House Church Talk - Two Kinds of church meetings

Bruce Woodford bwood4d at
Tue Apr 20 01:33:09 EDT 2004

Hi David M,

In the conferences thread you made some interesting comments about various 
kinds of church meetings with which I wholeheartedly agree.

You wrote:"The way I read my Bible, the early Christians did not have ONLY 
home church.  Yes, the Bible says they met daily from house to house, but it 
also says they met in the Temple on a daily basis too.  I fully expect that 
some of those meetings in the Temple had larger crowds and speakers giving 
monologues.  The early Christians also met in synagogues once a week, which 
was very much structured, yet not so structured as our modern Christian 
institutions, because there often was room for believers to discuss Christ 
and minister Christ right there in the synagogue."

It is my conviction that house church gatherings are where interactive, 
participatory, one anothering, conversational ministry is to take place. It 
is in such gatherings that men and women are to participate and minister to 
one another and where bread is to be broken and meals eaten together. I 
believe that the principles of Heb.10:24,25 are to regulate these kinds of 
meetings. Some examples of such gatherings are found in Acts 1:13-2:4; 
2:46b; 5:42b; 12:12-17; 16:34; 18:26; 20:7-11; 21:8-14.
Notice that it is in such gatherings that women took an active and vocal 
part and that in many of these gatherings meals were eaten together. In such 
gatherings as well as any other occasion when women pray or prophesy, they 
should cover their heads.  In any church gathering as well as any time men 
pray or prophesy, they should have their heads uncovered. (I Cor.11:1-16)

It is also my conviction that  "I Cor.14 gatherings"  are much larger, city 
wide gatherings which take place in venues much larger than a home. In such 
gatherings there is one speaker at a time, monologue addresses which are to 
edify everyone present, where males are to be the speakers and are to let 
their women keep silence. It is in such gatherings that there is to be no 
speaking in tongues unless there is an interpretter present who interprets 
any tongues speaking so that all may be edified. It is in such gatherings 
that tongues speakers are to speak one at a time, and where prophets are to 
speak but also to cease speaking when something is revealed to another 
prophet who is sitting by. I believe that the principles of I Cor 14:23-40 
are to regulate these gatherings of "the whole church come together into one 
place"  (14:23)   Some examples of this kind of gathering are found in Acts 
2:46a; 5:42a; 6:2:-6; 14:27;  15:4-29.  Notice that in NONE of these 
gatherings was breaking of bread or vocal participation of women "on the 

But when believers went into the synagogues, it was not for church meetings, 
but rather for the purpose of evangelizing in a place where unbelievers 
normally gathered! Some examples of such gospel outreach in the synagogues 
are the following: Acts 13:14-42; 14:1; 17:1-17; 18:4,19,26; 19:8 etc.

Your brother in Christ,

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