Megachurch Cure: On the Horizon

sunrise_sts47ncorp1.gif. Credit:NASA

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 isn’t the wisdom of the ages found in the “apostle’s doctrine,” the Bible?

Websites[iv]for information on house churches:



[i] Brad A. Greenberg,”Throwback Christians, ‘House church’ faithful on the rise,”,February 16,2007.


[ii] Greenberg,”Throwback Christians”.


[iii] Ibid.


[iv] Ibid.

This entry was posted in Faith Beat, Home Churches, Megachurches, Worship. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Megachurch Cure: On the Horizon

  1. Mike Ratliff says:

    Well said David! I have felt much the same since my wife and I left our former church because it went Purpose Driven. God’s will be done.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  2. Connie says:

    The only fault I find with this is-how do you manage to send and fund missionaries with this model? Not knocking the concept at all…

  3. Connie,

    A valid and heart-felt concern. I once heard a preacher form England, I can’t remember his name, also commenting on Missionary focus. He observed that in the past, England sent missionaries to far off lands to people who had never heard the gospel, but that today the level of Biblical ignorance here has prompted the sending of missionaries to America. Perhaps the small house church model is a sort of missionary model every time a new church breaks off and forms. There is also the possibility of house church networks, nationwide, supporting missionary work in far away lands. Also, and I think this has been neglected, every time we raise a child in the Lord we eventually send him or her out into the world as a missionary, though we know not where the Lord will send them.


  4. James says:

    Do missionaries have to be outside the U.S. or is there enough to do in our own country? Members of our bible study go through a local mega-church to do some mission trips.

  5. James says:

    Besides, are we all called to be an apostle (establish ministries) or are we all called to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20)? Good article.

  6. PRCalDude says:

    I find this appalling. The churches mentioned in Acts were during the apostolic era, and they were under the oversight of the apostles and the Jerusalem council.
    There are plenty of good denominations out there: the OPC, the PCA, the URCNA to name a few. People are doing the house church thing more out of laziness than anything else. If you don’t live near a good church, then MOVE!

  7. Dale Noland says:

    Hi Folks,
    I would like to address some concerns, ( assuming them to be sincere concerns, not just someone “venting”), first; to answer “how to manage and fund missionaries” please go to a website called and you will find the MOST EFFECTIVE way to fund missionaries on planet earth ! For the subject of managing them, that is handled most efficiently and with the highest of accountability through that organization. Our “House Church” is able to fund many more missionaries with ABSOLUTELY NO OVERHEAD to consume the resources, also many of our members are involved with prison or jail ministry.
    Second; I believe that the churches in the first century were under the leadership of ELDERS. Please see Acts 14:23, Titus 1:5, and 1 Timothy 5:17.

  8. PRCalDude says:

    Yeah, and the elders were installed by the apostles, and when they had a major doctrinal dispute because of the Judaizers, they brought it to the attention of the Jerusalem council. So there was oversight for each individual church from the get go, as Paul would routinely visit the churches he planted and correct error, as evidenced by the epistles he wrote. How does this happen with house churches? Where do the teaching elders of these churches get their commissions to preach? Where are they educated? Who brings these teaching elders under discipline for preaching heresy? If the other elders do, then where do they get their education?

  9. Dale Noland says:

    Hello Again,
    Once more, I am willing to assume that the questions are sincere, ( although it’s getting tougher to do that since the questioning post begins with ” Yeah, and…” ).
    Here we go, FIRST; the Apostles also considered themselves Elders as Peter makes clear in 1 Peter 5:1 and reading the next few verses 1-5 it seems very clear that the Elders lead the Church, see also Acts 14:23 where it is abundantly clear that the Apostles trusted The Lord to lead them.
    Hopefully we acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the true Head of the Church.
    We DO NOT want to be found telling Him how to lead, but rather, want to follow His instructions found in His Word. SECOND; When our House Church recognizes Elders or Deacons, they are held to the high standard of The Word, see 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9 .
    I know of a certainty that many who serve as Elder, Deacon, or Pastor in the denominational churches are held to NO SUCH STANDARD, although they may have an education which many claim will qualify them to serve in these positions. THIRD; the elders in the local House Church hold one another accountable to the Scriptures ( 1 Timothy 1:3 ; 2 Timothy 1:13, and 4:3 ; Titus 1:9 , and 2:1 ) and will be accountable to the Lord in that day! Please see 2 Corinthians 5:9-10, and 1 Corinthians 3:12-13.

