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Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:18 pm
Hello again, I was wanting to ask you all about house churches, I think this is somewhat of a growing trend and many of its advocates say this is more of a biblical way to worship and forward the great commission. Many people like it because it is more personal, you can participate in it more and also it may help make church more meaningful since it's not part of a big institutional type setting. Not to mention you are far less likely to have issues with hypocrites and people just wanting to play church. But is it a real and better alternative to larger traditional churches? Let me know what you think. Thanks and God bless.
Re: House churches...
Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:18 pm
House churches are often just the same institutional churches in a smaller setting. There's not special about the location. It can tend toward closer relationships and that I think is a good thing.
Organic church, or simple church is not about location. It's about moving from monologues to dialogues, from clergy/lay separation to the priesthood of all believers.
I think it is a real and better alternative, but it doesn't just happen because you locate people into a house. It something that takes a lot of time and a lot of unlearning how church functions. And then it takes some time to learn and practice how church really functions as a living body with only Christ as its head.
Re: House churches...
Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:26 pm
The best thing about house churches is that it facilitates the "priesthood of all believers" more readily than a congregational setting with a pastor or priest or whatever at the front leading, and what is essentially an audience responding. Traditional church tends to separate the minister from the laity, which seems counter to the thrust of NT teaching (Matthew 27:51, for instance). A symptom of human tendency to slip from a living relational based faith towards ritual based religion, and gives rise to common misconceptions such as that the Church is the building, rather than the people who gather there.
There are times when the traditional church setting is very handy, for the purposes of bible teaching, for instance, and in it's main defence, a larger organised denomination is (arguably) better defended against heresy creeping in.
My own church is a house church, but part of a much larger organisation. Many of us live together in intentional community, and use our consequently large houses as our main meeting place. On Sundays we gather together all our households for a larger meeting for teaching and to preserve a sense of unity, so that we are all working together. This works very well, and although some would find it all a bit intense, generally we are doing well. Typical numbers in our sunday evenings are 500+, and on a Tuesday, when we have our main Agape meal and bible study, we can have up to about 50 people in the house. (it's a BIG house, shared between 34 people). I suppose it is quite close to a NT model of the church in some ways, and probably quite different in others. It ain't perfect, but on the other hand, this Sunday we had 5 baptisms, and there are many testimonies of God's grace to be heard. Our main focus is that we are a 'brotherhood' church, and this seems attractive to people in a way that, for instance, Anglicanism isn't. (BTW, my father in law is a retired vicar in the Church of England, and is a man of God I deeply respect, I DON'T think that all traditional churches are bad, or that those who attend them are nominal christians).