GUEST POST by Randall Neighbour, randallneighbour.com.
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In my last blog entry (click here to read) I shared that my wife and I felt led by God to start a house church with hopes it would grow into a network of house churches who have mid-week cell groups.
What have we learned in the last four years about starting a house church? Enough to fill a book. However, no one seems to read books any longer so here I am on a friend’s blog bearing my soul in 550 words or less…
- House Church is purposely held on Sunday mornings to compete with other church attendance. If you’re a part of us it’s because God has called you to be a part of us and not another church.
- Our House Church has a motto: No buildings or salaries. Our tithes and offerings are given to those in need in our community and abroad.
- I do not prepare a sermon because I work a regular job. I do get up early Sunday morning and study the next 2-3 chapters of a book of the Bible we’re working through. I use online resources from trusted theological sources. Someone reads a few verses, I make comments that make me look brilliant or admittedly ignorant, invite others to do the same, and we move on. You’d be surprised how refreshing this is and just how similar it is to early church in the book of Acts!
- No agenda is set in stone in House Church. Sure, we typically gather for about 90 minutes of prayer, Bible study, and personal application. Three weeks ago I asked everyone if we should ax the Bible study and go eat tacos for breakfast and talk about our challenging week. I wasn’t in the mood for Bible study anyway and I told them as much (which they appreciated).
- At our House Church, everyone knows that they’ll one day “grow up and move out of this house and start a house church of their own” because I brainwash them with this statement regularly.
- At House Church we meet with members individually and challenge them to grab a spoon and become a spiritual child (1 Jn. 2:12-14) and not remain an infant who refuses feed themselves. Then we challenge them to get set free from satanic strongholds and all the while, share Christ in a way that helps them become a spiritual father or mother.
- Etna and I pray for our House Church members daily and in great detail. This kind of air support from a pastor is hard to find in a larger church.
- We held our first half night of prayer (on a Saturday night) and everyone was surprised how fast the evening went by and asked for more to be scheduled.
- We often eat lunch together at the house or at a nearby inexpensive restaurant after House Church.
- The House Church’s success or failure is God’s responsibility. We’re being obedient to Him and doing our best.
- The House Church model doesn’t tolerate consumerism and there’s no place to safely hide and not serve and humbly ask to be served.
- One of our members has spontaneously started a cell group in his home mid-week and is inviting people who probably won’t come to our House Church. We are delighted by this and hope he starts a House Church sooner than later. Yes, we’ll train him on leadership skills but we love the fact that he dove into the deep end of the pool without swimming lessons… he’s no consumer Christian!
- No one is bored in House Church. Frankly, going to a building on Sunday and sitting with hundreds of people to listen to a sermon is boring to me and everyone in our House Church. If we’re not interacting with others through the Word, we’re not learning enough of it for it to be transformational.
Do you have more questions for me? Ask them below and I’ll answer in detail. Go!