    Please Brothers and Sisters, prayerfully consider these things! My prayers are with you all , that The Lord will instruct you by his Spirit of Truth.
    Please let us not be contentious but all prayerfully consider The Scriptures to be our final guide and authority. 2 Timothy 3:15-17
    I will not post to this topic in this discussion again. Ephesians 4:31-32 Galatians 5:26



  10. Lindon says:

    David, Thanks for this post. As to how to fund missionairies? The answer is: God provides for His Work. And when there is nothing there and He provides: He gets the Glory.

    Before my mom died she told me this: The church in America is a mission field. Her words keep coming back to me in light of the purpose driven drivel, emergent and GCM movements.

    David, you read my series on elders and authority. The answer to all the questions above is Jesus Christ. He is the head of the church. When we seek only HIM and His Word, these things take care of themselves.

    Ironically, anyone we appoint as an elder or overseer is a totally depraved sinner saved by grace the same as I. Please folks, I am not anti-elder but we need to revisit what being an elder really means.

    Another irony when we look at who gets to teach and where their ‘commission’ comes from is that excepting Paul, most of the other Apostles were not the cream of the crop education wise. Had they been, they would have either been Rabbi’s or studying with a well known Rabbi. But God uses the foolish and weak to shame the worldly wise and strong. When Jesus called them, they were going about their daily work as fishermen, tax collectors, etc.

  11. PRCalDude says:

    Jesus is the true head of the head of the church, but he’s installed visible elders typified by the apostles. Of course, the apostles were taught by the Lord himself for their service and commissioned by him. The apostles, in turn, founded churches and maintained oversight over them. The churches didn’t found themselves out of thin air because they wanted to. Just look at the passage quoted above in Acts: “they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine…” The apostles maintained oversight over that doctrine. The examples in Acts and so forth must be placed in their proper context, as the Apostles were the ones who developed the doctrine in the first place.

    The word of God alone is not organized into doctrines. Doctrines must be organized by theologians and must be done so with great care and study, as was done in the case of the Westminster Confession, Belgic Confession, and so on. It is done by a body of teaching elders and theologians who are schooled in Greek and Hebrew.

    Just because there are examples of elders, teaching elders, and deacons not being held to standards in accordance with Matthew 18 does not mean that the idea of denominations needs to be thrown out. Again, who commissions these teaching elders to teach? Where are they educated in exegesis, Greek and Hebrew? Where are the doctrinal standards? Why can’t these people submit to a true church in an orthodox denomination like the ones I mentioned above? So I would likewise urge us all not to be contentious but submit ourselves to the teachers God has placed over us in true denominations and not make ourselves the final authority.

  12. Aaron says:

    I think that all the appeals to the authority of church appointed elders and the traditions they stand upon, along with the continued emphasis placed on the role the apostles played in the founding of the churches misses the fact that we have in our possesion the living Word of God. Paul wrote multiple letters to churches them instructing them and exhorting them because he himself was no longer present with them. These same epistles have been preserved by Divine Providence and passed down to us. We have the same teaching and the same doctrine that the first century churches had. Furthermore where in a complete dependence upon scholastic schooling, fluency in Greek and Hebrew, and complete competency in the history of theology, leave room for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is only the Holy Spirit, being present in us, and ministering to us, that the Word of God takes on its everlasting meaning. The flesh will never be able to make use of the Bible to God’s glory, but only towards its own ends.

