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Exactly what is meant by the phrase "Home Church?" Home churches, also known as house churches, describe small groups of believers - even as few as 2 or 3 - who gather in the name of Jesus Christ. They are very similar to the earliest churches which were customarily designated in the Scriptures as household units. These first Christians, you will recall, reveled in the fact that they personally had become the new dwelling place of the Almighty - living stones in God's spiritual temple.

What is the purpose of the House Church Network? Our purpose is to promote, for the glory of God, community and networking among home church-minded believers.

What sort of networking? Our continual encouragement first and foremost. The House Church Network has just entered the eighth year of operations. We offer complete referral and informational services. A usenet newsgroup, two email discussion groups, web-based discussion boards, a prayer list, a bulletin board, and an automated Registry of House Churches are now operational. A newsletter is being offered as are some other fine publications.

The basic rationale? The undergirding principle here is that all authority in heaven and in earth reside in Jesus Christ who reveals Himself through scripture, nature and by supernatural means, as well. Knowledge and all ethics are thus derived from Jesus Christ through the His Holy Spirit.

This means that the totality of life must be God-directed as we are motivated by gratitude for the life, death, and resurrection of His Son. The Home Church perspective is thus a unique world-view in which every follower of Jesus becomes a full-time Christian minister or servant. Every day, every event, every thought, every place become the domain of the Messiah. The line between sacred and secular progressively diminishes because Christ gives true meaning to all things. Every thought is to be brought captive to Him who is All and in all."

We thus view Jesus Christ as a Lord as well as a Savior. We emphasize an actual faith rather than merely an intellectual one. The execution of deeds rather than the formulation of creeds. Community rather than disunity. Brotherhood rather than hierarchy. Winning unbelievers rather than winning arguments. What we are for rather than what we are against. Making a real difference for others as well as having an experience for ourselves.

The home church platform is perfectly suited for the implementation of such grand ideals. This was demonstrated so clearly in the first 250 years of church history and often thereafter. The Lord is again stirring up interest around the world in this unique house church arrangement and He is activating many. We frequently hear of other home-related ministries being formed and do rejoice in God upon their behalf. We thankfully stand in solidarity with all of them.

This new interest, we are persuaded, could be an effective antidote for the prevalent religious system. The "layman" who desperately need the exercise will, at last, rise up, enter the arena, and join with the "clergy" who desperately need the rest. May it happen in our time, Heavenly Father!

Could you call this the underground church? Positively not. The underground church is essentially what we often confront at the present. Christians in the USA and Western Europe have gone "to the back of the bus" with respect to culture - education, compassion, counseling, race-relations, conflict resolution, healthcare, law, and the arts. King Jesus has appointed us to be as lights on a hill, not as retreatists in a self-made ghetto. The word of our Commander-in-Chief, in whom all power in heaven and earth resides, is to go in my Name, not to stay and retreat. Revival, not survival.

Enlarge more fully upon this Home Church vision. We can foresee and thus pray for a heretofore unknown reformation and revival in three distinct areas. Education, evangelization, and ministry. The latter ones are contingent upon the first. As facts must precede acts, we earnestly pray for the Spirit of Knowledge to be poured out upon the whole Church and that the false doctrines and traditions which have crippled God's people will be exposed and forsaken.

It must not be overlooked that part of the Great Commission is to "teach the observance of all things". Critical thinking upon and the resolution of many of the most basic issues have been long awaited and is now long overdue. It's time to "go to court" and remove these basic issues from the list of disputed questions. We are referring to essentials like church structure, church authority, church officers, church meetings, worship, day of worship, preaching, call to preach, sermons, ministry, eldership, deacons, ordination, priesthood of believers, clergy - laity distinction, etc. Believe it, the jury is still out!

Being finally energized by the Spirit of truth, the Church can then enter a new era of unparalleled outreach that extends to the spiritual as well as the physical aspects of church and society. The Christian home of the future will become a fully operational church, an evangelism outreach center, and a department of social services - all under one roof. Every saint will at last awaken to the new reality that his or her entire life is to be devoted to a world-and-life-transforming Christian ministry. The church will then leave behind its "worship service" paradigm and enter a new one of worship and service.

Are you ready for such a revolution? Have you begun to imagine who God is going to touch and bless through you, your family, and a church in your house? Have you begun to view your personal existence here as a full-time servant-ambassador for the Son of God, ordained by Him to undertake any task heretofore relegated to religious professionals? Can you look into the future and foresee your home or apartment as His official embassy? Are you prepared to receive the greatest blessings that come by giving rather than receiving?

The Lord can easily bring these things to pass if we would but go down in prayer and repentance and then rise up in His strength to obey his commands. The time is now, brother and sister. History is daily and sadly reminding us that the clergy, the educators, and the politicians cannot accomplish the magnanimous tasks that lie before us. If they can't then who shall?

Well now, this is truly the "minority report". What association do you have or not have with the institutional church. We encourage brotherhood and solidarity toward all despite several great differences. The real basis of our oneness is Jesus Christ - not doctrinal agreement. The degree of involvement and fellowship will differ in each case but the mandate of Scripture is to love one another even to laying down one's own life. Christians should be welcome wherever there are other Christians and the truth should always be spoken in love.

Will the House Church Network become some centralized organization from which others are controlled or monitored? Certainly not, our goal is one of decentralization instead. Our desire is to see unique House Church Networks form under the Lordship of Christ in every neighborhood, village, and city. Each member bound together by the Spirit of God and the blood of Christ. Mutual edification and cooperation on the local level - not outside domination - is the plan in view.

Does the House Church Network maintain a registry of churches and interested parties? Yes, we do and we treasure each entry because it represents one who is willing to reach out into the unknown. These entries are located in the Home Church Registry Interest in this matter is rising steadily. Praise God. We do not, however, employ the term "membership" as it connotes man's attempt to sectarianize and thereby subvert the unity of the Body of Christ.

Some of these things sound rather technical. Would you simplify? Our simple desire is to see everyone come to know, to love, to serve, and to share our wonderful Savior Jesus Christ to the fullest. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Who are the main personalities at the House Church Network? Jesus Christ only, we trust. He is more than sufficient. The rest of us are just brothers and sisters attempting to be the servants of all and co-laborers with God. If Christ be lifted up, He'll draw all men unto Himself.

Finally, the House Church Network, which commenced in 1992, is strictly a charitable and educational organization which does not make solicitations for monetary funds.

May the God of all Truth direct your mind as you consider these crucial matters!

 

House Church Network

p.o. 4242

Bristol, TN 37625-4242


www.housechurch.org

 

Philemon 2 ...and to the church that meets in your house: 

Colossians 4 ...and the church in her house. 

Romans 16 ...also the church that meets at their house.

 

 

secretary:

David B. Anderson

 

What's New

Informative Newspaper Article by Lorin Smith. From the Royal Gazette.

Excellent House Church Books now available to order via Barnes and Noble Booksellers.

A favorable notice of the House Church Network just appeared in the IFC (Internet for Christians) Newsletter. http://www1.gospelcom.net/ifc/ifc122/ifc122pg4.php

New York Times House Church Article, 4.22.2001

The Home Church Forums are new web-based discussion boards.

The Home Church Registry is user-maintained for ease and convenience.

Awesome and timeless Spirituality Writings. Read these - you'll never be the same.

In His Steps by Charles Shelton now available.

A Usenet Newsgroup has just lifted off. You are welcome to join in.

New essay: Ordination and Religious Titles, C.H. Spurgeon  20k

A new "2 or 3 gathered" newsletter. Issue Number 8.

Check the Bulletin Board for announcements.