HOME CHURCH

GATHERING OF BELIEVERS


(Home Church)

BACKGROUND

Where does the name iYeshua come from?

We call our gathering “iYeshua”. The “i” means “Imitate” Yeshua.  Yeshua is Jesus’ Hebrew name.  We have no problem with people calling Him Jesus or Yeshua.  

What is a Home Church?

The church ISN’T a building, the church is a gathering of Believers in Christ (Matt. 18:19).  The reason we meet in homes is to follow the example of the early church.   Home churches are not part of a denomination and completely self-autonomous under Christ and Him alone.  They are not against other Christian gatherings but support them in prayer and finances.  

What is the objective?

It is NOT to be like a traditional church, it is NOT to focus on increasing “numbers”, it is NOT to focus on “the building”, it is NOT a social gathering.  It is NOT to focus on staying forever but for them to go out, take what they have learnt and help others.  The main focus is to make disciples of Yeshua – in Holiness and winning the Lost through the Power of God. 

Why Gather in Homes?

The main purpose is accountability – as it is not easy to hide or slip through the cracks.  People get to know each other on a personal level during the service and fellowship after.  Thereby it fosters a closer relationship of love and caring for another.   

What about Accountability (leadership)?

The head is Yeshua and all are accountable to Him.  The leaders are men who manage their family well (1 Tim. 3). Passionate for what Christ (Messiah) has done and share the good news.  They have the fruit of Christ in their life. Such as, follow the commandments (1 Cor. 7:19), spend intimate time with God through, prayer, fasting and His word (Acts 6:4).  They walk in power (1 Cor. 4:19-20). And are not focused on money or buildings!  

They work to supply their families needs and in touch with the world around them.  They may receive a financial benefit from the group but it is not mandatory or something they expect. Nor is it something they depend on to live.  Tithing is Biblical but it is not necessary to tithe the full amount to the gathering.  We believe in giving where the Lord is directing people to give – those who are sharing the word of God.  The leaders teach, exhort and rebuke if need be.  When required, they are bold enough to make tough decisions to protect the gathering (e.g. 1 Cor. 5:1-7).  The leaders are ultimately servants of God and thereby of their brothers and sisters in the group.  

Who is part of home church?

People who are passionate for Yeshua; have a desire to reveal Him to others; and to their children.  They acknowledge that God’s Word is the overriding authority and are prepared to sacrifice their traditions and lifestyle to do what He said (2 Tim. 3:16).  The Media is not their god.  They try to set their mind on things above and not on things of this world. 

Why Home Church vs. Traditional Church?

To line up with the Book of Acts, to drive true accountability, to love one another beyond surface hello, to help focus our finances and effort in the right areas (not building or programs or entertainment).  We encourage children to be an active part of it by listening and asking questions.  Those who are too young will play in the adjacent room with one of their parents.  Everyone has the freedom to ask any question in order to drive unity and growth.  Due to the persecutions, gatherings historically were not open to the public but through invitations only.  They met in homes.

  • Acts 8:3 – As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison
  • Rom. 16:5 – Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the first fruits of Achaia to Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 16:19 – The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
  • Col. 4:15 – Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in his house.

 Church leaders talk about the early church

  • Ernest Loosley, When The Church Was Young
    “When the church was very young, it had no buildings. Let us begin with that striking fact. That the church had no buildings is the most noticeable of the points of difference between the church of the early days and the church of today. In the minds of most people today, “church” means first a building, probably something else second; but seldom does “the church” stand for anything other than a building. Yet here is the fact with which we start: the early church possessed no buildings and carried on its work for a great many years without erecting any.”

