Many years ago, as we began inviting people to consider 'church at home,' I wrote the following description. It may still be relevant for stirring up our imagination for what God can do in and through His people.
House Church Life is not a new kind of church… It’s not “a church.” It’s not even a specific group of people. It’s a movement. It’s re-discovering what the Christian life is meant to be: alive, Spirit-filled, Spirit-led, a movement of Christians going and gathering as God leads.
Church is the people of God. Take down the walls and fire up the passion—it’s a movement!
Imagine Your Heart Beating Wildly For God--And Your Life Making A Difference!
Sometimes our Christian life starts to feel like a religious treadmill—step, step, step—lots of effort but going nowhere. What a contrast to the Book of Acts: “believers met together constantly,” “shared their meals with great joy and generosity,” “the building where they were meeting shook,” “many miraculous signs and wonders,” “believers greatly increased.”
Does “going” to a house church “produce” this? Not at all!
BUT House Church Life IS about pursuing what God intended the church to be: not a PLACE but a LIVING-WITH-GOD LIFESTYLE.
Church at Home: What is a Home Church?
Imagine a close spiritual family.
- One young family said: “We have developed some meaningful friendships and the group has become like an extended family.”
- A single woman, mid-twenties, said: “Home church is a place where I belong, where people are concerned for each other, and where I can be who I am without any façade.”
Imagine food, caring, love, and simple heart-felt worship among friends.
- "We hear each other's stories."
- "We learn to walk with God together."
- "We pray for each other's healing."
- "We cover each other's back."
"When Scripture talks about church, it means community. The little fellowships of the heart that are ouposts of the kingdom. A shared life. They worship together, eat together, pray for one another, go on quests together.” John Eldredge
“LOVE ONE ANOTHER” is meant to be at the heart of our Christian gatherings!
Aaron, “This understanding of the church excites me. It leaves the floor open to what the Holy Spirit wants to do. Not just in a far off future sense, but right now, right here, today. It forces us to leave our preconceived agendas behind and move as the Spirit moves us.”
“I just want to love God.”
Recently, a woman admitted how frustrated she had become with some of the complications of her church life. She blurted out, “Why can’t I just… worship and love God… that’s all I really want to do.
We want to get back to the simplicity of our faith. Just Jesus, simply Jesus, all Jesus. Love God with all your heart. Seek first… just Him.
CAN CHURCH BE THAT SIMPLE?
Take a fresh look at Scripture
- “Church” = “ekklesia” means “people” not “a place”
- Wherever they gathered—Jesus was in their midst
- They lived simple, worshipful, shared lives—in caring communities
- They demonstrated the love of God everywhere they went
Church at Home: What is a Home Church?
Everyone discovers his/her gifts, vision, calling, and life-in-God while living the House Church lifestyle. That’s what makes the diverse Body of Christ so powerful. It’s not about the vision of one man or one church, it’s about releasing the calling and gifts of every Christian.
"Note that the only way that Christ can be properly expressed is if every member freely supplies that aspect of the Lord that he or she has received. The Lord Jesus cannot fully disclose Himself through only one member. He is far too rich. In fact, His riches are inexhaustible (Eph. 3:8)! When every member of the Body functions in the meeting, Christ is seen. He is assembled in our midst.” Frank Viola
What a Single Mother Has To Say: “I have found it very healing to be a part of a church community where I am not invisible and can contribute to the life of the group… I am given the opportunity to walk in the gifts that God has given me…”
LIVE PASSIONATELY FOR GOD—SURROUNDED BY A SMALL FELLOWSHIP OF FRIENDS AND ALLIES
- It’s not a fad—it’s a movement
- It’s not a church group—it’s a lifestyle
- It’s the Holy Spirit leading
- It’s His love, it's simple, it's family
Church at Home: What is Home Church?
It is the missional base, the place of care, from which the Gospel and love of Christ is extended out to a hurting world. They know us because of our love, and we are the followers of Jesus living daily to impact the world like salt and light.