Pristine Grace
Page 1 of 4 1 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 71

Thread: Anyone here in a house church?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Akron
    Posts
    139
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Anyone here in a house church?

    How is that working out for you? Could you explain the plus's and minuses of such an arrangement? Share your experiences?

    Yoder

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Akron
    Posts
    139
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    Sometimes, all you got to do is look through the forums to find your answer.

    I found the thread.

    Dave

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Akron
    Posts
    139
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    I read the thread, it wasn't quite what I was looking for. It kinda broke down in a discussion about how biblical they were. I was kinda hoping for someone to share their experiences, how did they hammer out doctorine...How did they handle the no woman may talk issue...(Which is a non-issue in my opinion) and other things. This concept interests me and would like to hear about some experiences.

    Anyone care to share?

    Dave

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    381
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    Dave:
    I am convinced that Simple Church (I like this term better) is the way to go biblically but I have had a lot of trouble making it work in practice. After a year of trying to start a house church to no success my wife and I are again attending a large gathering however I consider my small Sunday school class my Church. Could you detail your experience I think it would really help me.

  5. #5
    Administrator Brandan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    5,819
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    137
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    76
    Thanked in
    50 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    I'm sick and tired of trying to "do church". The NT ekklesia is simply a group of like-minded believers gathering together to remember Christ and edify one another. Too bad we keep messin' it up
    This is my signature.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Akron
    Posts
    139
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    I am not in a house church. Just the concept of it speaks to me though. I have been through some situations in the church that have called for church disipline. But it is just impossible with the huge amount of people at the church (200 people). I also see a lot of opportunities for spiritual growth that are just not possible because you cannot get a good core group of people together.

    I have been reading what Brandon has been posting in the library and it seems the way to go. I am just wondering if anybody here could post their experiences with it. I am curious.

    Yoder

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Middleville, MI
    Posts
    3,577
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    I am not in a house church. Just the concept of it speaks to me though. I have been through some situations in the church that have called for church disipline. But it is just impossible with the huge amount of people at the church (200 people).
    I don't think that church discipline by any means is impossible with 200 people as long as the church is healthy. My own church has about 250 and I have been quite happy with the way discipline is conducted. There do need to be elders which are serving their proper role in such a situation though and the congregation needs to do their part as well. Often, church discipline seems to be regarded as the sole responsibility of the pastor. Anytime this happens, regardless of the size, there will be problems. Church discipline starts with the preaching of the Word. If it is known that a brother in Christ is living in sin, those who are aware of it should speak to him privately about it and not just forget about it if he continues.

    Matthew 18:15-17 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    I have observed problems in very small churches as well where everyone is related to one another and unwilling to practice church discipline. Size is not the real issue. The monks were not able to escape their sinful lusts by world flight. There is no command in Scripture as to how large the congregation should be allowed to get or where they should meet. The early met in houses because they were under persecution and could not be as visible as we can be. No doubt, there will come a time once more when the church will suffer such persecution again, as it already does in some areas. But spritual conditions must be changed, simply changing to a different location with a smaller number of people won't solve anything.

    Sola Gratia,
    WildBoar
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    381
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    Wild Boar:
    I don't think that church discipline by any means is impossible with 200 people as long as the church is healthy. My own church has about 250 and I have been quite happy with the way discipline is conducted

    How many Matt 18:17 inspired meetings does your church have in a year? Do you conduct them during your Sunday morning service or at another time when the whole church is gathered? (1st Cor 5:4-5) How does the accused party handle the fact that 250 people many of whom they only see at church functions, know the details of their personal sins? Does this hinder their latter restoration to the fellowship?
    I myself have never witnessed such a meeting at such a large gathering. But I have seen it be effective in very small closely nit groups.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Middleville, MI
    Posts
    3,577
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    How many Matt 18:17 inspired meetings does your church have in a year?
    The goal is not to see how many you can have. Our church order adds some extra steps, so that ideally the person is first addressed by the individual who is aware of the sin, and then if they will not listen to them, it is brought to the attention of one or two of the elders. The elders work with person, calling them to repent. If the person refuses to repent, the whole consistory is made aware of the problem. An announcement is made that someone in the congregation is living in some particular sin in violation of some commandment of God and the Lord's Supper is withheld from them. If the person continues unrepentant the church must obtain permission from classis to announce the person's name before the church (to protect the person from a corrupt consistory). If they continue still they are excommunicated. There are also steps which are taken if a person eventually repents to restore them back into the congregation.

