Saturday, March 24, 2018

House Church

I sense that the house church movement in New Zealand has peaked. My experience is that most house churches were started by people frustrated with existing churches. They knew what they did not like, but they did not have a clear vision of what God wanted to establish. Many brought baggage with them.

Most still wanted to receive the “services” that they thought traditional churches were not providing adequately.: good teaching, good worship, etc. The list is quite long. Church leaders were soon exhausted trying to provide these services. Members remained frustrated because the level of service did not match their expectations.

The people who joined House Churches had not been reaching out to the lost people of the world from their traditional churches, so they did not do any different when they got into a house church. Consequentially, house churches had very little success in sharing the gospel.
A house church that does not have new believers coming in gets very self-centred. New believers are often disruptive in a good way. Existing members grow by putting their energies into discipling and teaching them. Without this challenge, they get bored and grumpy. Their house church becomes quite inward looking.

I don’t think many people in New Zealand caught the vision I shared in Being Church Where We Live. It has been more popular overseas.
I am not despondent. I still think that the vision I shared is the best way for followers of Jesus to support each other through a season of persecution or economic shaking. I still think it is the only way the Church as a whole could absorb a massive number of people coming to faith in Jesus, if we had revival in New Zealand.

I am not sure which of these two possibilities is most likely.

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