Wednesday, December 27, 2017
The House Church Movement
"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.” - Acts 2:46-47
A church should be an institution that’s growing. I’m not saying that the growth is going to be quick, but there should be some growth there. There’s a movement out there that says church is nothing more than just having friends over for a Bible study. If you want to get together with people to talk about the Bible and sing songs, then by all means do so, but that isn’t church. “House churches” aren’t growing, but what is growing is the tendency to forsake church in favor of something else.
The house church movement is unbiblical. Keep in mind, I’m not talking about a church that starts meeting in a house and then eventually outgrows it. I’m talking about the movement that says that if you ever were to outgrow the house, you should split up the “church” so it can stay small. In the book of Acts, they started with 120 people and grew from there. I don’t know about you, but I can’t fit 120 people in my living room.
Not only is it unscriptural to intentionally stay small, but the typical house church lacks leadership. If God intended for the New Testament church to be a free-for-all where everyone has equal authority, why did he give us such strict qualifications for an elder or bishop? The pastor has to be somebody who’s been in church for a while, has the aptitude to teach, etc.
The house church people will say they are all elders, but are they really qualified? At Faithful Word Baptist Church, we don’t have an overabundance of qualified guys. Even in a church of over 300 people, “faithful men” who are actually qualified to pastor a church are hard to come by. These house churches want to have multiple pastors in their living room, and what they have is too many chiefs and not enough Indians.
What it boils down to is pride. House church proponents don’t want to pour water on the hands of Elijah like Elisha did because they think it would be degrading and demeaning. Elijah wasn’t perfect, but he was a man of God. A smart person like Elisha gets behind a qualified man of God and learns from him.
Not only do house churches lack biblical leadership, but they aren’t following the great commission. The reason they stay small enough to remain in someone’s living room is that they aren’t reaching people. They know they need to read the Bible and fellowship with other believers, but they somehow fail to realize that the church is also a tool to get people saved.
FWBC started in a house, but we were reaching people through door-to-door soul winning. Many got saved, some of them came to church, a few got baptized, and a handful stuck around for the teaching. My family benefited from the preaching during that stage, and we made some good friends, but it wasn’t only about us. After a year and a half, we outgrew the house. If a church has no outreach program and is content to perpetually meet in a house, they have forgotten their first love—if they even had it to begin with.
Here is a sermon to go with this article.