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The Church of Only What is Needed?

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St. Martinville de Tours Catholic Church, the ...

St. Martinville de Tours Catholic Church, the home church of the Acadians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Church of Only What is Needed?

In light of the previous post and the discussion I had listened to about churches without pastors which led to that post, I started to ponder what would a church look like if it only consisted of what was absolutely necessary.

I had heard an example once that I think totally changed my view on this topic.

What if you lived in a country that absolutely banned by law any religious activities, possessions and expressions?  If a person was caught he/she would be imprisoned or worse and possibly his/her loved ones also.   The government also regularly checks homes, buildings, and public areas for any religious activities or items.

You know a group of 10 or so secret Christian families and you want to have some kind of church service; what would you do?

A building with a cross on it is out of the question.  Crowds of well dressed people in their “Sunday best” walking into one place carrying Bibles are probably out of the question also.   A seminary trained pastor is most probably out of the question but not impossible I suppose.  Projectors, loud music, pews, projectors, book stores, parking lots, child care and on and on are all impossible.  Loud preaching; definitely not a good idea. 

  • In such an environment, what would and could you use to have a church service of some kind? 
  • What would it look like? 
  • Where would you have it? 
  • Who would lead it? 
  • What would you bring? 
  • Then comes the big question so many Christian’s find most important (which in this context seems a bit secondary at best):  How do you ensure there is no heresy?
  • How do you ensure the way you have the church is Biblical?
  • How do you “Go forth and make disciples” or spread the Gospel?
  • How do you keep the church members as safe as possible?

I am going to post my plan for such a church meeting, but not on this post.  I think it would be fun for those that read this to do their own plan and go through the possible problems and challenges that might arise.


Compare that to what your current church and other churches you know of contain.  The thing to consider when you are done is how necessary everything other than what you have in your plan really is.


If you feel led, post your plans in the comments section for others to see.  I am curious.


In Christ,

W. Lawrence Hess


  1. […] you get my point.  I am sold on many of these basic premises as mentioned in previous posts (ex., The Church of Only What is Needed?, The Church of Only What is Needed? PART 2, Thoughts on the “Emerging Church” Debate), but this […]

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