Recently I overheard the phrase, “He’s trying to start a church, and having difficulty.”

I began to wonder, immediately if idly, about the perspective we have when we say “start a church.”

When we say we are “starting a church,” precisely what is the activity involved?

Is it setting up procedures? Filing paperwork? Getting licenses? Organizing services? Arranging staff? etc?

This gets back to the question: what is a church?

Is a church something that can be started?

If a church is a gathering of believers, then perhaps it is not something that can be started–only discovered.

Maybe, instead of “starting a church,” we need to be “gathering a community” and see what emerges.

It may be a nitpicky nuance, but perhaps changing the language would also help us to shift our mindsets.