The Hardcore Core

How did the church start?

The answer I learned in Mrs Elliot's fourth grade Sunday School class, was "with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost." This Jewish festival day, almost two thousand years ago, was when the Holy Spirit first entered into the followers of Jesus, allowing them to speak the message of Jesus in foreign languages that they previously hadn't known. This display spawned the crowd to accuse the disciples of public intoxication, but Peter was able to parlay the charge of drunkenness into a sermon opportunity. The result: three thousand people were baptized in Jesus' name. You can read all about it in Acts 2:1-41.

But my personal answer to the "how did the church start?" question precedes the Pentecost experience. I like to think it occurred about ten days before that, as told in Acts 1:6-11. The eleven disciples [remember Judas was dead at this point] were with Jesus, grilling Him about the future of Israel. Jesus told them that His plans weren't limited to Israel, that they would take His message into all the world. No sooner did Jesus finish saying this and, better than the ending of a Las Vegas show, Jesus exits stage left [or I guess, more accurately, stage up], ascending into heaven. The eleven guys are left there, gazing up at the sky with no idea what they're now going to do. I've always wondered how long they stood there because God finally sends an angel to interrupt them and say, "Go do something already." Brilliant. I love to claim that as the beginning of the church because it was about people having no idea and God knowing exactly was to come. It would be His Church. That's how I'd say it started.

So years from now, the question might be asked, "How did Echo Church start?" And we'll be able to respond in a similar way: with eleven people having no idea what to do [figuratively] gazing into the sky.

We met last night as a core group for the very first time. Like I said, there were eleven of us there [Aaron's wife Dorota would've made twelve; she just left for a five week trip to her native Poland]. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but it was awesome. We didn't do anything flashy; we just read some Scripture, chatted, and prayed. But it wasn't about what we did last night, it was about what happened. God brought some people with a similar passion together in the same room at the same time to begin something new for him. We were able to pray to Him for the community and what will happen in the weeks and months to come. Like I said, we come to Him clueless, acknowledging that this will be His Church.

The morning after, I'm still excited because it's more real now than it's ever been. One of the things I said last night was that, whatever the future holds for Echo, that we were there at the beginning. So as we continue on this journey and are able to have some "rear-view mirror moments," this will be a wonderful one.

So I'm cool with eleven. It's rather Biblical.