House Churches AND

Multiplying House Churches

Christianity is spreading faster now than it has at any time in human history. If that statement surprises you, it means that you probably live in the Global North where Christianity is—at best—holding its own. But Christianity is exploding in the Global South. Consider:

  • There were nine million Christians in Africa in 1900; by 2000, there were 335 million (37 times as many) with most of the growth occurring since the 1960s.
  • In Latin America in 1900, there were 50,000 Protestants; today, there are more than 64 million (1,280 times as many), again with most of the growth occurring since the 1960s. A significant majority of these Protestants identify themselves as Charismatic or Pentecostal Evangelicals.
  • The number of Christians in Asia grew from 101 million to 351 million between 1970 and 2010.
  • In China, it has been estimated that 10,000 people per day become Christ Followers, and even by conservative estimates, Christianity has grown 4,300 percent in 50 years. By 2030, China will have more Christians living in it than any other nation on earth.
  • There are 3.7 times as many Protestants in Africa as in North America—and the gap grows dramatically every year. This has happened just in recent decades
  • In 1980, sixty-five percent of the world’s missionaries were sent out from the Global North; by 2020, that situation will be reversed, as sixty-three percent will be coming from the Global South.
  • Beyond just the numerical growth, we are now seeing widespread Kingdom Movements led by indigenous Christians that are multiplying rapidly in regions throughout the Global South.
  • In the Islamic world, there were no movements7 among Muslims8 until the nineteenth century. Today, every region of the Muslim world is experiencing replicating movements, even in some of the most extreme areas. — The Kingdom Unleashed: How Jesus’ 1st-Century Kingdom Values Are Transforming Thousands of Cultures and Awakening His Church / Jerry Trousdale and Glenn Sunshine

Are House Churches Biblical?

All around the world the gospel is spreading and, in many cases, spreading rapidly. They are doing it—pretty much without exception as best I can tell—through House Churches. (See https://www.joshhunt.com/house-churches-and/ ) Perhaps we should experiment with House Churches. But, only if they are biblical, right? Let’s look at what the Bible says:

  • Acts 2:46 (NIV) Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts…
  • Acts 5:42 (NIV) Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
  • Romans 16:5 (NIV) Greet also the church that meets at their house.
  • 1 Corinthians 16:19 (NIV) The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.
  • Colossians 4:15 (NIV) Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.
  • Philemon 2 (NIV) also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home.

Notice the word AND in Acts 5.42. Temple courts AND house to house. I believe that is what we need. Regular churches doing what they are doing, and an army of house churches.

If you are ready to take the next step after prayer, I’d invite you to check out Good Questions Have Groups Talking. If you can ask 20 questions, you can lead a house church. See www.mybiblestudylessons.com

 

House Churches AND

All around the world the gospel is spreading and, in many cases, spreading rapidly. The are doing it—pretty much without exception as best I can tell—through House Churches. (See https://www.joshhunt.com/2019/02/23/house-church/ ) Perhaps we should experiment with House Churches.

Let me clarify what I mean. I don’t mean that we should close down the churches we have and all start House Churches. What I mean is House Churches AND regular churches, not House Churches INSTEAD OF regular churches. What I mean is that perhaps we should all experiment with starting a House Church. You may have to back off on attendance on Sunday night and Wednesday night. You might have to get off a committee or two. But there is no reason you can’t be an active participant in a regular church and a House Church.

I see the relationship between a House Church and a regular church someone like the relationship between the church and the local Association. (Association, in Baptist world, is all the local churches more-or-less in the county.) Many church leaders participate in both the local church and the Association. I want to suggest we participate in the House Church as well.

Also, I am totally opposed to the House Church of the bad attitude, and I think God is as well. The House Church of rebellion against the local church has no place in the Kingdom of God.

In all likelihood, you are far more prepared to start a House Church than are the people who are actually doing it. You know far more about the Bible and Christian living. You are far more spiritually mature. Many of the people who are leading multiple generations of House Churches have not yet read the New Testament, let alone the Bible.

What is the first step? There is near universal agreement on this as well. It starts with prayer.

If you are ready to take the next step after prayer, I’d invite you to check out Good Questions Have Groups Talking. If you can ask 20 questions, you can lead a house church. See www.mybiblestudylessons.com

A New Way to Reach America

All around the world the gospel is spreading and, in many cases, spreading rapidly. Perhaps we should humble ourselves and learn to do things they way they are doing things. Check out these articles:

Protestant Christianity has been one of the fastest-growing religions in China in recent years, rising from having just three million adherents in the 1980s to as many as an estimated 100 million this year.

The number of Christians in Communist China is growing so steadily that it by 2030 it could have more churchgoers than America

In the twentieth century, Christianity in Africa exploded from an estimated population of eight or nine million in 1900 (8 to 9%) to some 335 million in 2000 (45%), marking a shift in the “center of gravity of Christianity” from the West to Latin America, parts of Asia and Africa.

The Church is growing slowest in Europe and North America. The good news is that the Church is still growing in Europe and North America. The Church is growing dramatically in the rest of the world. The Church has seen dramatic and explosive growth in Asia, Africa and South America. The growth of the African Church in particular is jaw-dropping.

What are they doing around the world that we are not doing? What do we need to learn and emulate? Two words:

House churches

Now, let me be clear about two things. These are not, “I have a bad attitude; I don’t like my pastor; I don’t like the music; I am grumpy; I can’t find a church that suits me so I am leaving and starting a house church.” I doubt God ever blesses an attitude like that.

Also, I am not suggesting that we bet the farm, quit doing everything we are doing now and all start house churches. Here is what I am suggesting.

In light of the explosive global growth of the worldwide church through house churches, maybe it is time that we dabble and experiment with house churches and see if God is in it. Maybe it is time we pray. Maybe it is time we do a little Bible study on what the Word says about house churches. Maybe it is time to read Chan’s book Letters to the Church or Chris Galanos’ book From Megachurch to Multiplication: A Church’s Journey Toward Movement.

I doubt “regular churches” (non-house churches) are going away any time soon. And I, for one, enjoy a good worship service in a regular church. But, maybe it is time we start something new in addition to what we are doing now. TV didn’t make radio go away.

What do you think? Is there a future for House Churches in America? I’d be curious about your thoughts

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