How to Start A House Church; & Why
Anyone could start a house church anywhere, we guess. There are many different ones out there. Many of them are small groups. Some are very Word-centred, like Bible studies, done in an interactive way. Others are focused on music or worship. But if you are considering starting a house church there are a few things that you should consider.
First of all what is your motivation? Are you starting one because someone in a church hurt you? Are you fed up with the local church? Do you want a chance to lead something?
You may feel that one of these is a good reason to get started, but really they are not. That is beginning a new work out of a wounded spirit, and wounded people just wound others. They don't want to, they really want to do good, but when there is hurt and bitterness toward someone in the past it always comes out in the new work. What you sow is what you grow.
Another reason some people start a house church is that they think, "I will do church right." That implies that everyone else does it wrong. They may feel that there should be more Holy Spirit encounters or better teaching or real discipleship. And we would agree that all of those things should be factors in any good church, however to say that "I know how to do it right and everybody else does it wrong," is pure pride. It goes against unity, and it divides the bride of Christ, God's church. No good thing can be born out of that kind of rebellion. Competition and comparison are the twin towers of hell. If we set up a church and compare ourselves to other churches by pointing out all of their faults and focusing on them that will just have a negative impact in the community over time.
Another reason that many people want to start a House Church is because there is no place to fellowship with others locally. That is not a bad reason. Especially if there are no Holy Spirit-led churches near by. We would be happy to help such folks establish a thriving house church in their community, or even get them started with a good Bible study while they gather other interested people into the group.
There is however, one real good reason to start a house church. That reason is that you feel that God is calling you to do it. It is because you know in your knower that this is where you are supposed to be. It is something that you have a passion for and a vision to fulfil. We want to be obedient to God by carrying out the vision that He has given us to plant house churches across the nations. We are passionate about house churches. We love to meet with believers in kitchens and living rooms and we love to get involved in people's lives and help them to overcome difficulties. But while we don't personally have many corporate gatherings we still respect and honour our fellow believers from other backgrounds and denominations because we want to bring glory to God in all that we do for His kingdom. So whatever your motivation is, we hope that you will pray into it, and ask God to give you His heart in the matter.
When you have resolved these issues correctly, then let's look at "HOW". This recipe isn't difficult, although it can be too simple for religious people. (Let's not forget that it did work well for the first 300 years of the church, until Constantine put the church members into obsolete pagan temples and also opened up membership to pagans as well. This watering down of the Faith has never been fully recovered from.)
1) YOU NEED A HOUSE
(this ingredient is optional...a coffee shop, park, creek bank, etc. may be substituted based on availability)
2) YOU NEED A CHURCH
(2 to 3 persons will be sufficient to get started - however more may be added daily as necessary)
3) YOU NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT
(HE is the most important ingredient and should be in the #1 position - without Him the recipe will fail)
4) STIR TOGETHER
(each ingredient has it's own unique flavour paramount to the mix)
5) THIS RECIPE WILL EXPAND QUICKLY
(take care to not let your container be too small - this recipe will produce enough "starters" to grow multiple new house churches if prepared properly)
Some people want to start a house church as a stepping-stone to get to a big enough group to start a "real" church. If that is your vision, that is fine. We would want to bless you on your journey. However, that is not our vision. Our vision is to do house church and to do it well. Our vision is to raise up leaders and equip them to start more house churches and then to multiply house churches across the land. We want to empower believers to overcome and get them started in a work that they can sink their teeth into. We want to see them ready and positioned to make an impact in their community. Then we will help them to grow a crop of more leaders and start again. We have had some real successes encouraging believers who have attended church for years but never led anyone to Jesus or ever stepped into leadership of any kind.
If you really want to succeed and have a lasting impact on individuals and communities we would highly recommend joining our team and doing it together.
Why do it together? Because together we have more influence on the society.
We speak your language and know what it is that you are going through. There are many great churches out there that do a really good job with their Sunday morning church, but if they have never done house church just as a house church they really do not understand what you are going through. They may have a heart to help you, and some may be better at helping you than others, but most just think they can help you. Why do we say that? Because we use to have a Sunday church, and we thought we understood house churches then. We thought that it was not much different than what we were doing.
House Church is extremely interactive. It is very different. We meet people right where they are at and engage them in their Christianity. It is not just about lessons. It is not a Bible Study although we do study the Word. It is a fully functioning New Testament church in the end times.
Some large Sunday churches have small groups during the week and that may work very well for them. We use to do that as well, but we found when we let that building go and moved everything into the houses it really changed everything for us. We would call those cell churches, and they have a purpose, but that is not what we do here. We are a house church organisation. We do children's ministry in homes. We have awesome times of soaking in God's presence and calling out to Him for revival in homes. We have training and equipping for all ages in homes. We have shared meals, and take communion in homes. We baptise new believers in rivers, in hot tubs, in pools, or anywhere we can get enough water in a home. We train our next generation of leaders in homes. Our head office is in a home. This is a house church ministry. It is not just what we do, it is who we are.
We train believers to go out into the highways and the byways and to win people to Jesus Christ. Then we help those believers to disciple the ones that they won to the Lord. We take them step by step through a process whereby anyone can become an equipper. The new believers become strong and build character over a year and a half and then they too are taught to go out and win more to Christ. This is how it multiplies. It is a Book of Acts church. We plant more and more churches that raise up believers.
People need to be discipled or they become weak and a target for the devil. They never fulfil their destiny if they are ignorant of God's Word. They also need to have encounter times with God, because it is in that place that the anointing flows, and the anointing breaks the yokes of oppression off people. 30 seconds in the anointing of God can remove more bondage than 30 years of counselling could accomplish.
To have just Holy Spirit times of encounter without discipleship produces flaky Christians with no purpose. They become so heavenly minded they are no earthly good. They like the goose bumps and the manifestations of the Spirit but they forget the purpose of the experience which is to go with boldness and proclaim the gospel. Paul never prayed that God would go win the souls for him. He prayed for boldness to get the job done himself, because he knew that God had already commanded the believers to do that job. Acts 1:8 shows us clearly that once endowed with power the purpose is to witness.
Discipling is important for the people to grow and move into their gifts, but to have only discipling, and teaching makes a group legalistic. People loose their faith in the ability of a miraculous God, and without faith it is impossible to please God. Whole denominations have fallen into this and statistically have become empty shells with empty halls over time. Remove the Holy Spirit and we remove the power. Both discipleship and Holy Spirit encounters are necessary for a people to thrive.
So if you are reading this and this kind of church appeals to you, contact us for more information. We would love to help you establish a group in your area. We often have existing groups join us as well. Like the apostle Paul we are moving forward in church planting with a strategy to bring change to the lands in which we live. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and Jesus Christ is for yesterday, today and forever. Our God is a generational God. We are a generational church. Join us as we prepare to touch the nation for His glory.