    Saying that the word of God alone is not organized into doctrines sounds dangerously close to saying that man must take the confusion that God spoke in His word and make some sense of it so as to be able for it be of any real use. I do not wish to say that your concerns to not have any merit to them, but only that your emphasis seems to be leaning more towards man and less towards God.

  13. Many if not most American churches have strayed significantly from obvious New Testament teachings. They borrow money for buildings, they are overstaffed, their staff salaries are inflated, they have congregational votes copied from the secular world, they discuss politics within the sanctuary, they observe little if any prayer meetings in the sanctuary, they have more announcements than prayer Sunday mornings, and they observe the Lord’s Supper monthly at best because of time restraints. And for a Spiritual rest they go on an expensive and gluttonous journey which was invented by the hedonistic world and is now called a “Christian cruise”.

    I believe some of the issues of missions, elders, and other things that definitely need to be asked about a house church can be overcome with an acknowledgment of the need, prayer and fasting, and faith. The western local church system has morphed into an idol with very little power and more of a place of fellowship than seeking the face of Christ. Many have more exercize classes than prayer meetings.

    Can we really feel content with the condition of the local church when held up against the mirror of God’s Word? Some churches even allow their buildings to be used as voting places because they believe that has some power. And every four years people walk right into the church building and cast their vote for infidels. The Lordship of Jesus and His will are not up for a vote. House churches, they are worth a try by faith.

    Pray for revival!

  14. David Norris says:

    I remind you of what Paul said- “The church that is in their house”- 1 Corinthians 16:19. SPM has for over ten years had a house church that has branched off to other house churches and is a great blessing to us all as we adhere to Acts 2:42.

  15. Michael says:

    To those so enamored with denominations, theologians, confessions and exegesis, if the heart of the tree is poisoned, the fruit will be poisoned too. Even a cursory glance at the appalling condition of the Protestant church today is enough to convince one that the tree is dying, even with theologians and exegetes galore. Thank God that in the weed and rot infested harvest there are a few green shoots that may yet bear fruit worthy of the Name they are called by. Sure some will die, and others will be choked or corrupted, but the Sower sows where He wills, and some will bear fruit a hundredfold. Sounds like some already are. Were church authority and confessional conformity necessary for the home churches that sprouted up in Communist China and the Soviet Union? Or, were they just too ‘lazy’ to move to a country that had better denominations? I’m sure the martyrs in Asia and the Middle East would likely debate that repugnant notion…oh, except they’re with the Lord!

  16. PRCalDude says:

    This is an apples to oranges comparison. The chinese and middle easterners and those in the former USSR organize into house churches because of persecution. We don’t have that here, yet. You can move anywhere you want in the US if you want to be near a good church. Moreover, no one has hear discussed how these Chinese churches are organized, or what doctrinal standards they hold to. The people in those countries make do with what they have. Here, you don’t have to be a member of the Communist party to organize into a church.

    Are the OPC, the URCNA, and the PCA churches rotten to the core? Ministers in those denominations would be surprised to here that. How do you know your church isn’t rotten to the core? So far, none of my points have been addressed.

  17. PRCalDude says:

    To all:

    I apologize for my tone. I humbly ask forgiveness.

    I am gravely concerned that many here will jump out of the frying pan and into the fire, as doctrine is so diluted in this country that it is unclear to me how anyone could start a house church unless they had been appropriately trained in a good seminary. If these house churches are to comply with Acts 2, then the teachers must be appropriately trained as were the apostles by the Lord himself. Moreover, one must take into account the examples set forth in Acts 15 when doctrinal disputes arose from uncommissioned teachers (v 24) promoting unbiblical ideas. While these are not insurmountable obstacles, they must be met in order to truly comply with Acts 2 and 15.

  18. Lindon says:

    PRCalDude, I was going to ask if you were in seminary or went to seminary?

