I Dream of a Church (#9)

7 03 2011

Here is another installment of my “I Dream of a Church” series – a collection of thoughts, ideas, and questions from the last several years about what a church might look like. I don’t claim for any of these to be original, ground-breaking, or otherwise amazing. You can find other entries in this series by clicking here.

#9. I dream of a church where…

We have active house churches.

Call them what you’d like: house churches, small groups, short circles, home communities, cell groups, etc. The idea is that a smaller number of people (say 6-10) from the church would regularly gather together in order to share meals, study the Bible, provide support and encouragement, ask questions, and challenge one another. This is the place where members would really feel like they are really connected to the church community.

I’ve seen such groups based on a number of things: age, gender, interests, passions, proximity, etc. They are all valid bases for such groups – though at this time I am especially drawn to the idea of house churches based on location. That is, that people who live closest to one another meet together.

I’m not just talking about a church having two or three house churches… but having enough so that every person in the congregation is (or at least could be) involved in one. Such house churches would not replace the Sunday morning worship service (or whenever it might take place), but they would complement them. Each of the groups might have some sort of followup discussion on the sermon, a conversation about the current Christian/Church season, their own chance to sing some songs… heck, they might even decide to celebrate Communion together!

I remember visiting one church for which the house church was central. They mentioned that they believed that it was the Sunday morning services that brought people to the church, but that it was the house churches that kept them there.

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