    Due to the process involved I am happily unaware in most cases when someone is under discipline. In the past year there has been one case in which discipline has advanced to the stage just prior to revealing the name of the person. At the last classis meeting there were five requests from different churches which were all approved to announce the name of the person. I have heard of cases where the stage of excommunication has ocurred but happily have not witnessed it myself. I personally know of two cases in the last year in which individuals have repented after being admonished by the elders and am certain that there were more instances which I am once again happy I am unaware of.

    Sola Gratia,
    WildBoar
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

  10. #10
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Hawaiian Islands
    Posts
    3,658
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    58
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    107
    Thanked in
    56 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    I have no doubt that the 'church discipline' of all churches (a NON APOSTOLIC concept--since 'church' is a mistranslation of ekklesia) would ban me from communion if they truly knew my beliefs and convictions. I abstain from any 'snippet and sip' communion that confesses sectarianism. I do this in honor and conviction! The gospel is contrary to all legalism and the denying of participation unto true believers. I praise God every time I abstain--and use the opportunity to pray for the judgment of God on ignorance and anti-gospel conviction!

    I have often refrained from the snippet and sip (mostly a cruel joke) in 'churches.' I remember distinctly an incident a few years ago--when I visited an RPCNA congregation with my daughter and son-in-law. They happened to be having their 'quarterly communion' the week we attended. They had no respect for whether we believed the true gospel or not, only whether we were 'members' (?) of a 'church'--as defined by all of their standards of non-corporation membership and the doctrines that they believed constituted a legitimate 'church.' So all of us were asked to abstain. During the 'communion,' I spent the time in prayer asking for the Lord to pour out his judgment on that assembly. Today it exists no more. Praise God!
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Heaven
    Posts
    2,655
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    Dave:
    I am convinced that Simple Church (I like this term better) is the way to go biblically but I have had a lot of trouble making it work in practice. After a year of trying to start a house church to no success my wife and I are again attending a large gathering however I consider my small Sunday school class my Church. Could you detail your experience I think it would really help me.
    this sounds very much like my experience (sort of). a few years back, i was resolved to start my own church since i didn't think i'd ever find one that fit my 'checklist'. i started a home bible study while searching for a larger fellowship with leadership, etc. already intact. but what happened was that God taught me that i am for the EKKLESIA, the EKKLESIA is not for me. i learned that i am not the standard on what's right and wrong, what's in or out. i really think that God taught (and continues to teach) me many valuable lessons in this experience.

    nevertheless, like you, i still consider my sunday school class and home group as my church. i don't think there is anything inherently wrong with a large church. i mean, there were huge numbers of people that got saved in the apostle's ministry (as described in the book of acts) in a very small locality. thousands were saved in one sitting and i'm sure that their primary/only meetings (where they ministered, fellowshipped, discipled, worshipped, etc.) were not in the large crowd. and this problem of too many people to know what to do with was a good problem and i'm sure they got it all figured out. what's interesting is that the exact details on exactly how they organized it and made it happen that everyone could meet are not given for us. we cannot study a detailed church plant model in the book of acts because the precise details are not explicitly given. i don't think that any one method is sacred and sanctioned.

