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Ok, so I've been studying the "House Church" model, and what I've found out amazed me. Here in America we can form and/or attend a house church without fear of prosecution but in third world counties like china you have secret house churches. I know House churches are biblical and I just want to see what others think of the model of church.

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Some good books have been written of late on " House Church", As someone who is involved in the Independent Catholic Movement we have used the House Church Model widely, I have a home oratory for saying Mass and the Daily Office.  

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I have a small sanctuary (the Moriviví Hermitage) that can hold a very small congregation (5).  It is were I do my meditation and prayers.

Hermano Luis

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For me, house church suggests a level of closeness that is not found in a larger, institutional setting.  Who attends the house church?  People that are welcome in someone's home.

Church is not always the best word.  Sometimes, the group is about meditation or healing or simple fellowship.

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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Certainly a house church works as effectively as any other form of church. 

Many people have noted a church is not really a building at all. 

Of course there is an obvious pause to note that it is the quality of the group not the quantity of the group that matters. 

It is  a very affordable way to start a spiritual community.  We started on a deck in the back yard and simply kept growing.

Von

 

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We here in the United States are certainly blessed to have the freedom to worship as we wish, I agree that this is probably the best and most economical way to start a small congregation. I travel to west central Illinois frequently which has a population  of house Amish and have spoken  with them often, I like the concept of holding services in a different member's home each Sunday. I believe it would bring the members closer and give all a stake in their church.

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Actually, here in the United States, while you can technically have a 'house church'- such is difficult to come by- because of the fact that landlords have a recognized right to prohibit the use of their properties for purposes other than habitation. (For example- if it's in your lease, you can get evicted for running a business out of a house where that is the sole purpose of renting the house.) Also, various jurisdictions have zoning laws that establish "maximum occupancy" requirements etc. and house churches still have to follow all these laws. As such, the technique is cumbersome in actual practice if one is to avoid breaking the law.

Edited by ULCneo

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25 minutes ago, ULCneo said:

Actually, here in the United States, while you can technically have a 'house church'- such is difficult to come by- because of the fact that landlords have a recognized right to prohibit the use of their properties for purposes other than habitation. (For example- if it's in your lease, you can get evicted for running a business out of a house where that is the sole purpose of renting the house.) Also, various jurisdictions have zoning laws that establish "maximum occupancy" requirements etc. and house churches still have to follow all these laws. As such, the technique is cumbersome in actual practice if one is to avoid breaking the law.

 

People don't need permits to gather for a party.  If you don't advertise, it is a social gathering.  If the numbers are small, there is no reason why anybody would even notice.

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7 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

People don't need permits to gather for a party.  If you don't advertise, it is a social gathering.  If the numbers are small, there is no reason why anybody would even notice.

The thing is that, at least from a Christian perspective, if your ministry is alive and vibrant it will tend to grow- and I've seen it happen with a quickness- One church I know of went from a congregation of 90 to a congregation of 900 within the time span of around a month and a half. That said, its pretty evident what's going on when the neighbors only see people there maybe only one or two days a week Vs. someone living on a property regularly. That alone can be considered evidence of potential criminal activity that will have police looking at you if nobody knows for sure what's going on.

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23 minutes ago, ULCneo said:

The thing is that, at least from a Christian perspective, if your ministry is alive and vibrant it will tend to grow- and I've seen it happen with a quickness- One church I know of went from a congregation of 90 to a congregation of 900 within the time span of around a month and a half. That said, its pretty evident what's going on when the neighbors only see people there maybe only one or two days a week Vs. someone living on a property regularly. That alone can be considered evidence of potential criminal activity that will have police looking at you if nobody knows for sure what's going on.

I used to attend a Reiki healing circle.  It averaged 10 to 20 people.  We met in a private house.  Nobody noticed or cared.  

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Just now, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I used to attend a Reiki healing circle.  It averaged 10 to 20 people.  We met in a private house.  Nobody noticed or cared.  

Yeah, don't know where your from- but here if you had 20 people showing up to a house on a regular basis you'd have the police sending in undercover agents to try to find out if your dealing drugs or something. Mind you I live in an area where meth houses dominate the landscape- and having people show up at regular intervals is one of the things associated with trafficking that will tend to put one under more focused scrutiny for such.

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2 minutes ago, ULCneo said:

Yeah, don't know where your from- but here if you had 20 people showing up to a house on a regular basis you'd have the police sending in undercover agents to try to find out if your dealing drugs or something. Mind you I live in an area where meth houses dominate the landscape- and having people show up at regular intervals is one of the things associated with trafficking that will tend to put one under more focused scrutiny for such.

Undercover agents?  At a Reiki healing circle?  That would be amusing.  

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13 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

Undercover agents?  At a Reiki healing circle?  That would be amusing.  

