The Pastor’s Home Can Be A Place For Fellowship, Worship, And Bible Study

By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen

House Church: Christians Meeting in Homes
House Church

 
     One of the most personally-enriching things my wife and I have done over the years is to have groups of church people over to our house. Many times we have had smaller groups over, just for food and fellowship. Many other times we have had larger groups over for the same reason. And many  times we have had larger groups over for informal church services and Bible studies, instead of doing these things in the church building. We always include food and drinks. Sometimes we provide it all, sometimes we have a potluck meal.
     It was common in the days of the apostles of Jesus Christ to meet in homes for what we might call “church services.” After all, “the local church” is not a special building, but a group of believers with Scriptural leaders who have banded together for Scriptural purposes. They might meet in a special building dedicated to those purposes. Or they might meet at other locations, such as outside, in a barn, in a school, or in a home.
     Consider some New Testament examples of churches meeting in homes. First, in Acts 12:1 – 4 we read that Peter was in prison because of his Christian faith. And verse 5 tells us “prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” We can assume that the believers prayed for him in their daily lives. But verse 12 tells us that after Peter was released from prison, he went to the house of Mary, “where many were gathered together praying.” They felt no obligation to pray in a special building, so they prayed at Mary’s house. Second, Paul wrote a letter to a man named Philemon. In verse two, he made reference to Apphia and Archippus, and to the church in his house. What did they do in that house? The same things we do in church buildings: they fellowshipped, they prayed, they worshipped, and they had teaching and preaching from God’s Word.
     I am not advocating that we quit using what we call “church buildings.” What I am saying is, even if we use such buildings, we do not have to have all or most church meetings in them. We can meet elsewhere. The Bible gives us liberty to do so. A meeting in a church building is no more sacred than one held at another location.
     That being so, let me say again that the pastor’s home can be a place of fellowship, worship, and Bible study. Therefore, I challenge my fellow-pastors to use this richly-rewarding means of involvement with your congregations. Invite them over for informal times of food and fellowship. But also have some of your Sunday evening meetings and Wednesday evening meetings at your house. These times together will lead the Christians who are involved into a greater sense of belonging to the fellowship of believers. And, if non-Christians are present, it can be a tool  to lead them to salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.
     Of course, this works best with small congregations. Pastors with larger congregations will have to consider what works for them. they could consider having several meetings of smaller groups in their homes in a year’s time, or even over a longer period of time.
    
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