HOUSE CHURCH OUTREACH
Here is a quick, easy, simple approach to starting a church in your home.
1). SEEK THE WILL OF GOD. Jesus will build His church. Our job is come along side Him and assist Him as He leads us. We are fellowlaborers with Him. Anyone can oversee a house church if they have been led by the Lord to do so. Teenagers can! Senior retired gray haired grandmothers can! All in between can, if they are filled with the Spirit and led by the Lord. If God is burdening your heart to reach your neighbors and your community for Christ, there is no better way than to plant and build a house church for His glory. Once you know the will of God, then abandon yourself with all your strength to make it happen.
2). MAKE THE DECISION. Once you know the will of God, then you must make the decision to obey Him, regardless of your feelings. Your feelings will align when you make the decision. A decision has three characteristics. It must be clear, it must be definable and it must be resolute. One example: I declare: “I will plant and establish a house church in my town, so help me God!” It is clear – I will. It is definable – plant and establish a house church in my town. It is resolute – so help me God! Without those three characteristics, you really have not made a decision.
3). GET ALL EFFECTED PARTIES ON BOARD WITH YOUR DECISION. Who else is involved in your decision to start a house church? Spouse? Family? Roommates? Neighbors? All need to be in some level of agreement with your decision of starting a house church, as they are all effected by it. Hopefully, they are all born again and share a common biblical worldview. This does not necessarily mean they will support your decision to start a house church, but at least they should be sympathetic towards its ideals and goals.
How do you get them on board? No formula works with everyone, but if you have a fervent concern for their benefit, if you love them, you should be able to reach an agreement. Ask for their support. Ask for their ideas and involvement. What you need is a team. A team is a group of individuals with specific skills and assignments which, when done well, enable the team to reach a common goal. A team of even two or three can start a successful house church. Tell them what God has shown you, and work with them to fill the specific needs of the house church. People will buy into a goal and vision when they feel they are a part of it.
4). SELECT THE LOCATION. Probably the ideal location for the house church is right within the home of the house church leader, especially if you are gifted in hospitality. If you are NOT gifted in hospitality, it can be done, but will be a bit more challenging. A house church involves inviting strangers and friends in to your home for several hours a week. This should be well prepared, with everyone in the home in agreement and support of the project.
Some times it is better to run the house church in the home of someone other than the leader. This allows others to share in the responsibility of the church, and its success. They may be more gifted in hospitality than the leader, but it is absolutely necessary that they have everyone affected by the house church to be in agreement with it being there.
House churches can meet in business lunch rooms, military barracks, in school rooms, on lawns in parks, virtually anywhere where believers have the chance to greet one another, pray together, and share the Word of God together.
House churches can meet online, although this can be challenging to overcome the lack of physical presence. But that can be done by the Spirit of God. Paul spoke of being present in spirit with the Corinthians even though he was not physically present. God gave the internet to us for the advancement of the Gospel in these last days. We need to use it to the maximum of its and our abilities.
Important key while in the first year of your house church – keep it at the same location. At times people want to move the meeting around, having different people host it each week. This would be okay if the group was not seeking additional members, but the nature of a house church is to seek the lost, so it will have new ones coming continually. Since they can’t come all the time, they need to know where and when the ‘get-together’ will be continually.
5). DETERMINE THE DATE TO START. Once you have your team on board and have determined your location, then decide how often you want to meet. House churches in the book of Acts met daily. This has tremendous advantages, but may not be practical for your circumstances. Some groups may only meet once a month, but this seems impractical if you want to reach your neighborhood for Christ. If you decide to meet weekly, then make sure it is a time that you, and your team, can faithfully dedicate to the house church gathering.
Any day, or any particular hour of the day, can be a successful time to meet with the church. Choose a day and time that your team can agree with, and that is accessible to your target participants. Who are your target participants? The people you are trying to reach for Christ. When is it accessible for them to come to your house church? Thinking, planning and preparation are key aspects of faith for success.
6). INVITE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. You and your team will be most comfortable dealing with people you know in your first few gatherings, but always have strangers coming. Determine in your heart before you ever do your first gathering that you love strangers. All around the world there is an unspoken fear of strangers. American humorist Will Rogers once said, “A stranger is a friend I haven’t met yet.” One of the Greek NT words for ‘love’ is PHILEO, which literally means ‘the love of a friend.’ When you walk in your authority in Christ, you needn’t fear the stranger.
7). FOLLOW THROUGH FAITHFULLY. It’s reasonable to make a six month commitment to a house church. Make your commitment, stay faithful to your team and your schedule, and reevaluate after six months. It’s reasonable to walk through steps one through five again after six months. This is a house church…it is not a marriage commitment. You will find that if you have an active and daily walk with God, and you walked through these steps faithfully when you started your house church, that after six months you will be growing and beginning to flourish. In our next segment we will take a look at the active elements in a house church gathering that make it refreshing and a glory to God.
To visit the House Church website, please click here: http://www.housechurchinabox.org/