Well if they don't KNOW upfront that its Reiki healing circle (which they probably won't unless its been advertised beforehand or your in a small town)- you could very well expect it, especially if members of the circle are otherwise on their radar for whatever reason (after all it IS a small world sometimes) - I've actually had the cops execute a search warrant in the middle of a church service under the allegation that the pastor of the church had supposedly been dealing drugs out of the church. Needless to say nothing was found- and it was a HUGE EMBARRASSMENT to the sheriff's department  in the paper the following week.

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On 4/24/2017 at 2:39 AM, ULCneo said:

Well if they don't KNOW upfront that its Reiki healing circle (which they probably won't unless its been advertised beforehand or your in a small town)- you could very well expect it, especially if members of the circle are otherwise on their radar for whatever reason (after all it IS a small world sometimes) - I've actually had the cops execute a search warrant in the middle of a church service under the allegation that the pastor of the church had supposedly been dealing drugs out of the church. Needless to say nothing was found- and it was a HUGE EMBARRASSMENT to the sheriff's department  in the paper the following week.

 

Greetings to you my brother,

The house church model is an excellent way to begin a ministry.  In my denomination (I'm an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church) our whole movement really began through the use of Covenant Groups,gatherings of 10 or so people who met each week (usually in people's homes) to study , pray and hold each other accountable for following through on their faith development.  

Starting out as a home church helps you to see if you really have the gifts of graces to run a larger congregation.  If you don't have the skill set or ability to inspire at least a handful of others to share their faith and worship together on a regular basis, that type of ministry is probably not going to work for you.

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

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On 28/4/2017 at 7:06 PM, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you my brother,

The house church model is an excellent way to begin a ministry.  In my denomination (I'm an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church) our whole movement really began through the use of Covenant Groups,gatherings of 10 or so people who met each week (usually in people's homes) to study , pray and hold each other accountable for following through on their faith development.  

Starting out as a home church helps you to see if you really have the gifts of graces to run a larger congregation.  If you don't have the skill set or ability to inspire at least a handful of others to share their faith and worship together on a regular basis, that type of ministry is probably not going to work for you.

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

True, perhaps. Though, it takes time, effort, hard work, and perseverance to launch a church- Though the notion here does have a distinct pro- in that your not forking up a bunch of money for a building and the like, when your just not really sure if the launch is going to stick. I'm not saying it doesn't have its place- I'm just saying it should be evaluated against the other options.

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On 5/9/2017 at 2:54 AM, ULCneo said:

True, perhaps. Though, it takes time, effort, hard work, and perseverance to launch a church- Though the notion here does have a distinct pro- in that your not forking up a bunch of money for a building and the like, when your just not really sure if the launch is going to stick. I'm not saying it doesn't have its place- I'm just saying it should be evaluated against the other options.

 

Greetings to you my brother,

One of the greatest ministry killers is trying to start a ministry by getting a building first, then raising a congregation.  One of the acknowledged experts in new church starts, Rick Warren (don't always agree with his theology but his church planting ideas are sound) gives some pretty good pointers on starting and growing a new congregation in "The Purpose Driven Church".  To make this short, you start in small rented or donated meeting spaces, getting larger and larger spaces is your attendance grows.  

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

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On 17/5/2017 at 5:45 PM, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you my brother,

One of the greatest ministry killers is trying to start a ministry by getting a building first, then raising a congregation.  One of the acknowledged experts in new church starts, Rick Warren (don't always agree with his theology but his church planting ideas are sound) gives some pretty good pointers on starting and growing a new congregation in "The Purpose Driven Church".  To make this short, you start in small rented or donated meeting spaces, getting larger and larger spaces is your attendance grows.  

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

Which creates a bit of a circular problem- It's illegal to accept donations without incorporating. (tends to run afoul of criminal fraud laws and/or money laundering laws, among other things.) But, in some states you can't even incorporate unless you have an established place of worship. Hence, the law requires "building first" in some states. Unless of course, you want to front your own money for rental of space OR you have a house with gracious neighbors that  don't end up complaining about you to the police.

Edited by ULCneo

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21 hours ago, ULCneo said:

Which creates a bit of a circular problem- It's illegal to accept donations without incorporating. (tends to run afoul of criminal fraud laws and/or money laundering laws, among other things.) But, in some states you can't even incorporate unless you have an established place of worship. Hence, the law requires "building first" in some states. Unless of course, you want to front your own money for rental of space OR you have a house with gracious neighbors that  don't end up complaining about you to the police.

Greetings to you my brother,

It's not a problem at all.  In Milwaukee for example, the Metropolitan Community Church first established a congregation that met in a meeting room in a small hotel.  This situation went on for some years until they had enough of a congregation to purchased a small church.  While they were meeting at the hotel, the money they collected during the worship services went to paying the small rent required for the meeting room.  I'm not sure if the people of the congregation were able to deduct the offering or not on their taxes.  But that is not the important part.  The issue is if the people really desire to establish a real congregation, they will find a way to do it.  

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

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