When persecution comes, our gathering together will change, but how?



For Christians, life in America has changed forever, so we had better deal with that painful reality. What I am about to share represents my opinion, and it may seem radical but hear me out. I believe that much of what we have accepted as normal and good has actually rendered our churches weak and displeasing to God. As we have taken our freedoms for granted, I fear we have also taken our faith, God’s Word, and our assembling together for granted. We assume that we need a building where we can congregate. Nearly every church today has or desires a building. We assume this is the way church should be done.

The Early Church

The Early Church had no building and look at the results. The problems with a building are many. The more people you attract, the more space you need. If you judge success by the numbers, a large church means you are on the right track. More and more funds are needed to keep the giant machine operating. To feed the machine, you need more people, so you do what seems practical to draw more people. Typically, the giving lags far behind the headcount producing more problems.

No Building?

If there’s no building, where do the people go? Once again, the Early Church set the model. The goal was never to grow mega-churches. The gatherings grew organically as they met in various houses. This allowed the attendees to discover their gifts as they ministered to those around them. I imagine they split off into smaller groups for practical reasons and as new leaders (budding pastors) were identified. Perhaps each house church had its own pastor. In any case, I doubt if pastors back then had thousands in their flock. I would bet they had care over those they could intimately care for. They also had no seminaries to suck the life and dependence on the Holy Spirit out of them.


I believe it is very possible that Christ is going to build His Church by forcing churches to abandon their buildings in favor of house churches. He will use the Left to accomplish this as they force so many restrictions on churches that they will be forced to go “underground.” The Church has always grown the most during times of persecution, and the coming days will be no different. Believers will finally need each other. They will quickly discover their spiritual gifts, not by taking a spiritual gift test, but by allowing the Holy Spirit to have free rein in them, making the giftings obvious to all.

Pastors can give their weekly messages electronically, as many have learned to do thanks to Covid, but I can see their messages drastically changing to respond to the new normal. The Church will be forced to adapt to circumstances. Christ will use all the “infringements on our rights” to purify His Church and turn her into a fitting bride for Himself. I believe our churches in these coming days won’t be nearly as dependent on the pastor as they are today.

Preparation is Paramount

This is not the time for churches to invest funds in buildings the government can shut down. The sooner churches recognize the handwriting on the wall, the sooner they can start preparing for the inevitable. I am convinced that the past two years were just the warmup. The main attraction (over the coming years) will be much worse from a human perspective, but gloriously effective as Christ builds His Church.

On one hand, I hope I’m wrong. I’m not looking forward to the coming persecution. Yet, something drastic has to happen to wake up the Church. Exciting days are ahead, and we really should start preparing. Most churches won’t since they are too committed to maintaining the machine. It may be a while before things get dicey, so most churches won’t let something that doesn’t look imminent change their plans. I get it. Making major changes now doesn’t seem practical, and most people hate change. I still think it is wise to at least discuss what changes will likely be necessary someday, and what preparation can and should be begun now.



On the other hand, you have different fingers.

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