A couple from Ontario, Canada, asked us the following question about starting a house church:
”We live in a small town in Ontario Canada. We have been meeting in our home for 3 years now and have grown into a wonderful family. We are so tired of “church” as it is today and feel God is speaking to us about starting a home church. We are very interested how you are doing it and also how to include children into it as well. I would love any information that could help us. Thank you.” – Rob and Victoria
You mentioned that you have been meeting in your home for 3 years now and God has blessed your small group of believers into a wonderful spiritual family. That is commendable. If the Spirit of God were not behind it, it would not have lasted. But since it has, we encourage you to keep it going and continue to seek the Lord’s guidance for further development, maturity and growth.
The early Christian church started in very much the same way. The Book of Acts says that they met together from house to house and continued in the apostle’s doctrine:
”All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer…And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meals with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” – Acts 2:42-47
I believe that one of the reasons we grow tired of the institutional church, as it is structured today, is because believers are not encouraged to participate in the services and fully utilize their spiritual gifts. This eventually leads to boredom and stagnation. They are simply spectators rather than participators. Therefore, it is important that house churches avoid allowing individuals with the gift of preaching and teaching to become the dominant focus of your home meetings. Instead, everyone should be given equal time to bring a word or a song or revelation or testimony, according to the pattern we see in the early church meetings:
”Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.” – 1 Corinthians 14:26
Pastors and other elders in the home church should only provide oversight and spiritual guidance to the flock – without drawing too much attention to themselves or monopolizing the time, as it happens in the institutional church today. In the Body of Christ there should be no “super stars;” everyone is on the same “level playing field,” and no pastor, preacher, or teacher should ever be elevated any higher in importance than any other believer, or worse yet, than our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Tragically, this kind of idolatry, which is too often found in the traditional churches today, has shipwrecked many churches.
Regarding children, they should be encouraged to participate along with adults and taught to follow quietness, orderliness and respect during house church meetings. Unfortunately, hyperactive or undisciplined children must sometimes be taken outside the home by a designated child supervisor and teacher until they are trained to calmly participate with the adults.
For further study, we have included some links below that will be of benefit.
For Further Study:
The House Church Movement