    The biggest problem with your view is that many seminaries are graduating purpose driven clones and GCM robots. An M Div does not guarantee Holiness or even a regenerated heart.

    God Bless, and thanks for your apology.

  19. Miss M says:

    I do not know if this will be read, since the last post was a month and a half ago.

    My husband and I have, in the last 15 years, had to shed nearly everything we learned at Bible college. It has been a long, painful road that has included our losing nearly everything at one point. So much for the much-extolled benefits of seminary.

    I wonder, will PRCalDude give us the money to move somewhere where there is a real church that teaches the Word of God?

    As we perceived our time at our long-time church coming to an end because they had been Warrenized, we began searching for such a church. Once our church kicked us out, we began attending one that appeared to be really good. Unfortunately, we found that hoaxes and rumors were being taught from the pulpit, and we exited this church as well. There is no other place. Since we apparently aren’t as well-off as the other poster, and can’t simply pack up and move somewhere else, are we then to settle for some spiritual mush?

    PRCalDude, your understanding of Biblical leadership swings dangerously close to the Catholics — only the trained leaders can truly understand the Word of God, and only they can handle it and dispense it to the uneducated masses. The Holy Spirit is much more capable than you realize to use frail, earthen vessels for His glory.

    For now, yes, we meet in our little apartment living room. My husband teaches, and we are currently studying verse by verse through Judges. For the first time in years, we are not hearing “how to” sermons with a few verses sprinkled throughout… or the 3 Ps or the 5 Ds or stuff like that. We are learning afresh the Word of God which is living and powerful.

    I apologize if I am harsh. It was about one year ago to the day that we were kicked out of our church. It’s amazing, though it was the best thing that could have happened to us, how much it still hurts.

    In Christ,
    Miss M

  20. Dear Miss M,

    I receive comment notifications for all posts and articles on this page whenever a new comment appears, and I respond either herein or in email.

    In light of the heresies embraced and taught to students in seminaries today, I can understand men and women of God shedding those things as they go forward to serve Him. Your point about having to move in order to find a church that preaches the word of God is well taken, and misunderstood today. For example, I don’t believe the concept of “your local church” is properly applied. In today’s era of apostasy and technology, the ministry where you can get fed is likely to be outside your geographical reach except by internet, etc. Your point about trained clergy over laity–Catholic church reemerging to swallow up the apostate Protestants–is recognized and explored on this site.

    With the number of churches falling away the resurgence of home churches is a necessary result for Christians following the Lord, and animosity saints receive from the compromisers and unsaved that remain in them today is like that of which we find described in the First Epistle of John.


  21. Miss M says:

    Dear Mr. Dansker,

    Thank you for responding, I really appreciate it. I was viewing your site for the first time last night, and when I read the comments on this post, I just had to say something, even if it was never read by anyone else.

    It is amazing to see the widespread apostasy today. From the seminaries to the churches, it is beyond comprehension. It is something that must happen, but to actually see it and watch people spiritually clamp their hands over their ears and eyes…

    We were well on our way to being part of the “seeker-sensitive” movement ourselves. We shook our heads at fundamentalists who used the KJV. We thought we were so much more enlightened. Basing our actions on what we had learned at Bible college, we started a music ministry on “faith”. This is what precipitated our losing nearly everything and having to start over.

    It turned out to be the turning point in our walk with the Lord. My husband ( found CSN and began listening, and we heard the literal exposition of the Word and the sufficiency of scripture (unfortunately, CSN is falling away as well). We found a Calvary Chapel and attended for some time… unfortunately that church now has an uncomfortable mix of good verse-by-verse teaching and “seeker-friendly” programs. I don’t know if the teaching is still good, to be honest. But CSN and Calvary Chapel helped begin our trek out of the “seeker-sensitive” movement and into sound, literal Biblical understanding. And we are so grateful to the Lord for pulling us out of heresy.