    i'm of the opinion that there was one church in each town, but each of those town churches actually met in smaller groups in separate homes, synagogues, the temple courts, etc. (rarely meeting all together in one large meeting). for example, there was a church in Rome but also churches that met in homes (Ro 16:5). so perhaps the town churches were subdivided into smaller groups or churches (i.e., assemblies). so as i see it, there is nothing wrong with a large church as long as there are small churches within that larger church (since the word that is translated as "church" basically just means "assembly"). so as a church grows larger, it should also grow smaller (or divide up). i see it as concentric circles which most likely even existed in the early church.
    1. there were the people who were part of the large church (the church of Rome) who met at other locations than your own who you probably knew their face and perhaps even their name but you may not know much else about them except that they are a fellow believer.
    2. then there were those who you definitely know their names and you know a bit about them (more than #1) but you are not intimate with them (you don't regularly meet with them, pray with them, learn with them, etc.)
    3. last there are those who are in your inner circle who you meet with regularly for fellowship, worship, discipleship, ministering, etc. (Acts 2:41-47).
    i find that you have these three concentric circles in church and relationships regardless of how you do it. if you just have a home church, then you remove #1 and #2 but believers who go to other churches in your town will still fit into one of these two categories. anyway, my point is that where "church" really happens is at #3 no matter how you "do church". we see these same circles with Jesus:
    1. The crowds
    2. The seventy
    3. The twelve (and even the three within the twelve, i.e., peter, james, and john)
    those He invested the most time and knew most intimately (actually since He's God, He knows us all intimately, but i'm speaking on a human level, in His humanity) were obviously #3.

    i really think the key is to make sure that you are experiencing and involved in #3 relationships where there is mutual intimacy, accountability, involvement in eachothers lives, encouragement, admonishment, discipleship/instruction (mentoring), fellowship, worship, ministry, etc. where the one anothers are really happening in a close and personal setting. i think if you are a Christian without #3 level relationships in your life that you will stagnate, dry up, and lose your impact in the world. Christians are meant to be together not lone soldiers fighting the battle by themselves. i don't know if these comments are helpful at all, but these are just some things that God has been teaching me lately. a book that i've recently read that has been an encouragement in this regard is called "the pursuit of God in the company of friends."
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
    --Erasmus

    A room without books is a body without soul.
    --Cicero

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    381
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    Disciple:
    Thanks for your thoughts as is often the case you have captured my feelings exactly. I completely agree with your insight. I especially like the idea of division of the EKKLESIA into three concentric circles. If you don’t mind I would like to develop this idea further.

    It seems to me that circle #1 is today becoming much closer to what Christ intended. At least in places like America where there is no state Church and a City Churches are not organized into a single human organization. Christians are learning to work together when we agree and are learning to live with our various denominational quirks.

    #3 Churches are as good or bad as the Christians in them because they are so small they have no human hierarchy to get in the way of their reform of downfall.

    I think #2 Churches are the battleground for the next Reformation. It’s in these denominational style Churches that you can find the power hungry leaders who abuse the flock for there own purposes and even distort the Word of God because of their traditions. Sometimes they become so large that they try to pretend that they are in fact #1s(city Churches) but Christians are becoming less likely to by into that.

    What do you think?

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Heaven
    Posts
    2,655
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    #3 Churches are as good or bad as the Christians in them because they are so small they have no human hierarchy to get in the way of their reform of downfall.

    I think #2 Churches are the battleground for the next Reformation. Itís in these denominational style Churches that you can find the power hungry leaders who abuse the flock for there own purposes and even distort the Word of God because of their traditions. Sometimes they become so large that they try to pretend that they are in fact #1s(city Churches) but Christians are becoming less likely to by into that.

    What do you think?
    i actually didn't mean to communicate that the three concentric circles represented three types of churches if that's what you understood by what i said. my point is that there are these three levels of relationships within churches and within towns and that if you do not have level #3 relationships, then you probably aren't doing what God wants as it pertains to the EKKLESIA and you're growth will be stunted as a result. we only properly grow in community. if we have no real community, then we are not practicing biblical Christianity.

    in the examples, #1 relationships could refer to your church (if it is large) or to the town (which is made up of small churches, medium churches, and large churches which may or may not have mini-churches or small groups within them). either way, the emphasis on the local EKKLESIA is to be on the #3 relationships.
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
    --Erasmus

    A room without books is a body without soul.
    --Cicero

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    381
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    Disciple:
    i actually didn't mean to communicate that the three concentric circles represented three types of churches if that's what you understood by what i said.

