Starting A House Church
Focus is on making disciples!
House Church – What are they?
What is a house church? We are used to thinking of church as a building, but how does the Bible portray the church? Interestingly, the Bible never uses the word “church” to describe a building; instead, it gives us the picture of the church as a family. Like a family, there are spiritual mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers in Christ. The church is called “God’s household” (1 Timothy 3:15). They shared common meals together (Acts 2:46, 1 Corinthians 11:20-21). Lived life together (Acts 2:44-46) and as a family, were to care for and love one another deeply (1 Peter 1:22). Not surprisingly then, the New Testament churches typically met in the homes of believers.
Why start a house church?
God loves the church, even in all of its glorious imperfections. Yet I have talked to so many people who are turned off by what we traditionally view as church. It's messy, it's difficult, and so many times it's hurtful. Yet to truly grow in one's relationship with Christ it's imperative that we all connect with other believers. In fact it is a command to us!
So what if we were to try to be a church that meets much like they did in the book of Acts. In houses, as a small group of believers trying to do life together and point people to the transforming power of the gospel.
Who should come?
Anyone who is not connected to a local body of believers! Perhaps you just never connect to traditional church. Maybe you long for something more, less structured, slightly less formal. Perhaps you have been hurt by churches in the past. We realize that a group of people all have their imperfections. You don't have to conform to come be a part. Come as you are!
Having pastored a church for the past five years, I've begun to rethink the way we are the church. The emphasis has become the program and not the people. The church is not a building, it is the people.
I believe there exists a hunger in people to connect. A desire for true Christ centered fellowship, and a need to model this fellowship to a lost world. I believe there is a need for a different way to be the church in a Biblical way.
The power of the gospel is seen in transformed lives. The power of transformed lives is modeled in transformed relationships inside Christ's Church.
Transformed relationships accept imperfect people. Most churches draw lines between us and them. Transformed relationships correct in love and great humility. Most churches bludgeon with words those that don't meet the standards of the in group.
A transformed church includes women, races, nationalities in unity in a walk towards Christ. It leads in unity by example not divides
We desire to be a church that loves people in their imperfections, walks with them in pursuit of holiness, gently corrects in our wanderings, and encourages a deeper knowledge of the scripture.
A church like that doesn't need a mass of programs. It models the power of the gospel. People live in a community of relationship based on faith in Christ.
Christ has called a church to be that as a witness of the powerful transformation of the gospel to a lost world.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
The divine inspiration and infallibility of the Holy Scriptures (the Bible) as originally given and their final authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
The unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in the Godhead.
The universal sinfulness and guilt of human nature since the Fall, rendering mankind subject to God’s judgement and condemnation.
The redemption from the guilt, penalty and power of sin only through the sacrificial death (as our representative and substitute) of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
The necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit to make the death of Christ effective in the individual sinner, granting him or her repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ.
The indwelling and work of the Holy Spirit in the Believer.
The expectation of the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
That all church members have been gifted by the Holy Spirit to serve the body of Christ. TO create an atmosphere where all are able and expected to use their spiritual gifts
A Different Way of Using Resources
Most churches need to generate income to serve the church. In a traditional church 70-80% of the funds the church receives goes to overhead (salaries,mortgages, insurance,utilities) The house church would allow the people to truly meet the needs of the church family and the mission of the gospel without the encumbrance of a physical plant to maintain. That's freedom to serve!
What will we do?
In general the church would meet every week inside a house! It would include a time of worship, prayer, teaching and conclude with a meal. True church is founded on true deep personal relationships.
After much prayer, Cathy and I believe there is a need for this type of faith community in Joplin. But this is not about what we think. We placed this in God's hands. We believe that if 10 adults join us in this desire we will move forward, if not we know it is not His will for right now.
We ask that, if this idea tugs at your heart, that you prayerfully consider if you might like to get additional information. If that is the case we have included two ways to contact us below.