    The next church we went to was the one that eventually kicked us out. We put a webpage together to explain what had happened to us and why it was wrong in case anyone from the church asked us where we had been. We have had the opportunity to give the site to a number of friends there, but few have left, which saddens us. This is the page to which my name links.

    We live in an area with the highest per capita percentage of churches in the nation, yet they are either too far away to be a part of the lives of the people (we did visit a church or two which appeared to have possibility, but they really are quite far away — and we really don’t know how sound they were anyway), or (the vast, overwhelming majority) they are apostate. One church near us was looking for a new pastor after their pastor retired… well, they found one, and now they’re doing “40 days of purpose”.

    Even home churches aren’t necessarily safe. Before starting our own, we looked into one we learned of in the area. My husband spoke with the pastor. Well, the pastor went icy when my husband mentioned our opposition to Rick Warren’s teachings. They’ve recently moved to a building, and we got a flier advertising all their seeker-sensitive teachings. I read an article in a paper which showed that there are plenty of emergent or otherwise apostate home churches too.

    You are absolutely right – it seems the only place we have been able to find others who realize what is happening, others who share our closest beliefs, others who find themselves islands in an ocean of apostasy, is on the internet.

    My husband found me typing this, and adds this:

    “I long for the day when I can give the responsibility of teaching to someone else, warm a pew somewhere and not have to prepare Sunday lessons for my family, and not have to wonder where the money goes that I give into the offering plate, and not wonder what my children are being taught, nor trouble myself with the slant of the teaching, when I can join the 99.9% of the others who name the name of Christ in this country and take in what’s dished out from the pulpit and the Sunday school curriculum without regard for doctrinal integrity and only open me Bible when the pastor asks me to every Sunday morning and Wednesday night. I’d much rather spend my time indulging myself in my hobby and TV. Like Gideon I’d rather tear down Baal’s altars by night, like Moses I’d rather have someone else speak, like Peter I want to say it’s been fun… let’s go back to fishing, like Jonah I’d rather they just burn, all the while feeding my appetite like Samson. Unfortunately, I’m like Jeremiah — His Word burns from within and must come out, regardless of whether I want it to or not. I’m as jaded, as reluctant, as tired, and as fed up as I could ever be in this position. I resigned my ordination several years ago, only to have to pick it up again at home. Please give me an honest, valid, scriptural reason to go back to a church, and I’ll stop it now.”

    Honestly, my husband is a very sound teacher who takes his responsibility seriously and is careful in his research. He approaches the Word as a real book with real people who really lived and really did these things that the Bible says. The children are learning more because they aren’t being babysat or fed pap. We teach them from a combination of the Puritan and Baptist catechisms, which they memorize during the week, and then they do Bible activity pages (which I pull together from various places) at the table while their daddy teaches. Our older child, since they are still nearby, listens to the teaching without having to be still – she’s mildly autistic – and has something to keep her fingers busy so she doesn’t get into trouble. My mom, who has lived with us for some time, is really enjoying the lessons too.

    I’m sorry to ramble like this. I guess I’m writing so much because it’s so rare to find a like-minded believer.

    In Christ,

  22. Dear Marilyn,

    I share your astonishment at the size to which the apostasy has grown in what seems like so few years. Though we are blessed because we have not seen Him, it’s very easy to have faith when so much of God’s word is being fulfilled before our very eyes. You and your husband are doing such a good job with teaching your children and mother at home; what a wonderflul blessing that is for them, and for you. I know how tired you both must get at times; the hard work, long hours, missed sleep. Some days I am sure you’re operating on God’s sustaining power alone, and looking back to see that it was a miracle you got through the day as good as you did. I am glad your husband got a chance to drop in some of his excellent, and entertaining, commentary. God bless him. I know he is a very good Bible teacher, and your fellowship here is a special blessing for me.

