May 11, 2008

"House Church Movement"

Recently I have heard some talk of a house church movement, which seems to be a big thing both locally and abroad.

While I find this interesting for a number of reasons, I have chosen to decline participation in such a movement.

Yes, our assembly meet in homes, but the idea of a "movement" revolving around where you meet seems contrary to what the Lord has taught us about being the Church. If what gives a group its identity is based on externally measurable things then it simply becomes a new denomination which allows people to pigeon-hole each other from a distance.

I am quite sure there are many groups which meet in homes, but are led by different spirits, just as there are many people led by different spirits within a traditional institutionalized church. It's not the location which is essential, but the Spirit which is at work. This can't be known at a distance or measured externally, but only through relationship. Meeting in homes has made it easier for us to keep the assembly personal and to actually know each other. If it became necessary to move out of homes and into some other sort of building, it wouldn't be a big deal as long as the unity and relationship is preserved. This is what we have been pursuing (unity, agreement, understanding, growth, compassion, love - Church the way Jesus intended) and the reason why we have ended up meeting in homes. Simply put, it is the only place we have to meet, and it works very well!

If I were to visit your assembly, would we come to know each other? Would there be time to focus on discussion and working through our understandings of the scriptures to build agreement?

Or would the main focus be on listening to a monologue and assuming that we are in agreement because we are without an opportunity for others voices to speak in the assembly?

We don't seek to fellowship with other house church people, but rather with those who desire to be disciples of Jesus, and are not afraid to pay the price of following him in Spirit and truth. Getting close to people leaves you vulnerable, and can often be messy, but would you have it any other way? Can there be real unity without it?
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