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  #91  
Old 01-14-2011, 03:49 PM
Aquila Aquila is offline
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Re: House Church - How It's Done.

Basically a house church is an open Bible discussion group led by an appoint elder. The shared meal is also seen as a central practice with the breaking of bread and the Lord's Supper being observed.

One of the biggest mistakes people make in house churching is taking the model of the institutional church down to fit in a living room by trying to "teach" a group of people instead of allowing discussion, confession, and prayer to freely take place. In House Church all an elder has to do is throw out a topic, or maybe a topic and a passage, and ask the group what they think based on what they understand about the Bible. The elder should steer the conversation towards the Biblical truths of Scripture if someone gets on a tangent or begins teaching error.
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  #92  
Old 01-14-2011, 03:55 PM
Aquila Aquila is offline
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Re: House Church - How It's Done.

House church should be a place to practice the "one anothers" of Scripture:
The Gospels
1. “…Be at peace with each other” (Mark 9:50)
2. “…Wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14)
3. “…Love one another…” (John 13:34-35; John 15:12, 17)

Paul’s Letters
Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians
4. “Love one another”(Romans 13:8)
5. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…” (Romans 12:10)
6. “Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10)
7. “Live in harmony with one another…” (Romans 12:16)
8. “…Stop passing judgment on one another” (Romans 14:13)
9. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you…” (Romans 15:7)
10. “…instruct one another” (Romans 15:4)
11. “Greet one another with a holy kiss…” (Romans 16:16; I Corinthians 16:20, II Corinthians
13:12; I Thessalonians 5:26)
12. “…When you come together to eat, wait for each other” (I Corinthians 11:33)
13. “…Have equal concern for each other” (I Corinthians 12:25)
14. “…Serve one another in love” (II Corinthians 13:12)

Galatians, Ephesians
15. “Carry each other’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2)
16. “If you keep on biting and devouring each other…you will be destroyed by each other” (Galatians 5:15)
17. “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other” (Galatians 5:26)
18. “…Be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2)
19. “Be kind and compassionate to one another…” (Ephesians 4:32)
20. “…forgiving each other…” (Ephesians 4:32)
21. “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19)
22. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21)

Philippians, Colossians
23. “…in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3)
24. “Do not lie to each other…” (Colossians 3:9)
25. “Bear with each other…” (Colossians 3:13)
26. “…Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another” (Colossians 3:13)
27. “Teach…[one another]” (Colossians 3:16)
28. “…admonish one another” (Colossians 3:16)

I Thessalonians, Hebrews
29. “…make your love increase and overflow for each other” (I Thessalonians 3:12)
30. “Encourage one another” (I Thessalonians 4:18, 5:11; Hebrews 10:25)
31. “…Build each other up…” (I Thessalonians 5:11)
32. “Encourage one another daily…” (Hebrews 3:13)
33. “Spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24)

Other Letters
James, I Peter, I John, II John
34. “…Do not slander one another” (James 4:11)
35. “Don’t grumble against each other” (James 5:9)
36. “Confess your sins to each other…” (James 5:16)
37. “…Pray for each other” (James 5:16)
38. “…Love one another deeply, from the heart” (I Peter 1:22, 4:8)
39. “…Live in harmony with one another…” (I Peter 3:8)
40. “Greet one another with a kiss of love” (I Peter 5:14)
41. “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling” (I Peter 4:9)
42. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others…” (I Peter 4:10)
43. “…Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…” (I Peter 5:15)
44. “Love one another” (I John 3:11, 23, 4:7,11,12; II John 5)
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  #93  
Old 02-04-2011, 12:48 PM
Messenger Only Messenger Only is offline
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Re: House Church - How It's Done.

At the House Church do you have children to come and learn or is it just for adults only....After you grow into such a large number of people why don't you move into a church building so you can stay together instead of dividing into another group church. What I have read from all of these post it sounds great, but do you have the teachings of holiness as well. Do you have any wanting to be baptized? or do you send people to a Church to get baptized?
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  #94  
Old 02-15-2011, 01:05 PM
Aquila Aquila is offline
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Re: House Church - How It's Done.

