Monday, April 23, 2012

My House And Your House

46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. — Acts 2:46–47 (NASB95)
Long before the church had pulpits and baptisteries, she had kitchens and dinner tables. Even a casual reading of the New Testament unveils the house as the primary tool of the church. The primary gathering place of the church was the home. – Max Lucado, Outlive Your Life (Nelson, 2010), p. 55
I’m not opposed to church buildings. Let me say that up front. I think there is an advantage in having a place where the whole church can meet together, where we can invite people from the community to various events, where we have facilities to use for all kinds of things that bring us together, whether it is to educate, to celebrate, or just have some fun.

I also think that it’s a shame that we don’t understand the power of our houses. The modern church is fairly good at putting on big events (I’m speaking in relative terms here because the total number of people may not be huge). We’re not so good at the small, intimate events. We need to learn how to do those, too.

The early church met in homes by necessity. The church building hadn’t been invented. They did have the temple where large crowds gathered, but individual houses played a huge role. This is where church life thrived.

Small group ministry has been around for a long time. Many churches have discovered how to use small groups of about ten or so people to grow strong and healthy. There is something about sitting around someone’s living room or den, sharing a cup of coffee or soft drink, and talking about spiritual things.

Fellowship deepens. We learn what makes each other tick, and what people need. We naturally get to share with others as God has blessed us with individual gifts. Being part of the body of Christ becomes real, not just theory. We learn how to help each other, pray for each other, and how to follow Jesus together. When is the last time you opened up your house and hosted a group of Christians to share your common faith together? Maybe it’s time.