    Thanks for your websites, I see that you have Berit Kjos resources on PDL linked. Her research on the subject is as good as it gets. I also enjoyed some reading on your husbands site, I haven’t had any craw fish in 40 years, wow those photos brought back good memories (and made my hungry).

    I completely agree with your husband’s interpretation on Christian giving as he expressed it:

    “Because I seek no benefit from the IRS in my giving, I am free to give where it is needed in my sphere of influence. Gifts then become truly gifts as there is then no need to track my giving for write-off purposes. From bi-lingual Bibles for immigrants who work nearby to basic clothing needs for a prison inmate to a bill that needed paying for a missionary family, I have purposed in my heart to give as needs come so long as there is the ability to give.”

    This wonderful communication with the saints is something tax exempt churches have persuaded out of our hands for too long, and I have been practicing this giving too. It is well to support the pastor, and the facility where you meet, but by means of offering tax write offs many have succumbed to completely turning over the entire experience of ministering to the needs of the household of God, and taking themselves our of God’s service in this important area of blessing. A large organization cannot be as responsive as the members can be. I wrote in my Stewardship Series:

    “In addition to communicating good things to those who teach, we are to care for the needs of the saints. There are many large buildings today that stand like edifices to lost opportunities to minister sustenance to brothers and sister in the Lord. It is not enough to have the church food pantry, or the church office to apply to. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal 6:10; emphasis added). We are an “us,” a living body of many members. If we are to experience fellowship on a high plane, we must also be available to minister in the basics necessities. The whole body of Christ is to nourish itself, under its head which is Christ: “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Eph 4:16).”

    It is sad to say, but much of the giving that goes on in churches goes to bloated salaries and unnecessary waste. And I have to question what blessing we can expect when we trumpet our alms to the IRS for their blessing: “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven” (Mat 6:1).

    I look forward to fellowshipping with you both again, and will be visiting your websites,

    In Christ,


  23. Miss M says:

    Dear Mr. Dansker,

    I apologize for taking so long to reply. It’s amazing how much can still be left undone at the end of a full day! You are so very right, and thank you for the encouragement!

    Berit Kjos’ resources were among the first I found when we first started researching the whole thing. They are so thorough and solid, just excellent material. She really opened it all up to us… the whole time we’re reading, we’re like, Yes, yes, that’s exactly right, I knew something was wrong, and that’s it! And then there was so much more wrong that we never even dreamed of.

    You are so right on giving, and it has been so freeing and wonderful to give the way we do now. You feel more of a responsibility to directly take care of your fellow believers, and to support the furtherance of the Gospel. You know exactly where the money is going, and, because you are more intimately involved with those to whom you give, you know for what the money is being used. The scripture passages you quote are well applied.

    40 years since you’ve had crawfish? Did you grow up in the south? I’m originally from south Louisiana, so I guess I’m spoiled. I made some etouffee with some of the leftover tails… not one of my best batches, but it was etouffee nonetheless. If you like cajun food, perhaps you’ll enjoy this spread:

    We’ve been enjoying hearing from you… it is so refreshing to speak to someone who understands what is going on. We have your site bookmarked, and we appreciate your articles.

    In Christ,

  24. Dear Marilyn,

    I can appreciate your comment on all there is to do in a single day, and what seems left undone at the end. I have had a very busy week, and hope to catch up this weekend so that I don’t go into next week with a deficit!

    I do not come from the south, but for what is left of manners and chivalry (and all the other good qualities fading fast), I wish I would have come from the south. The story as to my enjoying some southern food, and this one in particular, is part of an amazing testimony of God’s grace and mercy-oh how He loves me. I will check out your website referral soon. It is very good to hear from you both, I have a large readership, but most are not inclined to comment on articles. One person shared with me that due to the comprehensiveness of my work, they didn’t feel there was anything to add. That’s fine, I am not fishing for a debate, but for men. I am endeavoring to provide a resource to the household of faith, and to make myself available to hearts moved upon by the Holy Spirit to seek God. I know there are people out there like myself (which of course means they REALLY need Jesus!), and this is for them too. However, the encouragement I get from fellowship, like yours, is a very special blessing.

