Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Here are just a few of the reasons:

Historical- The house church is the biblical church. All of the churches in the New Testament era were small assemblies that met in homes. The churches that all of Paul’s letters were written to met in this way. His directions for their order of worship, attitudes about the Lord’s Supper, community, giving, etc., were all instructions for how to do house-based church.

For the first three hundred years of its existence the church met primarily in the homes of its members, not in specially designed buildings. Keep in mind that the United States hasn’t even been around for three hundred years. This is a huge statement to the effectiveness and the potential of these sorts of meetings.

Growth- The most explosive growth of Christianity in our own time has taken place in nations where Believers meet in homes (China, Korea, etc.). The studies of Historian Del Birkey , researcher George Barna, and several others, have concluded that the house church is our best hope for renewal in our times.

Resisting the Culture- Our faith is constantly being pulled towards conforming to the culture around us. (See Paul’s warning about this in Romans 12). The house church has always been counter-cultural for this reason, just as Jesus said that his disciples should be in the Sermon on the Mount.

Practical Considerations- It is often argued that a large church is better equipped than a small church (or, in this case, a house-church) to organize and finance the sending of missionaries.

In fact, the argument backfires. One mega-church with one-thousand members could never match the resource potential of a network of house-churches with one-thousand members, for the mega-church must allocate huge amounts of its resources for the building itself.

According to one recent survey, as much as 82% of church revenues in an average Protestant church goes toward buildings, staff, and internal programs, while only 18% goes toward missions!

Strength In Weakness-The church of the first century did not equate "bigness" with ability, (See 1Co 1:27-29). The world system operates from the principle that bigger is better. To those in this system, success is measured by size and might is measured by muscle. In contrast, it was the “weakness and foolishness” of the Gospel and the lifestyle of the early Christians that “turned the world upside down”.

Mission- There are several opportunities in our communities that are especially suited for the house church. An invitation offered to a work-place acquaintance to a home is much less threatening than one to a church, just as one example. Another is the unique value of the house church as a ministry to "the damaged" and the poor and needy and the possibility of learning the joy of giving by elevating that practice to a personal level.

Evangelism- If a mega-church of 1,000 or more people were converted into 56 churches of 51 people each, they would reach 1,670 people for Christ every 5 years, easily doubling their own number.

If that same church of 1,000 plus members stays a mega-church, they’ll only reach 122 people in the same 5 year time span.

Another way of looking at this is that the mega-church is actually preventing 1,548 people from coming to Christ every 5 years.
*(Taken from the book "Natural Church Growth" by Christian Schwarz)

Financial Responsibility-The House Church model literally makes money because they produce more than they consume, by design. The modern, traditional church model costs enormous sums of money to establish and even more to maintain and propagate.

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