 

  • Francis Schaeffer, The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century
    “There is no biblical norm as to where, and where not, the church should meet. The central fact is that the early concept of the church had no connection with a church building. The church was something else: a group of Christians drawn together by the Holy Spirit in a place where they worked together in a certain form…”

Final Thoughts on Home Churches vs Buildings

  • Howard A. Snyder, The Problem of Wineskins
    “Theologically, the church does not need temples. Church buildings are not essential to the true nature of the church. For the meaning of the tabernacle is God’s habitation, and God already dwells within the human community of Christian believers. The people are the temple and the tabernacle… Thus, theologically church buildings are superfluous. They are not needed for priestly functions because all believers are priests and all have direct access, at whatever time and place, to the one great high priest. A church building cannot properly be “the Lord’s house” because in the new covenant this title is reserved for the church as people (Eph. 2; 1 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 10:21). A church building cannot be a “holy place” in any special sense, for holy places no longer exist. Christianity has no holy places, only holy people.”

PEOPLE 

GATHERING SIZE

  • Really no limit, however for a home suggested 3 to 70 people.  The leader facilitates discussion and ensures those who are quiet have a voice.  
  • Children attend – all ages.

ELDERS (Only):

  • Imitate Yeshua by living Holy lives and winning the lost though the power of God.
  • Develop other leaders by being an example of Yeshua.
  • Leaders/Elders don’t be afraid to shut a discussion down, or change direction.
  • Focus more on encouraging than correcting each other.
  • Bring in guest speakers.
  • Scripture is the foundation not feelings.  We keep discussions on scripture and not what this or that person said.
  • Encourage diversity in how to do something.  Understand that people come from different backgrounds (institutional, cultural, history, nationalities etc.).
  • Encourage people that doing the scripture carries more weight than knowing it.
  • Encourage people to put themselves in the scripture when they read it.
  • Drive unity: Encourage people to pray together, spending time in His word, fast together and do what Yeshua said.
  • Remember that Yeshua is the Shepherd not the Elders.  The elders are to protect, care for and feed the people. They don’t own them.  

HOME 

DIGITAL:

  • Use Skype to connect various home churches or people or speakers from various locations. Those who are local should attend in person.
  • Large TV connected to PC.
  • Webcam with built in microphone (e.g. Logitech BBC950 Conference Camera – someone controls the cam during the service).
  • Probably no more than 5 locations (excl. main) as impacts quality— unless one has a large band width.
  • High Speed Requirements for “Hosting Home” Min. requirements 3MB+ upload and 25MB+ download speed.
  • If you decide to use wireless, ensure the signal strength is good to excellent.  Also ensure others are not connecting to the wireless as it impacts the bandwidth.
  • Have E-Sword application on the computer in order to present the Bible on screen when need be.

LAYOUT:

Ideally have chairs ideally in a u-shape, NOT rows.

U shape

LOGISTICS

FACILITATOR

  • Elder (s)
  • One person to manage IT & Skype camera panning.

TIME:

The Gathering can be held any day and any time, however the following guiding principles:

  • 2-3 hours
  • Gathering on the Sabbath
  • Encourage fellowship, with food following and allow flexibility of one to one discussions. The food isn’t mandatory, and only those who WANT or CAN bring are encouraged to bring.  
  • Those who can’t stay for fellowship are welcome to leave after the service.  
  • Once a month or a week fast as a group so no food on that day.

AGENDA

There isn’t any specific agenda, allow Holy Spirit to lead.  DON’T formulate an agenda!  Here are some suggestions only – may do one or all or none:

  • Confession of sins (James 5:16)
  • Testimonies of what the Lord is doing.
  • Read and study Scripture.
  • Discuss topic
  • Q&A
  • Show inspiring video footage from other preachers or a situation.
  • Lord’s Supper
  • Praising
  • Prayer time for one another.

PHYSICAL FOOD

  • We eat what God tells us to eat – so no blood or raw meat, shellfish, pork, tuna etc.
  • We don’t buy anything on the Sabbath.

CHILDREN

  • Parents are responsible for their children, mindful that all will lend a hand but it shouldn’t be expected. 
  • If child is disruptive or not showing respect or reverence to God, the expectations are that the parent(s) remove the child and discipline/ resolve the issue with them.  If not, the leader is obligated to resolve either with the parent or the child.

