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Is it legal to meet as a house church?
It is as legal to meet as a house church as it is to have a birthday party. Here are some things to consider that have legal ramifications whether it is a birthday party or a house church gathering:
1. Neighbors may complain if music or voices are too loud.
2. Parking should always be done legally.
3. Signs in windows or on properties should be done according to local ordinances.
4. Any food that is offered, through advertising, to the general public, may need special permission.
5. Advertising of any sort, ought to be done cautiously and legally. Ultimately, each house church should consider whether advertising is even necessary or biblical.
Does the house church have to be an official organization?
There are two main reasons why a church might want to have legal status:
1. If the church wants to own property.
2. If the church wants to offer a tax write-off for its donors.
We don't see either of these as necessary or even biblical, so we don't see a reason to have an official, legal name or to become a non-profit organization.
"We want to measure the church's sending capacity more than its seating capacity." (Church 3.0 - Neil Cole)
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