    In Christ,


  25. Miss M,

    I was almost in tears reading your testimony. Everytime I come across a dear brother or sister that the Lord has brought out of darkness, my heart is warmed and I marvel at what God can do. Please keep your eyes on Jesus and be strong in Him. My respect to your husband too. I’ll check out your websites and see how we can continue to encourage one another in these dark days.


    Bless you sir for the work you do here. I ran into your site from Matt Ratliff’s blog, Possessing the Treasure.

    To the issue at hand, the key points surrounding the home churches springing up as a haven for true disciples who are tired of the rank apostasy in many of our churches today have been addressed. The foundation of them all is that all our authority derives from God’s written word. The apostles are no longer here. But we have their teachings. I have no doubt that Jesus endorses anyman who teaches God’s word in all its truth. He once told the disciples, “He who is not against us is for us”. This was in response to their antagonism towards someone who did not belong to their group but was doing the same thing they had been charged with doing by Jesus.

    Where I live, the state of churches are so bad that I honestly do not know one church I would be comfortable attending besides the one I pastor at the moment (no; I do not think that only members of our church are saved).

    At the end of the day, each individual’s situation may be so peculiar that the solutions will differ. Some will leave apostate churches and find other sound assemblies to attend. Yet, others may have to settle for home churches and the internet. Whatever our different situations may be, one thing we must do is strive to obey all of God’s word and keep our eyes on the Lord.

    Did I go on and on? Pardon me. Bless you all.

  26. Yomi,

    Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, the Lord Bless you in pastoring, and strengthen you for the work. You are so right, we must keep our eyes upon Him,


  27. ChristopherHall says:

    I think a wonderful article on house churches can be found in the Believer’s Bible Commentary by Nelson.

    Yes, I agree that the early church had oversight. However, neither the Apostles, nor the appointed elders ever built a building to worship in. The history I’ve read illustrates that “church buildings” as we know them didn’t begin to become prevalent until 250 to 300 years after the Apostles.

    It appears that the early church met in homes throughout the Scriptures.

    Pentecost took place in a simple house,

    Acts 2:2
    And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

    At first, though they met in the Jewish temple (until thrown out), they celebrated as Christians from house to house,

    Acts 2:46
    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,

    Acts 5:42
    And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

    When Saul (before he became Paul) sought to persecute Christians he knew where he could find them…in their houses,

    Acts 8:3
    As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

    Saul was converted in a house,

    Acts 9:11
    And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

    Acts 9:17
    And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

    Peter got away to pray on the housetop,

    Acts 10:9
    On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:

    Peter preached to and converted Cornelius in his house,

    Acts 10:22
    And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.

    They gathered and prayed at Mary’s house,

    Acts 12:12
    And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

    They abode in Lydia’s house,

    Acts 16:14-15
    And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
    And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

    They preached in the jailer’s house,

    Acts 16:32
    And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

    Again, brethren at Lydia’s house,

    Acts 16:40
    And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

    Ministered in Justus’ house,

    Acts 18:7
    And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.

    Paul taught publicly (markets, resturants, coffee shops?) and from house to house,

    Acts 20:20
    And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,

    Paul rented a house and preached there for two years,

    Acts 28:30-31
    And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,
    Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

    Aquila and Priscilla hosted a church in their home,

    Romans 16:3-5
    Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:
    Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
    Likewise greet the church that is in their house.

    A church gathered in Aristobulus’ house,

    Romans 16:10
    Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus’ household.

    A church gathered in Narcissus’ house,

    Romans 16:11
    Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord.

    A very active church gathered in Stephanas’ house,

    1 Corinthians 16:15
    I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)

    Another reference was made to the church gathered in Aquila and Priscilla’s house,

    1 Corinthians 16:19
    The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

    Some of Caesar’s servants and/or family had become Christian and met in the palatial dwelling of Caesar,

    Philippians 4:22
    All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.

