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BT from Barna Study [message #383405] Fri, 29 February 2008 16:07 Go to next message
Rose  is currently offline Rose
Messages: 453
Registered: April 2007
Location: Prince George, BC
Senior Member

Housechurches[ 20 vote(s) ]
1.I don't think that housechurches are an acceptable expression of church. 1 / 5%
2.I think that housechurches can be an acceptable expression of church and I am a part of one. 3 / 15%
3.I think that housechurches can be an acceptable expression of church but I'm not a part of one. 16 / 80%

So what are all your opinions on housechurches?


Rose - Official Bean Queen

wife of Joel
mom to Faith(5.5) and Paul(5)

"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." - Jesus
Re: BT from Barna Study [message #383419 is a reply to message #383405 ] Fri, 29 February 2008 16:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Elizabby  is currently offline Elizabby
Messages: 5476
Registered: April 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Senior Member
You didn't list my opinion, which is:

I think housechurches are probably a *more* valid expression of church and more closely resemble the Early Church than the large churches we generally attend today.

IMO, much of the NT teaching on accountability and fellowship makes more sense in a small community setting than a large mega-church. Don't forget that in the early church they often met in houses, and would have known one another much better than we do in our (usually larger) churches today.

BTW, I'm not in a housechurch, but my church is fairly small and makes a conscious effort to build community among its members in more ways than just on a Sunday. I would quite like to be in a housechurch, but my dh would not approve, which makes it difficult since most housechurches are based on the family unit, and rightly so.


Your sister in Christ,

Elizabby

Evie is six, Zoe is four, and Benji is two!

Not online as much these days, contact me through email or my blog if you want to talk to me!
Re: BT from Barna Study [message #383434 is a reply to message #383405 ] Fri, 29 February 2008 17:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
Messages: 14921
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member

I totally agree with elizabby...house churches are the model in the NT. I have been researching it and studying about it for a few years and would totally love to find a great house church--or start one. But we haven't found one, and aren't feeling led at this point to start one, so we are attending institutional churches now.


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: BT from Barna Study [message #383450 is a reply to message #383405 ] Fri, 29 February 2008 18:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kate Megill  is currently offline Kate Megill
Messages: 6501
Registered: April 2005
Location: NW rural Illinois
Senior Member

Just a thought to spice up this thread! Wink

"House churches" were the model in Jerusalem before the dispertion. In Corinth, for example, lots of believers were meeting together and were told, "why didn't you all eat at home before you came", so I'm not sure they were not meeting in some larger facility. Again, the NT saints were very pragmatic and when they had outgrown meeting in homes, I'm not sure that they always divided into smaller groups for corporate worship times; it is possible that they simply found larger buildings/homes to meet in because scripture tells us they came together.

I guess I don't see anything more right about meeting in a home than meeting in any other type of building. A building is a building is a building. It could be a home (with MORE than just 1 family meeting - personally I don't think one family meeting alone is modeled anywhere in scripture and there are things that I think would show that is not the best example of the church), it could be a store front, it could be an auditorium or any other facility.

Am I making a case for the mega-churches? Nope. Just throwing some wrenches into the pile that just because scripture shows us one example (yet may elude to other models) doesn't mean anything else is wrong or not best for a given situation or group or that that one example is always the best way.

[Updated on: Sat, 01 March 2008 08:03]


In His Joy and Grace,

Kate

Re: BT from Barna Study [message #383478 is a reply to message #383450 ] Fri, 29 February 2008 20:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Carrie L  is currently offline Carrie L
Messages: 2094
Registered: May 2005
Location: NH
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Kate Megill wrote on Fri, 29 February 2008 18:26

Just a note. "House churches" were the model in Jerusalem before the dispertion. In Corinth, for example, lots of believers were meeting together and were told, "why didn't you all eat at home before you came", so I'm not sure they were not meeting in some larger facility. Again, the NT saints were very pragmatic and when they had outgrown meeting in homes, I'm not sure that they always divided into smaller groups for corporate worship times; it is possible that they simply found larger buildings/homes to meet in because scripture tells us they came together.



This doesn't indicate to me at all that they weren't meeting in homes, just that they were going to someone else's home. They didn't all just stay home.

Of course, it doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't some other kind of building either. But if they were meeting together someone *had* to leave their home - unless they *all* lived together. Wink


Carrie

Only three things are necessary to make life happy: the blessing of God, books, and a friend.
Re: BT from Barna Study [message #383550 is a reply to message #383478 ] Sat, 01 March 2008 01:37 Go to previous message
Kate Megill  is currently offline Kate Megill
Messages: 6501
Registered: April 2005
Location: NW rural Illinois
Senior Member

Carrie L wrote on Fri, 29 February 2008 19:09

Kate Megill wrote on Fri, 29 February 2008 18:26

Just a note. "House churches" were the model in Jerusalem before the dispertion. In Corinth, for example, lots of believers were meeting together and were told, "why didn't you all eat at home before you came", so I'm not sure they were not meeting in some larger facility. Again, the NT saints were very pragmatic and when they had outgrown meeting in homes, I'm not sure that they always divided into smaller groups for corporate worship times; it is possible that they simply found larger buildings/homes to meet in because scripture tells us they came together.



This doesn't indicate to me at all that they weren't meeting in homes, just that they were going to someone else's home. They didn't all just stay home.

Of course, it doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't some other kind of building either. But if they were meeting together someone *had* to leave their home - unless they *all* lived together. Wink

True, but Acts 2:46 also tells us they were meeting daily in the temple as well as from house to house taking their meals together. It also says in Acts 6 that the congregation of the believers in Jerusalem (and there were over 3000 at that point in time that we know from previous passages) were all called together. I'm assuming they all were meeting together somewhere.

Acts 15:30-35 tells of all the saints in Antioch gathering together while Judas and Silas spoke/taught for a long time.

I guess I'm just trying to point out that there are a number of references in the NT that show that huge congregations of believers (perhaps ALL the saints in a particular town) met together and not necessarily on a one-time-only basis. Whether they met in a very large home or a different building isn't the point at all. It doesn't matter WHERE they met. The point I'm trying to make is that the NT example doesn't JUST show small groups of 30 or less (number used as an example only Wink ) meeting in homes as their only 'expression' of church. It also shows examples of huge numbers of disciples meeting together as an 'expression' of church. And for teaching/instruction in the Word as well as fellowship; breaking of bread (both meals and communion) and prayer.

All this to say that while meeting in small groups in homes (or whatever structure you want to meet in) IS a biblical model for the church, meeting in larger groups (sometimes very large groups) in non-home structures is JUST as much a biblical model.

It also always struck me that when Paul sent letters to churches, he sent 1 letter to all the saints in an entire town. In Antioch at least all the saints came together while the letter was read and they all received teaching from ministers sent by Paul. So it sounds like getting everyone together for teaching and worship was not an unheard of thing as well as their continued meeting together from house to house. Sounds to me like BOTH were happening.

I'm not trying AT ALL to say that we should be doing one thing or another. I'm just trying to say that neither one is any more "biblical" than the other since scripture shows both, and we should feel the absolute liberty to work out whatever works best for the training up of the saints in love and maturity in our local congregations.

Sorry, off my 'liberty' soap box! Wink Wink Wink Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Wink Wink


In His Joy and Grace,

Kate

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