On House Churches
I think house churches can sometimes be much better than your local 501©3 church with a name and a building and a web site. Those things are nice to have, but a small group of people studying the word, keeping one another accountable, fellowshipping, and exhorting one another to live godly lives can (possibly) be a better church.
It could go either way, I guess, depending on the group dynamics.
At your “normal” church, it’s pretty easy to get into the thick of “ministry” — being busy and getting little to nothing done — but miss out on some of the best parts of being a church. Sharing your joys and struggles with other Christians is one of the greatest benefits of the church community.
And that’s just it — in a “regular” church with services and bulletins and preachers and music ministers — it’s really easy to go through the motions and be “religious” without having a relationship with Christ or other believers. It’s the community of believers that make the church so great.
I must confess, when I was growing up I didn’t like the church. I thought it was dumb because everybody fought all the time about stupid stuff. I thought we should all be knocking on doors, sharing the gospel so that Christ could return sooner (He said he wouldn’t return until every tribe, tongue, people, and nation heard the gospel).
I didn’t get it, but I think I’m starting to now.
Church is so many things. It is a means by which to sanctify one another in the word. It’s a place of encouragement when life’s tough. It’s boot camp for spiritual warfare. It’s home. It’s family. It’s the body of Christ.
Don’t get me wrong — I love gorgeous church buildings and churches-with-official-names. I’m a Southern Baptist. I like the weekly services and the off-key singing. I like deacons and elders and business meetings. I like Sunday School and Big-Church.
But if you’re just going to church, absorbing, and leaving… you’re missing a LOT. We need to invest time, effort, and love in other Christians’ lives.
House churches can do this. So can institutional churches.
But you don’t need a building… or a name… or Sunday services to be a church. You just need other Christians.