    Nymphas hosted a church in his home,

    Colossians 4:15
    Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.

    Onesiphorus may have hosted a church in his house,

    2 Timothy 1:16
    The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:

    False prophets attempted to gain entry into the houses where churches gathered,

    Titus 1:11
    Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.

    Philemon hosted a church in his home,

    Philemon 1:2
    And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:

    False prophets were not to be welcomed or blessed in houses where the church gathered for worship,

    2 John 1:10
    If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

    The Apostolic church of the Bible never had to worry about the church doors being opened or closed…because the church of the Bible didn’t even have walls. It was a people that gathered together as family for worship, prayer, and teaching. Modern day church buildings are wonderful and provide us a place to meet in larger numbers…but REAL biblical Christianity is in the home… and it is practiced in one’s every day life. We really don’t need a church building and all these programs to turn the world upside down. Sometimes…and I know some folk might misunderstand me…but sometimes I wonder if our churches have become our prisons and our programs have slowed us down and eaten our resources. The Church of the Bible didn’t grow via “addition”…it grew via “multiplication”. They didn’t try to drag an entire city to a single building…they multiplied their fellowships in houses throughout a city so that every neighborhood was touched by the power of the Gospel. They weren’t trying to gather a congregation to sit and listen to them preach as passive spectators…they sought to convert sinners and train them to reach their world by multiplying churches throughout the pagan culture. Through the power of multiplication of churches (not addition to churches) they filled the entire Roman Empire with the Gospel. The church of the New Testament exploded in homes throughout the empire.

    The point? In my opinion the key isn’t to launch more programs, call more services, hire more special speakers, …in my opinion the key to revival is getting Jesus back to being the center of our homes and family life. You may not be an ordained minister or pastor…but your home, right there on your street, is sufficient enough to reach your entire neighborhood for Christ. We need to stop thinking in terms of getting people to “come to church”. The church was commanded to “go” and preach to a lost world. We have to take church to our neighborhoods! Sometimes I feel like screaming and flipping tables when people talk like it’s our job to get more and more people to come to church. Bros…we got it backwards. Throughout the book of Acts they didn’t bring people, coax people, guilt people, prod people, or gimmick people into coming to some over priced, suffy, religious looking church building…they took the church to the people by teaching in public places (think malls, restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, bus stops, etc) and from house to house.

    If the book of Acts church could turn their world upside down without building a single church building…we should be asking ourselves what our focus is and what we are doing wrong. When it commands not to forsake the assembling of ourselves…the Apostles would understand it as friends and families meeting in their homes to worship and teach about Jesus to edify one another. In all honesty…they didn’t have church or think of church like we do. Real biblical Apostolic Christianity is not a temple centered, liturgical (program oriented) religion…it’s a faith of the home and family.

    Those are my thoughts. God bless.

  28. Christopher Hall,

    Thank so very much for the very well-sourced commentary, it will be very edifying to all. Your point(s) are well taken–the programs funded for visibility and attendance increase, the paid guest speakers for motivation, and isolating ourselves within the walls of the church building instead of “go[ing]” are all symptoms of removing the real center of the Church and relying on human efforts and methods. Absolutely, the Church starts in the family, in the home, and either proceeds or fails from there. Divorce, abortion, careerism, single parenting, no parenting, and no I don’t mean secular; have decimated that building block and this is responsible, in part, for the failure of Christianity in the world.

    Thank you very much for you rich contribution,


  29. Swings says:

    It’s Thursday, and I thought that you would like to know I really really really liked this article (Megachurch Cure: On the Horizon). I wasn’t really looking for this (I was searching on ‘Swings’), but I’m glad I found your blog as a result. Keep up the great blogging!! I’ve bookmarked you.

  30. Swings – I really enjoyed hearing from you; glad that you really liked the article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *