How often do you have a serious conversation about Jesus with someone who is not your grandmother? These days, it seems like most people’s answer to that question is either, “Never!”, or, “All the time!” He can be kind of a polarizing guy and that’s mostly because, when people think about Jesus, they tend to have a very particular idea. But how true are some of these ideas about the humble, 1st century carpenter? 

In our previous post about the same topic, we examined 3 of the biggest myths about Jesus in a non-Western culture, but this post is for our friends in the Western world. Read on if you’ve ever wondered if all the fuss about Jesus  lives up to what he’s really like!

Myth #1: Jesus wants me to go to church.

There was once a young man who attended a year-long program designed to foster spiritual growth in young Christians. In it, he was presented with a simple challenge: Try to have a spiritual conversation with a new acquaintance. This program took place primarily out of a church in Texas, which is in a region of the United States known as “The Bible Belt,” because there are so many churches. However, during that year, he also took a trip to Portland, Oregon, a city known for its non-religious affiliations. He assumed he would have an easier time discussing spirituality in Texas, but much to his surprise, Portland was the more fertile soil for deep conversations on the topic of spirituality. 

This is because in Texas, any attempt to bring up spirituality was met with, “Oh, son. I go to church. No need to talk to me about that.” Yet, when he spoke with the tattooed, hair-dyed, anti-religious, thrift store hipsters on the streets of Portland, all he had to tell them was that he liked to “connect with the Holy Spirit” in his free time and they were interested. The difference is that the people in Texas equated Jesus, and his Holy Spirit with church. Portlanders, meanwhile, may not be as well known for their love of church attendance, but they do love the idea of a vibrant spirituality.

“And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

Acts 2:45-47

The Bible doesn’t teach disciples of Jesus to go to church, so much as it teaches them to be the Church. “Church” is simply a word used in the Bible to describe the early disciples and what they did together. They supported one another, got together in each others’ homes to share a meal and pray together, served their local communities, and welcomed anyone who wanted to be a part of their community. When you think of things like organ music, having to wake up early on a Sunday morning, and listening to a boring preacher, you’re thinking about things that are ancillary to church, but not the actual Church itself. There’s nothing wrong with any of those things, (Unless your preacher really is that boring!) but there are a lot of people who feel these things aren’t for them. If you’re one of those people, we have good news for you: You can still give Church a try, simply by gathering a few friends together in your living room! You might be hesitant to it, though, if you believe this next myth…

Myth #2: Jesus wants me to know a bunch about the Bible.

There is a man in Germany who is one of the best house church leaders we know. Everyone in his town looks to him for guidance and insists that he is the best person to go to for all of life’s most difficult challenges. His local beer hall has even allowed him to set up a “Jesus table” every week, where he sits with patrons and discusses all their biggest questions about Jesus over a cold pilsner. But this man never went to Bible school. In fact, he has a hard time remembering which stop to get off the bus on his way home. As a former drug addict, his brain doesn’t quite function like it used to. So, how is it he is so effective as a Bible teacher? 

He’s not the one doing the teaching. 

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.”

John 6:44-45

The Bible seems to say that God takes the primary role in teaching people who want to know about him. Our German friend merely acts as a facilitator of that instruction through a process called Discovery Bible Study (DBS). DBS is way of reading the Bible that requires no sermons and no prior Biblical knowledge. It is gaining popularity around the globe, mostly among people who would not consider themselves particularly religious. In DBS, there is no one there to tell you what to think; instead, it’s a series of open-ended questions designed to help a group of friends decide what they think, and find the answers or encouragement they need. 

Myth #3: Jesus wants to judge me.

This one is such a big myth that Jesus himself busted it! In the New Testament, he tells a story about a religious leader and a crook, both of whom were praying. The religious leader thanked God for making him so holy. He recounted to God (As if God needed a reminder!) of how he fasts multiple times a week and never misses the chance to drop some cash in the offering plate at his local temple. Meanwhile, the other guy merely beat his own chest and begged God for mercy.

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 18:14

As people around the world start using DBS, more and more of them are discovering a very different idea of Jesus than they expected. A lot of them like the idea of a loving and forgiving God, but they feel that they have to go to a church or meet with a professional minister in order to get to know him. It’s a big hurdle to jump if you’ve felt like you’ve lived a difficult life, or might not fit the mold of a typical church goer. But, DBS lowers that barrier to entry by making your living room or your local coffee shop the sanctuary, and your closest friends the congregation.


Maybe this idea of meeting with your friends and family in a safe environment to discover what Jesus is actually like strikes your fancy. It certainly struck ours when we first heard about it! That’s why we developed Waha, an app designed to make facilitating a DBS so easy, anyone can do it. Just check out the video below to learn how it works and download it today to get started!