OUTREACH 

BY INVITATION (not open to the public)

Understand that not anyone can attend, it is by invitation only. Therefore he early Church was somewhat selective as to who could join them because of the wolves among the sheep.  It should be people who are like minded, people who have a common passion for revealing Christ to the world and doing what Yeshua commanded.  They desire all that God has given them, including the spiritual gifts, in order to help others. 

The home church will grow organically by the new relationships and connections with individuals and friends.  The focus isn’t growth but discipleship, growth will be a byproduct.  Here are some questions to ask: 

  • Why do you want to be a part of it?
  • What does the blood of Yeshua do for you?
  • Do you know Holy Spirit?
  • What is the good news?
  • Do you pursue love and desire spiritual gifts?
  • Do you love the word of God (the Bible)?

7 Comments on “HOME CHURCH

  1. I really liked the video called Rethinking Church, from Francis Chan, under the title Early Church. It’s very descriptive and offers a biblical perspective of what a church is:
    1- A loving group of people (like a family);
    2- Having for mission to get the message out to the people (the Great Commission);
    3- Gathered to focus on the body and blood of Jesus Christ (the Communion), devoted to praying and fellowshipping with one another, learning the Word of God;
    4- Equipping and training for ministry and serving the Lord.

  2. I’ve been part of a house church for the past 18 months and it’s has completely changed my life. I have learned more, done more for God’s Kingdom and grown more in my faith in my time at the house church than the last twenty years in institutional churches. Praise God!

    It’s great to see all these other house churches especially the ones in China. They have so little yet spiritually they are thriving.

  3. I used to be a believer in the message of William Branham for 14 years. One day something supernatural happened since then I began to question my beliefs and realized that they seem to be all based on a man. I seems that the assembly has given way to strange teachings that are allowing darkness to creep in. I have resisted going now for about three years. But all is not well I feel so alone and lost I need fellowship but how can I go back there. I am looking for Bible fellowship.

  4. Hi Susan/Paul, don’t blame William or any teacher, cowards do this and you are not one. Paul said we are to imitate him as he imitated Christ (1 Cor. 11:1). Therefore Christian leaders are good examples for us to learn from not run from. I’m part of a home gathering that is on fire for Yeshua, not only hearing God’s word but doing it…. the only doctrine is “Imitate Christ”. Simple – Be Holy, Walk in His Power and Save the Lost. Be the change you want to see in others.

  5. The Home Church in today’s world seems to be expanding more and more, and I’m so happy to see this 🙂
    Nothing against the church as a building… But it just seems that when you let go of tradition/religion and simply focus on the life of Jesus Christ, you will begin to find the freedom and power that He promised.

  6. Fastest growing Church is the Home Church like the early Church (China an example today). The home Church is the original model of the church structure in the Book of Acts empowered by Holy Spirit. It drives accountability and love for one another above the surface hello.

  7. Home churches are actually home gatherings, as the church is people is not buildings. Home churches are the Biblical model for accountability, growth and evangelism. However there is a place for the large gatherings too – mega churches if they can break down into small groups or life groups or cell groups. This is what Wikipedia has on home churches or house churches – A house church or home church is a label used to describe a group of Christians who regularly gather for worship in private homes. The group may be part of a larger Christian body, such as a parish, but some have been independent groups that see the house church as the primary form of Christian community.

    Sometimes these groups meet because the membership is small, and a home is the most appropriate place to assemble, as in the beginning phase of the British New Church Movement. Sometimes this meeting style is advantageous because the group is a member of a Christian congregation which is otherwise banned from meeting as is the case in China.

    Some recent Christian writers have supported the view that the Christian Church should meet in houses, and have based the operation of their communities around multiple small home meetings. Other Christian groups choose to meet in houses when they are in the early phases of church growth because a house is the most affordable option for the small group to meet until the number of people attending the group is sufficient to warrant moving to a commercial location such as a church building. House church organizations claim that this approach is preferable to public meetings in dedicated buildings because it is a more effective way of building community and personal relationships, and it helps the group to engage in outreach more naturally.Some believe small churches were a deliberate apostolic pattern in the first century, and they were intended by Christ

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