The exaltation of Jesus Christ and the mutual edification of the Body of living church ministries be the purpose and focus of very House church gathering.
When we come together, we are essentially practicing how to experience Jesus in our midst. This experience, however, does not take place over night.
It takes time for a House church to discover how to be sensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul spent many years writing letters to the church instructing them in the things of God.
The church in Corinth in particular was one in which Paul gave instructions in how to experience and share Christ in a decent and orderly way so that everyone could be mutually edified, encouraged, and strengthened in the faith.
The early churches gathered regularly to worship and share the life of Christ with one another. For a little over 300 years, believers primarily gathered in homes all across the city to pray, sing, worship, and share the life of Christ together.
Luke records four pillars of early church community:
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,” (Lk. 2:46).
The word steadfastly suggests an ongoing and deliberate effort of devotion on the part of the early church to observe certain basic disciplines of the newly established Christian faith community. These disciplines became the lifestyle of the early church, and the four pillars of community upon which early church life was centered.
The House church of today shares these same four pillars of community.
So, what happens when modern believers come together? Well, pretty much the same things that early believers experienced, except some things are practiced to a greater or lesser degree.
Unlike the institutional church, House churches celebrate Christ through the open meeting. I would like to offer some open meeting guidelines to help believers maintain order, direction, and focus when they come together each week to discover and practice the presence of Jesus in their midst.