What is a House Church?
A house church is an authentic church by both biblical and traditional definitions. Sometimes misunderstood, the church is a group of people, rather than a building. It has biblical instruction, prayer, worship, communion, baptism, discipline and connection and is part of God’s universal church. It models the early church by being simple…back-to-the-basics.
Neighbors Home Church is family style and informal. Each church is designed to be small, ranging from 6-18 people, with all age groups together. We have lively interaction; discussing a portion of the Bible for about an hour and then just chatting for about another hour. Sometimes we have a meal together.
Jesus’ message is simple, yet profound:
~ God loves us and wants us in heaven.
~ The Bible is truth, the source for meaning and direction.
~ Connection is important – life is tough; don’t do it alone.
~ Positive change is possible through the Holy Spirit’s power.
~ Engage in a world changing mission
The Gospel message has the power to transform lives. We take Jesus’ command literally to “Go and make disciples.” Our passion is to connect with the unchurched in home church settings in a simple back to the basics way.
Each gathering is a church and the churches clustered together form a network. There are no buildings and few expenses, so finances can be spent on outreach. Each house church leader is trained and meets monthly with other leaders for mutual accountability, instruction and encouragement.
The House Church has Ancient Roots
After Jesus birth, the Wise Men came to His house. This is a significant gathering for worship. They traveled a long distance, bowed down, worshipped Him and offered gifts (Matthew 2:11).
The Last Supper in the Upper Room is the most complete picture of a worship service that we have in the New Testament. Jesus and 12 people ate a meal together, had prayer, teaching, singing, a foot washing, communion, and even discipline (Judas was bad you know).
When the Apostle Paul talks about churches in his writings, he is talking about house churches, for instance, “Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house” (1 Corinthians 16:19).
Religious buildings were common in New Testament times. Jewish and Pagan temples are mentioned 192 in the New Testament yet the early church did not build any church buildings for the first 300 years.
The early church experienced incredible growth all the while meeting in homes. When the last disciple died around 100 A.D. the church numbered around 25,000 by 313 A.D. it had grown to 20 million. All of this growth took place in house churches.
John Wesley (1791) a church reformer, had 72,000 followers in Great Britain and 57,000 in America. All were connected in a network of multiplying house churches. A setting that developed thousands of young Christians into mature believers and many into strong leaders.
One out of ten Americans attend a house church every week (Barna, 2006, State of the Church).
What to do
If you are looking for a simple church or perhaps you want to know more about Jesus, you can come to one of Neighbors existing home churches or better yet I’ll come to you. You can invite your friends and we can discuss anything that interests you in a place where you are comfortable.