    I understood the point you were making and I think it is a beautiful one. My reply was an attempt to move this discussion to a place that it looks like the folks here are not willing to go as of yet. I now see that I should have left your post stand on it’s own. Like I said it’s what I also believe
    Sorry

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Heaven
    Posts
    2,655
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    I understood the point you were making and I think it is a beautiful one. My reply was an attempt to move this discussion to a place that it looks like the folks here are not willing to go as of yet. I now see that I should have left your post stand on itís own. Like I said itís what I also believe
    Sorry
    ok. i understand. perhaps you could further elaborate on your comment "move this discussion to a place that it looks like the folks here are not willing to go as of yet". what precisely are you talking about here?
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
    --Erasmus

    A room without books is a body without soul.
    --Cicero

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    381
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    perhaps you could further elaborate on your comment "move this discussion to a place that it looks like the folks here are not willing to go as of yet". what precisely are you talking about here?

    What I am trying to say is I think in the future all local congregations will merely be networks of cell/house churches and leadership based on one-man pastor-popes will no longer exist.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Warrington, UK
    Posts
    488
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    What I am trying to say is I think in the future all local congregations will merely be networks of cell/house churches and leadership based on one-man pastor-popes will no longer exist.
    Interesting. What is it that leads you to think this?

    Martin

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    381
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    God seems to have chosen this time to raze up an army of people who see the need for a further reformation of the church. You meet can these people everywhere. We all agree in principal to the shape that this reformation should take. The question is who are the bad guys in this story? There is no longer a monolithic state church to resist. No Pope is trying to shut us up. Who is holding back the much-needed reform that God wants bring to the church?
    Like a wise man once said “I have seen the enemy and he is us”. The evil that hangs over the people of God like a black cloud is simply the jealousy and selfish ambition of people like us who want to be in charge.

    James 3:14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, don't boast and don't lie against the truth. 3:15This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic. 3:16For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil deed.

    I see this demonic wisdom in a thousand little popes who out of ambition water down the gospel in order fill their pews and their offering plates. I also see it in my envy of their success. We all want to be first.

    3rd John 1:9I wrote to the assembly, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, doesn't accept what we say. 1:10Therefore, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words. Not content with this, neither does he himself receive the brothers, and those who would, he forbids and throws out of the assembly.

    Acts 20:29For I know that after my departure, vicious wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 20:30Men will arise from among your own selves, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.

    The next reformation won’t come until we realize that the only one who has the authority to rule over the Church is Christ.

    Matt 20:25But Jesus summoned them, and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 20:26It shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 20:27Whoever desires to be first among you shall be your bondservant, 20:28even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    381
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    Am I to read the lack of responses to my comments here to mean that you all agree with me or that I did not make any sense?

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    115
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Anyone here in a house church?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    perhaps you could further elaborate on your comment "move this discussion to a place that it looks like the folks here are not willing to go as of yet". what precisely are you talking about here?

    What I am trying to say is I think in the future all local congregations will merely be networks of cell/house churches and leadership based on one-man pastor-popes will no longer exist.
    Would this be as a result of folks splitting off from apostate congregations? From a hostile power, religious, political, or both?

Page 1 of 4 1 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. The Super Bowl Explained
    By Mickey in forum General Discussion Archive
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-09-06, 10:21 PM
  2. Isaiah 26:10 on common grace/favor
    By wildboar in forum Predestinarian Doctrine Archive
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 01-26-05, 12:20 AM
  3. Method of Eternal Salvation
    By Prmtv Bptst in forum Predestinarian Doctrine Archive
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-23-04, 10:32 PM
  4. How do you witness to Jehovah's Witness'
    By Faithnhope in forum Old Miscellaneous Archive
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-18-03, 09:23 AM
  5. Christian Leaders Behaving Badly
    By countrymouse in forum Old Miscellaneous Archive
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-12-02, 10:55 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •