I have believed for a couple of years now that house churches have a huge advantage over large churches.
The increase in the number of people going to any particular church is often accompanied by several decreases, namely one-to-one connection and relationship, life-on-life mentoring and discipleship and finally, accountability.
All these three important areas in the life of a church decline as church membership and attendance go up. In a big church, it is so easy for people to remain anonymous, disconnected and un-discipled. To avoid interaction, there are people who come in shortly after the service starts and leave just before the service ends – no need to talk to anyone.
Today, many Christians have been forced to only gather as home groups for obvious reasons. Well, you may say that even when services weren’t suspended, we were already meeting in home groups or cell groups. True, but now, the only thing many of us have is home groups, not unlike the New Testament church – the only thing they had were house churches. They met daily and they grew phenomenally.
With only CGs meeting in homes, can we not do more than just sing a few songs, do Bible study, eat a nice supper and chat about the economy and the weather? Can we not be like the house churches in the NT that did ministry and outreach together, demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit, and fulfilled God’s Kingdom agenda without the need to meet corporately by the hundreds or thousands?
And when the suspension is lifted, when we gather together again as a large corporate body on weekends, I hope that we would treasure our gathering a whole lot more than we ever did!
I hope that we will treasure one another and look out for those in our church who have often been overlooked and connect with them because Christians are commanded to love one another as Christ has loved us. No one should be left behind. Love not only with our hearts and our words but with our actions – sharing generously what we have with one another especially those who are in need – that’s how an authentic Christian community should look like!
Maybe the “scattering” of the church due to the suspension of worship services is not such a bad thing – it brings us back to the days of the early church!
Ac.2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
1Cor.16:19 The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord.
Rom.16:5 Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia.
Philemon 1 Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother. To Philemon our beloved fellow worker 2 and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house.
Col.4:15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.