If you are tired of impersonal crowds, professional troubadours that have turned worship into a spectator sport, and small group spin-offs that function like the old Soviet control cells, then maybe you should just stay home. That is what “refugees of traditional Christianity” are doing in greater numbers across the country: they are starting home churches.[i]In apartments and in homes, they gather once a week to worship, to pray, to take Communion, and to share in the word of God. Gone are the programs, salaries, building projects, and pressure from serving huge overheads; when these home churches reach twenty members they start a new group, meeting in another house. Such a small group of independent and unencumbered Christians can grow deeper in their faith faster, and have the opportunity to truly minister to the needs of other saints (Gal. 6:10).
House churches often form from a desire to return to the simplicity of the first-century church depicted in the book of Acts:
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat 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. (Act 2:42-47)
Not everyone in contemporary Christendom applauds these “throwback Christians,”[ii]as they refer to themselves. Eddie Gibbs, professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, cautions that: “This kind of doing your own little thing means you are separated from Christian tradition and wisdom over the centuries.”[iii]The fact that Gibbs happens to be a professor of church growth may not have anything to do with his skepticism, but isnâ€™t the wisdom of the ages found in the “apostle’s doctrine,” the Bible?
Websites[iv]for information on house churches:
[ii] Greenberg,”Throwback Christians”.