THE HOUSE church movement got my attention a few years ago after I read a book that put forth the case that most of the Body of Christ is not doing Church the way it is supposed to be done.
I began to think the authors, Frank Viola and George Barna, were right but I had difficulty coming completely out on their side in some of the issues they raised.
I pretty quickly realised that my thinking was being affected by the fact that I had spent many years in a leadership dominated Church where the leadership was firmly in control.
That Church had a profound affect on my life as a Christian and the blessings I received there are foundational to who I am today. Therefore my intention is not to be critical. I suspect that sometimes Gods intentions are deeper than we realise. I should say that I also often felt very frustrated at that Church.
Viola and Barnas book leads to the conclusion that the New Testament shows us that house Churches are the way to go. One of the things I began to think about was the amount of money tied up in Churches with full time staff and building and utilities overheads. Recently I read an article by a Minister who had been part of the leadership group in a big Church with a budget of more than one million dollars a year. Interestingly he said that money was tight even with that income, because of the overheads.
He began to get the sense that things should be somehow different and eventually he resigned and started a house Church. The aim was to eventually have a thousand member Church, meeting in 50-80 homes, with a one million dollar budget again, but this time giving 80% of the money to needy causes and missions.
In the past thirteen years the house Churches have been able to channel one million dollars to various community projects and they have also started 450 Churches in India.
He also said that no person in the house meetings takes a salary. I presume that means they all work.
I have to admit, that article convinced me that the house Church movement is on the right track.
I believe we can learn alot from Frank Viola, Geoge Barna, and Milt Rodriguez. I have been to a conference with Milt, who partners with Frank. My sisters have had meetings with Frank and Milt, and I have a brother in S. Carolina who is 71...and going to meet with Frank and 50 others in Jacksonville Fl. tomorrow. He has followed Franks teachings for like 7 years, and although he was just in the hospital yesterday getting 2 stents put in for almost 100% blockage... hes not letting it stop him from going!! haha... guess he's anxious to meet with him in person...
Frank/widely used by our Lord I believe, has opened my eyes to "much" being done wrong in the church today. But, I don't throw the baby out with the bathwater either...for I did learn alot in the Institutional church..and am thankful for that..I still fellowship with the body...inside and out of the building. I just look at things differently now!
We are called to Love one another, period.
Loving our Lord, Loving others, Enjoying Life, in the journey.