If you are curious about the answer to this question, I have good news: The Bible actually says.
Acts 2:42 (NIV) They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Note four things that the early church did, and that every house church should do:
They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching
This can come in many forms, but let me mention two.
Live teaching. You, or someone in the group can teach the Bible. It doesn’t have to be long and complicated. In fact, shorter is probably better. (I have never heard a bad short sermon. More people have been bored out of believing than reasoned out of believing.) I write Good Questions that can you with this. If you can ask 20 Questions, you can lead a Bible study. Hint: you don’t have to use all the questions in every lesson. See www.mybiblestudylessons.com
Video teaching. Your favorite Bible teacher is likely on youtube.com. Alternatively, you can purchase DVDs pretty inexpensively, or go to your favorite Bible Teacher’s website. There has never been more high-quality Bible teaching more readily available than today.
They devoted themselves to fellowship
For some groups, this is the main thing. Although every group ought to work toward balancing all these activities, every group doesn’t have to do all of them in a perfectly balanced way. For some groups, it is mostly about the fellowship. You might consider some prepared questions to provide some structure and to ensure that you don’t just talk about this week’s sporting event.
They devoted themselves to the breaking of bread
There is some debate as to what this phrase means. I tend to agree with Derek Thomas:
Tempting as it is to think of this as an exclusive reference to the Lord’s Supper, Luke may well be drawing attention to something else: eating together—the potluck supper!—was an important part of church life. The first Christians needed times to talk, discuss, and learn from each other.14 And as they did so, they “received their food with glad and generous hearts” (Acts 2:46). — Derek W. H. Thomas, Acts, ed. Richard D. Phillips, Philip Graham Ryken, and Daniel M. Doriani, Reformed Expository Commentary (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2011), 62.
House churches nearly always center around a shared meal. This is how the early church did church. Modern churches look like a performance. The early church looked like a family dinner. And by the way, I am not against regular churches. See my article on House Churches AND https://www.joshhunt.com/2019/02/27/house-churches-and/
They devoted themselves to prayer
The situation is desperate; calls for prayer.
We have a lot of problems in our country, and Jesus said that some problems can be solved, “only by prayer.” We need an army of house churches who will devote themselves to prayer. E.M. Bounds’ words have never been truer than today:
WE are constantly on a stretch, if not on a strain, to devise new methods, new plans, new organizations to advance the Church and secure enlargement and efficiency for the gospel. This trend of the day has a tendency to lose sight of the man or sink the man in the plan or organization. God’s plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use—men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. — Edward M. Bounds, Power through Prayer (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1999).
For more articles, see https://www.joshhunt.com/house-churches-and/
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