How it Started (From Radical.net)
Secret Church began at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama, based on time Dr. David Platt spent with brothers and sisters in underground Asian house churches. In those contexts, they gather together at the risk of their lives for 8-12 hours at a time just to pray, worship, and study the Word. It’s simple, raw, dangerous, and satisfying … all at the same time.
The leaders at Brook Hills began asking if they could do the same thing and decided to try it. They set up a Friday evening where people could gather from 6pm until midnight for two main purposes: to worship through intensive study of the Word, and to identify with our persecuted brothers and sisters by praying intentionally for them. Simply six hours of straight teaching and prayer.
At the first gathering, there were about 1,000 people, and after that, it began to grow. Secret Church now takes place with thousands of believers joining together in homes, church buildings, and other locations all around the world. One of Dr. Platt’s favorite sights is to look out across a room packed with people at midnight with their Bibles open just soaking in the Word of God.
The objective of Secret Church is not just to come and learn for one night but to take what we’ve learned and pass it along to others. We also want to recognize the great need to pray and come alongside our brothers and sisters who live in places around the world where there is little to no gospel witness or where the gospel is met with resistance. We want to use what we’ve learned during this gathering to make disciples of Christ—both locally and globally.
This is not a ‘conference.’ There is nothing ‘secret’ about this study. It is an intense study of God’s Word. If you love the Word of God, hunger for more and want to experience it with thousands of others around the world, then this is for you!
I was reading about people in China recently when they received a Bible for the first time. They were overwhelmed to hold their own copy of God’s Word. Tears flowed and praise was lifted up. In many countries it is a crime to own a Bible and meeting with other believers brings persecution and even death. We have multiple copies of the Word of God and access to the Bible is easy in our country. We are not being persecuted (yet) for owning a Bible. Are you really hungry for God’s Word?
For many believers around the world, following Christ is not merely unpopular or discouraged. It’s dangerous.
There are times during the six hours to worship and pray along with other people around the world who are participating in this year’s study on Prayer, Fasting and the Pursuit of God. We will identify with the people who are being persecuted and stand with them in prayer.
What to Expect
The speed of the study can leave you breathless. It’s not a casual study. It is a fast-paced, intense four-hour Bible study as well as concentrated times of prayer for persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. A total of six hours!
It will be live streamed to our church facility starting at 6:00 pm on Friday, April 26th. We meet in the Youth worship area on the second floor. There are times of worship as well as breaks and snacks. You may choose to fast during this year’s study because one element of the study is fasting.
We are not trying to get a huge crowd to attend. This is not for everyone even though we wish everyone would participate.
The cost is $15 for the study book and snacks. Limited spots available – Register today.
What to Bring?
You will need your Bible. You need to come committed to finishing the six hours. At times you will be overwhelmed with the amount of information that is presented. You will think, “I don’t think I can keep up.” You will be tempted to leave after a break. But let me encourage you to finish the time.
A Final Exhortation
As I was writing this, I remembered times when people got together to watch every episode of their favorite TV show. People still binge watch all the “Lord of the Rings” movies or “Star Wars.” We do what we love to do. It’s not a chore; it’s a pleasure.
These six hours could be a turning point for you. It could be a time of re-evaluation of your personal hunger for God’s Word. A time of repentance as we resolve to spend more time in the Bible and prayer. I hope to see you!