Monday, June 05, 2006

Home Churches

We're looking for a new church and have been for some time. You would think in a major metropolitan area finding a church would be easy. It isn't. We spent yesterday morning praying and discussing as a family this very subject. I know many who have chosen to home church because of the difficulty. We've been a part of small family groups most of our married life. So a home church would be an easy transition and something we've considered. According to the article in yesterday's Washington Post, Going to Church by Going Home, so are many others.
A growing number of Christians across Washington and around the country are moving to home churches -- both as a way to create personal connections in the age of the megachurch and as a return to the blueprint of the Christian church spelled out in the New Testament, which describes Jesus and the apostles teaching small groups in people's homes.
I've discussed home church here before. I have noticed that many who home church also home school. The article didn't talk about a connection but to there seems to be a correlation to me. Therefore, it wasn't much of a surprise that those who are antagonistic toward homeschooling might also be toward home church as well. Dr. West, many homeschoolers "favorite" theologian said,

For the same reason that I have problems with home-schooling (i.e., untrained persons doing a job they have no skills for) I have problems with house-churching...

Home-Churching as disestablishmentarianism and emotionalism. Perhaps that's where it comes from, and where it's going. When emotionalism drys up and one is left with no more "excited feeling", where will those who depend on that emotionalism turn?

Dr. West's analysis is interesting because that is the exact reason we are considering home church. Most mainline denominations have sidelined doctrine for "feel good" emotionalism. They use gimmicks to entertain us, instead of the Gospel to train us. God forbid we actually let people know they're sinners in need of a Savior. It seems, Truth doesn't matter as long as everyone is accepted and feels good about themselves. We don't want to make anyone feel bad, you know. We haven't "thumbed our nose" at the institutional church as Dr. West says we have. It's not that we want to leave "church" it's more that we feel like the institutional churches (or at least the places we've visited) have left us.

I know the old saying, "If you find the perfect church don't enter or you'll spoil it." We're not looking for the perfect church. But where are those who just want to be challenged to believe what the Bible says to turn? The church is not just a place to meet, it's the gathering of believers to become equipped to do the work of the Gospel. But it seems most churches today look more like my local Starbucks than a place to build soldiers for the Cross.

There is one area Dr. West and I agree however; God's Plan for His church cannot be stopped by us. Referring to home churches he said,
If it is of God, there is nothing we can do to fight it. And if it is not, it will come to nothing.
For us, we'll continue to look for a place where "it is of God". It doesn't matter if it's in an ornate building or a humble home.

(HT: Daryl)

Related Tags: , , , , ,

No comments: