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HOME  CHURCH – GATHERING (iYESHUA)

(Home Church)

BACKGROUND

Where does the name iYeshua come from?

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.  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 and thereby it fosters a closer relationship of love and caring.   

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).  Leaders are passionate for what Christ (Messiah) has done and share the good news.  They have the fruit of Christ in their life:  follow the commandments (1 Cor. 7:19), they 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 primarily focused on money or buildings!  They work to supply for the needs of their family and in touch with the world around them.  Also may receive financial benefit from the group but it is not mandatory or something they expect.  They teach, exhort and rebuke.  When required, they are bold enough to make tough decisions to protect the people.  The leader is ultimately a servant of his 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).   Also not too proud to confess their sins.  

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).  Children are an active part of it.  All have the freedom to ask questions in order to unity in doing the great commission – winning the lost and discipleship. 

  • 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 – 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 comes 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 the people! 

HOME 

DIGITAL:

  • Use Skype to connect various home churches or people or speakers from various locations. Don’t let location limit a gathering of believers.
  • 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.
  • 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 (allow for unrushed prayer, counselling if needed)
  • Gathering on the Sabbath (Saturday morning 10-1pm)
  • 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 are welcome to leave.  Once a month or a week fast as a group so no food on that day (parents bring food for their children under ~6 years old).  Also this isn’t a substitute for individual fasting.

AGENDA

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

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

PHYSICAL FOOD

  • We eat what God tells us to eat – so no blood or raw meat, no shellfish, or pork etc.

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. The 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 of Yeshua?
  • Do you pursue love and desire spiritual gifts?
  • Do you love the word of God (the Bible)? ….

If you would like to attend via Skype or in person, please contact brother@heavenscatalyst.org

 

8 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

  8. I’m so glad to see that this kind of church gathering is gaining popularity because the example was set so clearly by Jesus and His disciples. I love the idea of accountability and transparency through close fellowship. I agree that children should be a part of the teaching, praying and praising time as well. They can learn so much from observing and participating rather than being “taught at” always in their own age group. I’m praying for the families that are blessed to be a part of this bigger church family.

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