Is the Adventist denomination ready for house churches?
The idea came one day when I read, “Please give my greetings to the church that meets in their home” (Romans 16:5). Though I had read this verse numerous times it had never clicked – probably because of a tendency to make Scripture fit into my existing church paradigm. This time it hit home. The result: my wife and I started a church in our home. We call it Simple Church. This house church will never grow up and become a “real” church. It will continue to meet in our home and we hope that it will grow into house church network across North America. About our house church:
- We have been meeting for nine months. Our conference administration is supportive and we have seen God’s blessings.
- Average weekly attendance per location; 27, about 15 adults and 12 children
- 33% of the adults are unchurched, and 65% of these return.
- 2 additional Simple Churches have grown from ours, for a total attendance of 60.
- 6 people are training to start church in their own homes, and we have many lay people and seminary students interested in the training.
- 6 people have been baptized and others are preparing to be.
- We’ve received approximately $43,000 in tithe and offerings. Since there are no church mortgages, building funds, building maintenance, Bible workers, etc., our offerings help people in real, practical ways.
- Concerns about our Simple Church concept are typically these:
- What happens to tithe? It goes to the local conference.
- How are Simple Churches connected to the Adventist world church? The same as other churches: we support conference sponsored events, use Adventist publications, and support Adventist education.
- How does Simple Church maintain doctrinal purity? In Simple Church we build in accountability. Leaders make commitments to raise up a house church each year, lead a weekly one-on-one Bible study, attend leader’s meetings, quarterly gatherings, and conduct yearly harvest events.
- Why do we need more churches when we cannot fill up and support the ones we have? The answer might be found in the question.
There it is. Let’s talk. I’d like to start a discussion with you about the pros and cons of developing an Adventist house church network. Do you think house churches will work in Adventism? Join me at the Night Owl Café weblog and express your opinion.
For more information, visit www.SimpleChurchInfo.com, e-mail Milton, or call him at (937 602-6727).