Why do I believe so strongly in house churches?* I will give you three major reasons.
Grow into maturity
The first reason is 1 John 2:12-14. I do believe in a concept that is not widely talked about among Christians: newborn babies are newborn babies! They have to grow into mature people in Christ: fathers who know the one who is from the beginning. The way to get there is by overcoming the evil one. That is by growing strongly in the Word of God.
If you have that approach, than you will create an atmosphere or a culture where people would never say: “I am not an evangelist”. When people say this to me I would respond: “Do not tell me what you are not. Tell me about the ideal of God. Who do you want to become?” They might answer me: “Because I love Jesus, I want to take care about his sheep. That would be an ideal in my life”. If that is
the ideal, don’t get busy with what you are not! Focus on the next step. Maybe your next step is not that you are a street preacher, but that you bring a cake to your neighbor. The step after that might be that you ask your neighbor: “Shall we have a cup of coffee together?” The first thing is really that I want that people make progress. Everyone need to be taken serious at the spiritual stage where they are in. If they are spiritual babies, let’s not make them more than that. If they are spiritual young men and women, give them opportunities to grow in this stage. Let them run, let them be arrogant, let them rejoice. If they are fathers in faith, let them really make disciples in order to make disciples who make disciples.
Maybe you like say to me: “That kind of discipleship you might have everywhere!” Let me ask you back: “Why do I not see it that often?” You need a setting where somebody is focused on a limited number of people. For example, Jesus chose the twelve and for them it was a life in process.
The second reason is that in a house church setting, simply because in such setting you do not have many other concerns, the focus always lies upon three things: First, the need to get to know new people in order to help them to come to Christ. Second, to make disciples. Third, to bring forth people that will start the next house church, and the next house church.
In a larger, a more complicated church setting, are many things to get you busy. Some people would say to me: “We are a church that is Bible-based”. Honestly, I hope that, because if you are not Bible-based than you are not a church of Jesus Christ. To be Bible-based should not be your focus. All your people should read and grow strong in the Word of God in order to make disciples, to overcome the evil one and to start spiritual communities. Others would say: “We are a church which seeks the Holy Spirit”. I would answer: “Yes, of course! But why are you seeking the Holy Spirit?” Because the Holy Spirit is the one who lead you to the right people, convicts them of sin and that they have to change. The Holy Spirit is the one who bears fruit in their lives and hopefully gives spiritual gifts so that they can interact as body of Christ. The focus in a house church is always reaching out, discipling and church multiplication.
The third reason is that we are busy with every day life. We are busy with cooking, helping in the neighborhood, helping our friends, crying with people, helping people to get out of their addiction. We are busy with the normal things. Actually, I hope we are. If we are not, we do something wrong.
That are some reasons why I believe so strongly in the concept of house churches.
The content of this article is based on the webinar “A movement of house churches” with Marcus Rose.
*house churches with the concept of Missional Communities which ICP Europe uses in their training program.