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What is Home Church?
What is a home church? Home church meetings are Christian meetings held in the homes of a group of Christians. Some groups are part of larger Christian bodies, but the Biblical model for church (or house church) is generally for small groups of believers to gather together for fellowship, worship, teaching, prayer, and sharing a meal. Home churches are not governed by a central authority (except Christ) but are independent and members are accountable to one another. Whatever the case, home churches are the only true, Biblical way to live and fellowship as a Christian and to meet, disciple, and be discipled by other Christian believers who are like-minded.
A home church is a Christian group of believers who meet in the home of one or more members. While some home churches follow a rigid structure, others can be more flexible, creative, and led by the Holy Spirit. Usually, meetings are informal, with members sharing a meal, Scripture readings, teaching, prayer, and worship. Some Home Churches are more spiritually-oriented than others, functioning through the gifts of the Spirit and prophecy. Other Home Churches have more traditional worship elements, such as praise and worship accompanied by a piano, keyboard, guitar, or accapella singing. In any case, the prime difference between institutional churches and house churches are the ability for all members to participate and contribute to the meeting, according the gifting or leading they have in Christ–just as Paul commanded in I Corinthians 14:26, “What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.”
A home church is significant in life of Christian disciple of Christ. It is the living form of God’s dispensation on earth, that the Body of Christian believers function as “little Christs” in one Body, one faith, under one God and Father above all, in all, through all (Ephesians 4:5-13). When you join a nearby home church, your faith is strengthened and the faith of others is also built up. Christianity is relationship-based. Just as we have freely received from Christ, we are to freely give to others in the Body to the measure we are able.
Why Home Church
The Home Church movement has a number of important points in common with the so-called “traditional” church, yet at the same time leaves the contemporary church in the dustbin of pre-Christian history. First, house church is superior, since it allows all members to come closer together in relationship with one another, in Christ. it recognizes the importance of small groups of Christians, and by extension makes the individual believer more powerful and allows for more maturity as individual believers grow together, both individually, and as a small group. House church 100% recognizes the value of building relationships in Christian community with people of all backgrounds. While Jesus emphasized the importance of learning about God and abiding in Him, He also encouraged His disciples and all believers to have an intimate relationship with Him, and a close, loving relationship with one another. “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did,” I John 2:6. And in John 13:35, Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
If the Bible were not enough, another terrific reason for home churches is that it allows believers to help one another financially. Instead of wasting money on large buildings, salaries, and equipment, believers are more free to contribute to one another’s individual needs or the needs of the greater Christian community. This means–like the war in Ukraine or natural disasters–more money is available to help refugees, feeding the hungry, or helping the spread the Gospel locally and abroad. It also means believers are able to help one another out in difficult life circumstances, such as: layoffs, medical bills, adoption fees, or everyday needs like food and shelter. These things really matter–far more than a larger “meeting place”, an upgraded sound system, or some televangelist’s plane or other pastor’s Mercedes, We can’t take it with us, but the point of wealth or success is to share with the Body of Christ–not begrudgingly, but willingly with a grateful and joyful heart. “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver,” II Corinthians 9:7. And again in II Corinthians 8:4, “Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.”
How to Home Church
In order to start a home church, you will need to gather a group of people who have similar beliefs and unity of heart. It’s important to fellowship with members who are sincere of heart and yearning for discipleship–and you, also, the same. Home church may seem like a fun and trendy way to connect with people, but the goal is unity in Christ, a hunger for God, and the love of Christ to ensure maximum growth and obedience to the grace shed abroad in each of your hearts.
Home churches are generally smaller, intimate gatherings of people with similar desire to know Christ–both His suffering and His glory. The primary goal of these groups is to meet regularly for prayer, study of scripture, worship of God, sharing a meal and getting to know one another. If you’re just starting out, you can have a small congregation of friends, family and close neighbors or co-workers. You can gradually increase the number of people who attend until it’s too large to meet the practical needs and environment–at which point, you separate into two groups and multiply out from there.
Home Church Meetings
When planning a Home Church Meeting, focus on getting your members involved. This approach enables you to have an intimate atmosphere and encourages participation. You can invite people to share their experiences, testimony, and things the Lord is working on in their life. Consider granting a time each meeting for individual sharing and group prayer. In a home church, everyone has an equal opportunity to participate in the discussions, though this does not mean everyone will share an equal amount of time. Equality of opportunity does not mean equality of outcome, as circumstances, personal giftings, politeness, the moving of the Holy Spirit, and individual decisions to participate will fluctuate from one gather to another.
The home church concept was the only way of church fellowship practiced by early Christians. They wanted to gather with other Christians and show love and concern for one another. They acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God, His death for our sins, and His resurrection to new life. As a result, they ministered to one another and shared a common meal whenever they came together. Meetings were typically held in homes and members shared with one another to help with whatever each person needed, so none would be lacking. During this time (and should also be today), the Lords Supper was instituted by Jesus and his disciples–we should all aim to be disciples and not merely believers.
How to Find a Church Home
Before selecting a church, it’s important to consider your values and what’s most important to you. If you don’t feel connected to a particular denomination, you may want to consider joining a different one. Try reading articles and asking people you know what they think of a particular denomination. If you’re unsure about your beliefs, you can also ask your friends, family, and the staff of a church for recommendations.
After determining who is most compatible with your values, you may want to consider visiting a couple of different house churches. While it can be hard to select a church based on the beliefs of any one person, it’s more important to consider the love members have for Christ and one another. You may also consider reasonable things meetings times, distance, and other considerations of a particular home church.