"You have a Bible? You can read? Then you can start a church."- Felicity Dale (House2House Ministries)
Perhaps the reason that starting a church (they call it planting) is made to be so difficult, in our western culture, is that there are a bunch of assumptions that we make that are false- totally not biblical. God is not Greek, nor is he a businessman.
People have designed lengthy curriculum, books, and guides on how to plant a church and be nurtured as a church planter. It's all complex, with hoops to jump through and barriers to keep out many and wash out the unfit. Like landing a man on the moon, only the best and the brightest or the specially and specifically gifted ones can make it.
Perhaps the reason it is so complex is that the church that we know in the west is so much more complex than the way Jesus did it and his disciples did it and their disciples did it. Maybe the key is to return to Jesus as the model of the church to find out how to be the church…
I've been reading Mike Frost's Exiles (p. 136-57), and he says that most new churches today, in the non-west (where the church is growing) are in a large part nondenominational, nonstructured, and nontraditional. David Barret and Todd Johnson, researchers in evangelism and mission called these kinds of churches "neo-apostolics" (2001). As of 2001, Barret and Johnson estimated that neo-apostolics numbered 20, 000 movements & networks including 394 million Christians and will grow to over half a billion believers by the year 2025.
Frost writes (p. 136) that the neo-apostolic movements are "marked by four primary characteristics:
1. They reject denominationalism and restrictive, overbearing central authority.
2. They seek a life focused on Jesus.
3. They seek a more effective missionary lifestyle.
4. They are one of the fastest growing movements in the world."
I was studying 1 Corinthians 11-14 with reference to the gathering of the church and came across this quote to share from S.J. Hafemann:
Genuine spirituality manifests itself in mutual interdependence and complementarity, both among men and women in view of their distinct roles, and among those within the church due to the variety of spiritual gifts. The same principals are to be manifest in dealing with their cultural diversity and economic distinctions.
(Dictionary of Paul, p. 166)