Modern "Home Church" resources/critiques

Discussion in 'Ecclesiology' started by Puritan Sailor, Oct 15, 2009.

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  1. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm looking to understand the modern "home church" movement. I would appreciate any input as to:

    1) who the major proponents are,
    2) what's the usual line of argumentation or appeal for them, and
    3) if there are any good Reformed/evangelical critiques out there (preferably men who have had success at bringing these people back into the church).

  2. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I was given a book called Ekklesia advocating it a couple years back. The basic line of argumentation was that we should meet in homes because the early church did. A good response should note that the early church first met in the temple, and then the synagogues, and only after they were kicked out did they start meeting exclusively in homes.

    You also have to distinguish between "home churches" as a movement and churches that meet in homes, but are otherwise regular churches - the latter can be okay, if done properly. The modern home church movement tends to under-emphasize corporate worship as a worship service. They're very informal, which sometimes results in neglecting elder leadership and the reading and preaching of the Word and the use of the sacraments.

    I'm sorry, but I don't have any good response resources.
  3. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    1) Frank Viola and George Barna


    3) I don't think theologians take the house church movement seriously enough to critique it. That said, Viola and Barna are not the norm in my experience. I came out of the house church movement and it is filled with serious Christians who have outgrown their liberal, 'Purpose Driven' church. They desire more from church because they have been starving for so long. The problem is, they don't know exactly what they want more of.

    Often in liberal churches those who become hungry for the Word of are looked upon with suspicion for fear they might upset the apple cart. They soon find themselves on the outside of a fellowship they used to be a part of. They feel 'let down' and sometimes even 'abused' by the church and jump to the conclusion that 'all churches are the same'.

    These are they types of house churchers you want to get into your congregation. Make it known in your community that you are a strong Bible preaching church and just be patient. You will have to have extra charity with them and give them time to trust you.
  4. Blue Tick

    Blue Tick Puritan Board Graduate

    In short. People who embrace the "Home Church" movement typically are REACTING to the current condition within evangelicalism. They've been burned, abused, poorly taught and really are just "Burned Out" on church. This is at least in my experience folks who embrace it. I feel sorry for them because they've swung the pedulum to one extreme to the other.
  5. bisonrancher

    bisonrancher Puritan Board Freshman

    Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion - Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck
  6. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    Harold Kamping, major proponent, I believe.
  7. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Gary Gilley's books "This Little Church ..." deal with the non-institutional emphases in modern ecclesiology from a traditional evangelical perspective. They help to show the sociological and ideological influences coming to bear on both the market and stay-at-home model of church.
  8. TaylorOtwell

    TaylorOtwell Puritan Board Junior

    In my experience, their practice are spontaneous lay preaching is usually defended from 1st Corinthians 14:26-40.
  9. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    Oh yes, I'd forgotten about Barna. Thanks for the reminder.

    The reason I ask is that the home church movement seems to be picking up in this area, and it's usually associated with the homeschool movement. Is that how you initially came into the movement as well? I just didn't know if there some big names in the homeschool movement that were advocating home-church as well.
  10. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Interesting question. I don't know of any who explicitly promote house church. However, it seems that they often do go hand in hand. One of the signs that you have outgrown your liberal church is when you begin homeschooling your children. This is one of those things that 'rock the boat' and can quickly turn you into an outsider.

    If there is a connection, it might be that both the home schoolers and the house churchers feel strongly enough about guarding the autonomy of the family they are willing to cast off the traditional church if need be. They end up in the same place for different reasons.

    There may be some VisionForum/Family-integrated types who explicitly advocate house church but I don't recall.
  11. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    I recall being in a church plant where we met in homes Sunday evenings until we had a more established meeting place. That was an incredibly close time and to this day, if you get any of us together from the era, we're likely to be a bit nostalgic. But, I don't think that is the overall Biblical pattern, except, perhaps, for doing what you can to get a church up and going.
  12. nasa30

    nasa30 Puritan Board Sophomore

    This is a very true statement. Homeschooling can quickly make you an outsider and "trouble maker" in some churches. "you don't want to invite them, they home school" has been heard by some of our friends.

    I think it is Doug Wilson and not Doug Phillips of VF that you might be thinking of. I have listened to some Doug Phillips messages where he makes the point that you should be in a church and not hide at home.
  13. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    Just to clarify my question in the thread, by "home/house church" movement, I'm refering to those folks who are disassociating from the the visible church and choosing rather to have independent worship at home.

    I have no problem with church plants or local congregations meeting in a house if that's what is necessary for the situation.
  14. Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace Puritan Board Junior

    Battered Sheep Ministry: Articles

    Here is a link to a group of home church supporters.
  15. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Oh yeah, looking at these articles reminded me of another line of reasoning used by house churchers. The priesthood of all believers precludes anyone having authority in an ecclesiological sense. Therefore, there are no 'explicit' leaders in house churches. (There are implicit ones, but they don't like to recognize them as such)
  16. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    I was just saying that it might be a useful provision at some point in the life of a congregation, but isn't the normative pattern.
  17. Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace Puritan Board Junior

    I have gleaned some nuggets from some of the articles KMK. Erkel has a good article on the problems with ''pastoral search committees". I am not intending to digress this thread, just thought id mention it.
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