon on the Mount with prayer, fasting, giving to the poor, self-denial, and seeking the Lord being our outward responses? My guess is that big buildings won’t be needed — an average sized closet should handle the attendance.
And salaried clergy? We won’t need them.
And sermons? There won’t be any unless the Holy Spirit anoints someone to speak.
And music? All of us should be able to make a joyful noise, maybe even a song of the Spirit.
Temecula may be 6,000 miles from Seoul Korea and Yoido Full Gospel Church, but it might as well be 6 million miles with crazy ideas like this one.
Yet, this is what the Lord has placed on my heart to pray for and start: churches and groups based on Matthew 5,6, and 7 or the Sermon on the Mount.
You see, when society unravels here in America – and it will – our neighbors will be looking for answers. They won’t find them in most churches, which are filled with nice people, but who won’t have prepared themselves ahead of time. This will be the day that Matt 567 groups will be needed, but the time for preparation is now.
My prayer is that the West Coast will soon be filled with these groups, assemblies, churches, or whatever you want to call them so that every neighborhood will have one nearby.
Okay, it’s a big vision, but I believe it’s a winning one for the days ahead.
(Conclusion……if you’re interested, the full series to date can be seen here.)