It is a conviction based on the example in scripture of the home as the primary gathering place in the New Testament; Philemon 1:2, Acts 2:46, 1 Corinthians 16:19, Acts 20:20, Colossians 4:15, Romans 16:5, and Acts 5:42. The other examples of believers meeting in synagogues and Solomon’s Portico seemed to be evangelistic in nature, Acts 3 and Acts 5:14, and not a normative place for the gathering of saints. Practically speaking the home creates an environment where small groups of believers can meet and live out the one anothers of scripture. It also creates a limitation on space which encourages splitting and reproducing.
Why do you call it house church?
There are many names given to this kind of gathering; house church, simple church, and organic church are some of the more common names. Since gatherings in new testament times were in houses, we think this is the best way to describe the meeting. Houses are where families live and the church is certainly a family of believers.
Does your house church have a name?
Our house church(es) do not have a legal name. We do not have a non-profit status. House Church Baltimore is a website name. We don't find the need to name our gathering location or group. We don't see names used in the bible other than, 'the church in _____ house' or 'the church in _______ (city)'. We are not opposed to names but we also don't think it is necessary.
Just because something is called a house church does not mean it operates biblically. I would also not say all doctors run a good practice, nor do all handymen fix things the right way. We are simply saying that the house church model (when done correctly), promotes the best opportunity for kingdom growth.
What is the difference between house church, simple church, and organic church?
These all refer basically to the same concept. However, a house church is more inclined to meet in a house.
I'm happy at my church. Should I leave my church to find a house church?
If God is not calling you to leave your church, then we would not encourage that either. Ultimately, each one of us should be looking for the best expression of how the church should bring God great glory. We think the house church is the best model to do that. However, we also know that there are some institutional churches who are doing this better than some house churches.
I'm very interested in the house church but I can't find one anywhere. Is it worth moving to a different state?
If you are at the point in your life where you want to find the best expression of biblical community, no matter what, then yes! The most important thing in life is how you are living for the glory of God. Finding the right family is very important. However, there are some other points to consider.
1. It may be better for some people to start their own house church, if there is not a good one to be found. However, this can sometimes be quite hard to do if you are on your own.
2. Sometimes God will want you to stay where you are to encourage those in your current form of church, at least for a time.
3. Before moving to another state, be sure you have thoroughly investigated the house church you plan to join.
Why does your house church have a website? Isn't that contrary to the purpose of a simple house church?
The purpose of this website is to connect with believers who are leaving the institutional church. We want to help them find answers. Here are some reasons why some people find it hard to leave the institutional church:
1. No one in the house church movement has all the answers to all of the problems the institutional church faces.
2. Pastors will often make someone feel guilty for leaving.
3. To some degree, you are leaving behind people that you love, to seek out something different.
4. You love the people but hate the system...but it is still so hard to leave.
5. You don't know anyone in the house church.
6. You have never seen a successful form of house church.
7. Everyone you know thinks the house church is not a proper form of church.