Praise the Lord! I apologize for not responding to this sooner, I just saw it. I hope you’re around for the response. God bless…

Quote:
Originally Posted by Messenger Only View Post
At the House Church do you have children to come and learn or is it just for adults only....
House churches have different ways of integrating children. Sometimes children go outside or to a designated area of the home strictly for children’s activities, led by a saint with a burden for children’s ministry. Other house churches allow the children to freely color or play in the floor during the meeting. Yes, children are typically permitted to participate, ask questions, request songs, etc. One meeting I was told about had a child request to sing, Jesus Loves Me. At first the adults reluctantly started singing…however, the Spirit began to move in the child like simplicity and the song ended with most weeping in prayer. God uses children. Sometimes children soften the environment and God even speaks through them.

Quote:
After you grow into such a large number of people why don't you move into a church building so you can stay together instead of dividing into another group church.
Great question!

In I Corinthians 14 we read how the first century church was structured in it’s meetings,
I Corinthians 14:26-33 (NIV)
26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.
29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.
In biblical church meetings all were allowed to bring a hymn, a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Anyone was allowed to contribute to the meeting according to their talents and giftings. No one was expected to merely be an observer in a pew. We are told that if anyone speaks a message in tongues, only two or three should be permitted. This prevents the entire meeting from being hijacked by those over zealous in tongues and interpretation giftings. Also, they were to respectfully speak one at a time. Also, someone must interpret. If the first utterance is not greeted with an interpretation, God isn’t moving in that manner and the speaker should simply quiet down and prayerfully pray to God silently. I’ve seen this happen. I’ve seen a person give and utterance and no interpretation follow. The simply remain quiet as the group moves on with the meeting. One time the interpretation came almost an hour after the utterance! A hush fell over the group and the interpretation came forth, “Thus saith the Lord…”

We also read that two or three anointed teachers (prophets) should speak. All others in attendance should weigh carefully what is taught. If a revelation about what is being discussed comes to one in attendance, whoever is speaking at the time should stop. That way the brother or sister with an understanding or additional insight on the topic can speak. That way might “all prophesy in turn” so that “very one may be instructed and encouraged”. It’s more like a Spirit led round-table discussion. Anyone who believes they are anointed of God should remember, the spirit of the prophets is subject to the spiritual authority of the facilitating prophets. The two or three prophets guiding the meeting do have authority to correct, rebuke, or instruct all present. Also, they are subject to one another and should agree as one. If divided on an issue, that’s something for the elders to meet about and discuss so that they can provide unified vision for the house church.

All of these rules in our gatherings are because God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the churches.

So we see how Paul instructed believers to conduct their gatherings. NOW to answer the question…if a house church grew and moved into a building to facilitate a larger congregation they would defeat the purpose of a biblical gathering. Eventually you’d have the traditional music team, offering, and a “pastor” who taught while everyone listened as passive spectators who occasionally just dance our shout. Once a meeting is too large to allow all to prophesy and discuss a passage, it’s become a one man show, something Paul’s instructions don’t allow. Also we’d be limited to a “sermon”. Whatever the topic was…that was the topic…applicable to your life or not. In a house church setting as described by Paul the Spirit may guide the meeting, anyone with questions may ask them. Anyone with significant pain or hurt can voice it for prayer. Leaders can address the group about issues they all must be accountable for. For this reason once a house church becomes too large we seek to “birth” another house church. This vision is instilled in all who attend so it is part of the overall vision. Please note however, most house churches stay “networked”. Sometimes the elder who started the original house church rotates through the network visiting each house church. Often a larger network of house churches might choose to buy or rent a location for weekend or periodic “gatherings”. The house church network I’m currently working with has over 100 house churches and owns a large campus. They meet there on Sundays for teaching and vision provided by the senior pastor (though he hates to be called that lol). Essentially all weekday activities are among the house churches.

Quote:
What I have read from all of these post it sounds great, but do you have the teachings of holiness as well.
House churches and house church networks are like any other community of believers. Some are holiness and some are main stream. It all depends on the elder or elders who founded them. Some house churches and house church networks are associated with various denominations. A Baptist house church will reflect Baptist living. A Pentecostal house church will reflect Pentecostal ways of living. One network of house churches in Canada is so strict they make your rank and file Apostolic Holiness churches look tame. Yet some house churches in the New England area are VERY liberal. Like traditional churches, you’ll find a house church that reflects nearly every flavor of Christianity out there. Some are even Catholic! Lol

Quote:
Do you have any wanting to be baptized? or do you send people to a Church to get baptized?
Baptism is also something handled differently among house churches. Most immerse in water according to their particular tradition. Sometimes a pool or a trough on the property is used. If a house church network exists and they have a church building they bring people to be baptized before the entire network at their weekend gatherings, but it’s typically not required should the person want to be baptized by their house church elder (pastor). Also, approaches to baptism are different among house churches. Many perform baptism by pouring. I’ve seen both performed.

