Have house churches been around for a while or is this something new?
House churches are as old as the Christianity itself. However, certain cultures adapt better to the house churches than others. For instance, a persecuted nation will thrive more with house churches than they will with an institutional church. We tend to mold and shape the gospel and our forms of worship to match our goals and culture. Richard Halverson writes, ‘When the Greeks got the gospel, they turned it into a philosophy; when the Romans got it, they turned it into a government; when the Europeans got it, they turned it into a culture; and when the Americans got it, they turned it into a business.’” The institutional church is run like a business. We see house churches as operating like a family unit, on mission for God.
Do other countries meet in house churches?
Most countries have some sort of presence of house churches. Countries that have higher rates of persecution have a higher percentage of house churches. House churches are perhaps most popular in China. According to an article by Christianity Today:
-It is estimated that two-thirds of Christians (in China) attend a house church.
-The Christian population is guessed at between 80 to 130 (or more) million.
-What goes on in China matters to the Church worldwide; soon, it will be the country with the largest Christian population and, in time, it might have the world’s largest missionary force.