“There was too much covered at Secret Church, and it came faster than I could keep up within the study guide, much less process it all.” If this sentiment describes your feelings about the Secret Church simulcast, then you’re feeling exactly how you’re supposed to.
We designed Secret Church to be an information dump, so to speak. Understanding why it may help to have a good picture of how Secret Church began. Here’s how David Platt describes its inception:
Secret Church began at The Church at Brook Hills based on the time I had spent with our brothers and sisters in underground Asian house churches. In those contexts, they gather together at the risk of their lives for hours at a time simply to pray, worship, and study the Word. It’s simple, raw, dangerous, and satisfying… all at the same time. So we thought, “Why don’t we do the same thing?” So the first time we did it, we called it “Secret Church”; but we said, “Okay, we can’t do 12 hours; we’ll start with six hours.”
The believers he referred to from the underground church were so hungry for the Word that they gathered all day to hear a good overview of the Bible. When a teacher was present, they didn’t have the luxury of getting a bite-sized message.
They wanted as much as they could get because they knew that they couldn’t depend on a weekly meeting in a hostile context where trained pastors were rare. And they knew that they would have to process the information later on, and they looked forward to doing so.
The persecuted church’s hunger for God’s Word inspires us in part to pack in as much teaching as we can. But there’s another part.
Resources for the Global Church
Each Secret Church study is eventually translated into multiple languages. The hope is that believers will use these resources who live in difficult contexts around the world where good teaching is scarce. Contexts like that which first inspired Secret Church. For this reason, we want to give extensive overviews of different theological concepts and biblical doctrines. We want to equip church leaders and believers around the world with fundamental Christian teaching.
We know that each Secret Church covers more material in 6 hours than you might be able to absorb. That’s why we encourage you to go back through your study guide, rewatch the sessions, dive deeper into the Word on each of the concepts introduced, and then pass along what you learn to others.
That’s also why we’ve designed the Small Group Discussion Guide (follow the previous link to preorder). With it, you can go back and review different sections of the teaching. Then, process what you’re learning with a small group over the course of 6 weeks. The guide offers time markers for the portion of the video it covers, key terms, summaries, discussion questions, and additional resources.
Don’t be discouraged or frustrated if you feel overwhelmed by the last simulcast. It’s supposed to feel that way. “Overwhelmed” is a good place to start your further study. Perhaps drinking from the fire hydrant of God’s Word is the best way to describe the volume and pace of teaching.