Hope that helps answer your questions. God bless!
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  #95  
Old 06-08-2011, 01:05 PM
kingdomapostle kingdomapostle is offline
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Re: House Church - How It's Done.

I may be a bit late to this discussion, but I would like to add my experiences if anyone is still interested.
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  #96  
Old 06-08-2011, 01:45 PM
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Re: House Church - How It's Done.

By all means...do tell
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  #97  
Old 06-08-2011, 02:46 PM
kingdomapostle kingdomapostle is offline
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Re: House Church - How It's Done.

Thank you. I’m still testing the proverbial waters of this discussion board to find out how friendly or how tolerant everyone is to varying views and experiences so I’ll try to be brief. After spending all of my life in traditional church settings, first Baptist and then Apostolic/Pentecostal, I strongly felt the call of God to expand my already established evangelical/prophetic ministry to a home based ministry (entering into the Apostolic area for me). Upon hearing God say this I had little to no knowledge of anyone daring to do ANYTHING of the sort with the exception of one Apostolic couple I met once who held services in their home/other’s homes but to me they were “far” out there.

In my culture, being a “churchgoer” is imbedded into our very being. If you are any kind of a good citizen, you go to church period! Some are “saved” while others are just members. But going to church is not optional if you are a decent human being and a part of an influential family. So not only was this a culture shock for me, I was miserable because I found myself totally detached and displaced from any sense of community and fellowship. I was also BORED!!! I missed EVERYTHING about the traditional church (minus the drama). I had little to NO support, and most of my ministry friends were already (over)committed to their own churches or their own works. To others, this “new teaching” was just too radical.

At first, I was more like an Overseer. After a few years the bulk of the duty fell on me. In the beginning stages, it was small. We met for prayer and then shared whatever the Lord placed on our hearts. Sometimes we read articles and even discussed other biblically based writings. Other times we did ministry training (I still had an active traveling ministry). During these times, I enjoyed the freedom and the Lord was indeed present among us. However, as time went on, was encouraged by other leaders to move out of the house. After asking if we could share sanctuary space with local churches in the area, and being turned down or asked an enormously high fee, we began renting a small meeting room because it was better for us economically. Also, we felt that it would be safer, for me. I’ll explain. 1. Inviting people we had only known through street evangelism into my personal home was not a good idea, we thought. 2. We lived in an apartment and we did not want our radical Pentecostal expression of worship to disturb the other tenants. 3. Many did NOT feel safe coming into a “home environment” and thought had MANY reservations after having bad experiences with home church settings. They thought it was rather odd to come into an apartment to for “church.” We were ALL relieved, when we started renting space in the meeting rooms. So for each week, we faithfully met. Three of us were committed to the work, but we often had other visitors…many of them attending regularly. People were saved and baptized in the ministry and ministers were even trained. We had “all things common.” We all worked, we all gave, and if there was a need we all took care of it.

Then, as I began to commit to other ministry assignments, I was often called away from the fellowship services. I left another Minister in whom I had trained for years (7) to oversee the fellowship. For a while, things were working out. She was a great evangelist, able to attract people from all walks of life, however, often times discussions got out of hand because she allowed everyone to speak their minds without ever grounding the discussion and pointing back to the word of God. Everyone just had an opinion, nobody was right, nobody was wrong—which is fine if you are talking about how to make apple pie—but SOME doctrinal basis MUST BE agreed upon to continue as a fellowship. One day, after attending a fellowship service, I did not even recognize the very group I had started. It was out of hand. Shortly after, this other minister felt as though they had no need consult with me about making choices for the fellowship, and when I would ask questions, they challenged EVERYTHING. I realized that we were NOT on with one accord. After MUCH prayer…I asked that minister to not to lead the fellowship anymore. In turn, they told the people they had invited that we were no longer meeting (which was not true). Afterwards, another trusted Minister took a large sum of money we had raised to purchase our own space for fellowship, outreach, and community events. In short, my obedience to God came to more like torture. Honestly, I never arrived at the “get use to it” place. I just longed for the day when that assignment would be over, or I would fail tremendously.

