House To HouseSeries: What Is Church?
There’s something about coming home, isn’t there? A place of familiarity, a place of love and acceptance (hopefully), a place where you’re wanted. Home is the place we can be ourselves, where we can allow others to see a side of us that others don’t. Hopefully, home is a safe place and a place where others feel a part of our lives.
Among other reasons, I think this is why the early Christians chose to have many of their gatherings in the home. Sure, they had corporate worship together (in the temple, actually—at least in Jerusalem), but when they wanted to bring it down to a personal level, they met in homes. Our culture is changing. Churches are not the inviting places they used to be for people seeking God. For people who have little background in religion, church is intimidating—it’s where people are dressed up, sing unfamiliar songs, and talk about a book they know nothing about. It’s becoming foreign to more and more people in our society. It might be a little bit like a Steelers fan getting seated in the Dawg Pound (ok, maybe not that weird or dangerous). But, it doesn’t feel comfortable.
So, what to do? Maybe we change our approach. Maybe we start finding other places to meet. The home provides a place not only for Christians to deepen connections to God and each other, but also for them to invite friends and neighbors to get to know God. Hopefully, your friends and neighbors have already been in your home, so it’s not unfamiliar to them. People aren’t dressed up, they aren’t singing a lot of unfamiliar songs, and they’re talking about the Bible in a way that’s relatable and more personal. It’s more comfortable.
I really believe that the future of Christian discipleship and evangelism is in the home. As we get closer to beginning a small group ministry, these are just some thoughts I have. Are we willing to become a little uncomfortable, doing something new, in order to open our lives up for someone else to know us and perhaps learn about God in our home?
And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.