We plant house churches for the following reasons: Our goal is not just to start a church. Our goal is to start a church planting movement. We believe this can best be done by focusing on the simplest and most reproducible form of church planting. The house church meets that need. We believe the house church concept is the best way to train pastors and leaders. The simplicity of small congregations makes it easy to multiply congregations. God is calling his people to break with traditionalism and professionalism and get back to simplicity. In most countries today it is the only way to get a church planting movement going. We cannot possibly do saturation church planting if we are thinking in terms of traditional church. It is the best environment for encouraging the Body to minister to the Body.
We believe that if we focus on the things mentioned in chapter six, WHAT DO YOU DO IN A HOUSE CHURCH?, the Lord will enable us to meet the needs of all the individuals and families who attend. The Holy Spirit is able to make us innovative in our approach to meeting needs. Some will need to attend churches with the ability to present more diverse programs. We are not in competition with other churches. We are working together with them to help fulfill the Great Commission.
A. The cell group concept is the wheel approach and the house church is the vine approach. A cell group is seen as a part of the outreach of another church whereas a house church is a church in itself and functions as a church, doing all the things that churches do, including baptizing, serving communion, marrying, burying, etc.
Some house churches will have children's meetings separate from youth and adults. Some will all meet together. It is surprising how much little children learn just being with youth and adults. Each church will seek the Lord as to how to meet the needs of those who attend.
Once or twice a week is common, but that is a decision to be made by the people of each church. There is nothing in the Bible that says how often we should meet.
We are held together by the bonds of relationship and not by the meeting place so it is safe to move about.
The true qualifications for elders (pastors) are found in two places in the New Testament: (Titus 1:6-9 and I Tim. 5:l-7) God has provided plenty of humble, teachable, Godly men and women right in our churches who are capable of leading house churches. The apprentice method is the best method for training pastors and leaders. There never was a better method and there never will be!
This is a part of the training of an elder. He is given a territory and the task of starting a new house church. In most cases he will be given at least one or two couples to help him get started; ideally, one of the couples will be pastors-in-training so that from the very beginning of a new church there is vision for church planting. A very small house church can send out two or three couples each year to give birth to a new church.
It is not our purpose to tear down anything that God is building. We are committed to bless and to assist all the churches in every city, large or small, denominational, non-denominational, or inter-denominational. We are simply presenting a valid expression of church that is based on the Word of God and that has proven effective both in the primitive church and in modern times. God is not calling all his people in all places to be doing the exact same thing. The church of Jesus Christ is amazingly fluid and versatile in its many expressions when it is not circumscribed by rigid and inflexible boundaries
Every house church in any city belongs to the church, the body of Christ, in that city, first and foremost. A house church may belong to a denomination, but its ties to the denomination should not supersede or interfere with its commitment to and its relationship to the body of Christ within that locality. The greatest challenge to any church is maintaining unity within the larger body of Christ in the city where you live and serve. There are many other questions one might ask about house churches, but the most important one is , "Lord, do you want me to be a part of helping to fulfill the Great Commission by being involved in multiplying house churches in my own country and throughout the world?" There are many ways to plant new churches and thus extend the kingdom of God in the earth. We will accept and not criticize the various ways that God's people are seeking to plant churches. It is my purpose in this paper to sound the trumpet to start house churches, and we say to you who read this book, "COME OVER AND HELP US!" We are excited about multiplying churches in every country and in every people group so "that repentance and remission of sins will be preached in His name to all nations."