It went down hill from there and never bounced back. That minister did resign. She’s now with a mega church- meeting with a cell group through that church.
After three years, of attempting that type of ministry, I now travel full time again and have not tried to hold any more fellowships in that type of setting.

I’m often haunted with the “where did I go wrongs” and the “will I ever do that again” questions….but I trust God. I am JUST NOW able to articulate that very PAINFUL experience. Praying that with time, my heart will heal from that experience, and maybe…just maybe….maybe…I’ll give it another shot with GOD to help.

Thanks for reading.
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  #98  
Old 06-08-2011, 02:48 PM
kingdomapostle kingdomapostle is offline
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Re: House Church - How It's Done.

...and that was NOT brief...
Sorry, I tried. This is a subject near and dear to my heart.
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  #99  
Old 06-08-2011, 04:06 PM
Aquila Aquila is offline
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Re: House Church - How It's Done.

Sad to hear about your experience KingdomApostle.

I currently attend a network of "community churches" (house churches). They have baptist roots but are very friendly and allow you to express yourself and they don't force anything on you. In this network every house church is led by established elders. They are essentially one's "pastors". On Sundays the house church families meet at the main sanctuary in Centerville Ohio. I believe there are over 2,000 members! It's HUGE with a capitol H! The pastor at the larger "gatherings" is Pastor Rob Turner. He's been to seminary and is VERY educated in biblical studies, language, church doctrine, and history. He's an amazing teacher. This church does things a bit differently. Like since January we've been covering the entire book of John, verse by verse... and we're only in chapter 5! That's how thorough their teaching is.

My house church meets on Tuesday nights during the week. The elder of the house church now has about 27 of us (last night's count) gathering in his home. We come in, greet each other, catch up, and then we have dinner together. During dinner is testimony time. While we're eating we share what God is doing in our lives and the lives of those we know. We also stop and pray for any testimony and prayer request. After dinner the bread is passed and everyone tears off a piece. Then the cup is passed around with grape juice. We dip the bread in the juice as the cup goes by. Then one of us is asked to share thoughts on the body and the blood of Jesus. We listen reverently as the speaker shares Scripture and the truths regarding the body and the blood. Then we have a short clean up time.

Next, we meet downstairs for "content time". Every week the content time is led by a different brother. Since January we've been covering the book of Hebrews. We're in chapter 7 now. God's Word is so powerful among these humble believers. Two attending have Apostolic roots like I do and we share a lot about our experiences in both God and the church on the Pentecostal side of the tracks. lol We discuss the passage and what we know about it. The house church elder "guides" the discussion. He also lovingly makes doctrinal corrections that are contrary to what the church believes. On some subjects (like Arminianism or Calvinism) the elder shares what he believes to be true and why, and expresses that he doesn't have all the answers and doesn't judge anyone who disagrees with him. It's really a safe environment where there is freedom to speak and freedom of thought... yet also loving oversight.

After content time the girls go upstairs and the guys stay in the basement. We then "check in" with each other as a body. We share our circumstances, personal prayer requests, temptations, sins, struggles, failures, victories, hopes, and dreams. Often you'll see us crying as a brother opens up his heart and life. The ladies do the same upstairs. At the end of each of our turn to have the floor we say, "I'm all in.", and pick another brother to speak. We also pray for one another through the laying on of hands at the end of the secession. God is so good.

The elder "facilitates" the meeting, yet he has authority. You'd almost not know who the elder is if you've never seen it or been there. He's a very humble man, a firefighter by profession. With 27 people, our elder tells us, "We're about to birth another house church soon folks!" And it's coming... God is already dealing with a couple to open their home.

This church has a real good grasp of what this is about. And... they have been established for over 8 years. The larger gathering is also launching another large gathering in Xenia Ohio sometime this year. We're getting too large. Here's a video produced by the church....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLSkWrypu3Y
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  #100  
Old 06-08-2011, 04:57 PM
kingdomapostle kingdomapostle is offline
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Re: House Church - How It's Done.

Glad its working out for you all in this way. I've read through much of this discussion...and honestly my heart breaks. Oh well...we go on by the grace of God.
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