Today we kick off 100 Days of Worship in the Common Places with the North Korean underground church. Have you signed up yet to join us?
Households are participating… Husbands and wives are participating… Small groups are participating…
…And at First Protestant Church of New Braunfels, Texas, a whole church is participating!
Here’s First Protestant Church’s discipleship pastor Chuck Huckaby to show us how his congregation is adapting our 100 Days campaign into the ongoing life of their church this fall:
Fall Bible Reading: P.R.A.Y.ing the Bible with the North Korean Church
Wow… do we ever have a unique Fall Sunday School and Churchwide Bible Reading plan this Fall – from September 22nd to December 31st! By the time you read this Bible Reading guides will already have been distributed. If you haven’t got one yet, don’t worry, there’s still time to join in!
So what’s the Big Deal?
I am asking you to give your time over the next few months not only to BIBLE READING but to spending time in personal and small group worship with one of the most heavily persecuted churches in the world, the North Korean Church.
That’s not just another gimmick, though it certainly is unique!
Why on earth would we do such a thing?
If suddenly the church in America went “underground” and had no buildings, bibles, seminaries, or other things we’re so dependent on… how would the faith pass from one generation to the next? How long would the church in America even survive?
Let me put that more directly… If YOU had to go “underground” with only what you have memorized by heart today… could you pass on the faith and lead someone else to Christian maturity?
Also, how would you worship the Lord if you had no CD’s, praise teams or organs?
The North Korean church has persevered under the harshest persecution for 4 generations and continued to spread the faith. They have amazing lessons for all the worldwide church from which we can learn in these 100 days. Our aim is not to PITY this “persecuted church”, but to LEARN FROM THEM!
Here’s what I’m asking you to do over the next 100 days and hopefully much longer…
1. Pick up a special Bible Reading Guide at the church office if you haven’t gotten one already. If you can’t make it to the church office just call, and we’ll mail you one!
2. Read the Gospel of Luke with your brothers and sisters in Christ at First Protestant and with the North Korean Church until December 31st.
3. But beyond just reading it, I’m challenging each of us to
A. “P.R.A.Y.” through our readings each week before or as you
B. “Gather” in the style of our North Korean brothers and sisters and share your findings in the context of “conversational worship”… the kind of worship that characterizes that underground church. Again, you’ll learn more about “how” and most importantly “why” in the Bible Reading Guide.
Basically though, it boils down to setting aside time during Sunday School or through the week to meet with your household, some friends, etc. to share your findings from God’s Word (or simply take turns reading the Gospel of Luke together and share your findings then) in the context of very simple worship.
And in some ways we really don’t want to do this in just the church building!
Because Jesus is Lord in the “Common Places of Life” I encourage you to meet this way wherever you can meet and hold a “reverent conversation”… a school cafeteria, a break room at work, the park, your home, or a quiet restaurant!
Perhaps if we took our worship with us through the week – not for the sake of show – but because we love to meet and encourage one another as we bless God, perhaps people would take Christianity more seriously? Maybe we would too!
On the face of things, the practices of the North Korean underground church seem simple. Yet they have been powerful enough to keep spreading the Good News from generation to generation!
In our own country, we continue to talk about “lost generations” of young people who never embrace their parents’ faith… couldn’t we use a dose of “4 generation faith transmission education”?
Though the act of worshiping in the common places of life outside the church building is perhaps strange to us and may take some effort on our part (what valuable thing doesn’t?), it will be worth the effort.
One thing that won’t be strange are the elements of our “North Korean style worship” – we will find they are the very elements that have characterized the German Spiritual Heritage of First Protestant since our first day as a congregation!
I pray that during these 100 days, our North Korean brothers and sisters can remind us of our own precious faith and enable us to live it with new power here as we enter a “New, New Braunfels”!
For more information about “100 Days of Worship in the Common Places With The NK Underground Church” check out our Seoul USA Facebook page as well as the videos and other information at http://www.seoulusa.org/100-days/