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Word for the Week:
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House churches are catalysts to help us to mature spiritually and to be what God has called us to be as we live out our part in the Great Commission. They also solve many of the financial struggles of more traditional models of churches and of seeing the Great Commission financed by freeing up funds which would not normally be available. They help to raise up, train and multiply many servant leaders (resulting in much less burn-out of leaders).
House churches also provide a built-in protection system in case of persecution, provide the sense of family and belonging that we all long for (Generation X especially seems to cry out for this dimension) and address the daily authentic reality of living the Christian life in the world today. Quality of believers and Quantity of believers is multiplied and mushrooms because when the groups grow to a certain number (around 10), they multiply by beginning additional groups, which then also multiply.
House churches can be very effective lights in the dark neighbourhoods in which they exist/function, and often become houses of prayer for the nations, with not only a growing passion to reach the lost in their communities but around the world. The very nature of house churches enables them to be an excellent incubator, nursery, Bible school, hands on training site, etc. for new believers all the way to seasoned/mature believers. It is also poised to be an excellent missionary sending support network.
House churches provides an excellent atmosphere to develop and utilize the spiritual gifts. House churches are more flat in structure and less administrative, thus cutting out a lot of the bureaucracy and politics that are often involved in most more traditional models, so they are freed up to move and act quickly as God leads. The low administration also keeps down the costs which can be then be directed towards the poor and reaching the lost. The 5-fold ministry of pastor, teacher, apostle, prophet and evangelist is also utilized throughout the networks to bring greater effectiveness to these churches, and to multiply new pastors, teachers, apostles, prophets and evangelists to also train and multiply others with these giftings.
Although house churches also have imperfections because people are still people, the nature of house churches is a model extremely conducive to Christ's command to disciple the nations , especially as house churches network with other house churches in their community and throughout their country, and indeed with other house church networks throughout the world.
Many long for the reality of a church experience similar to that of Acts, and I believe that God has heard the cry of many of our hearts and is moving us increasingly into these directions.
Ecclesialogical Paradigm Shift
Church as Family
God and Community
In the Beginning - the Unimpeachable Home Church
Rethinking our Theological Conversational Styles
Rethinking the Wineskin
Some Streams of House Church
The Absolute Lordship of Christ
The Body, The House and the Increase
The Church, Triumphant in Christ
The Formation of the New Testament Church
The Function of the Local Assembly
Theology of Everyday Life
The Once and Normal Church
- a summary of THE NORMAL CHRISTIAN LIFE by Watchman Nee
The Powerful Witness of Community
The Significance of House Church Meetings
The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Evangelicalism
Watchman Nee and the House Church Movement in China
Why Do People Home Church?