First, if you haven’t read Guy’s post (from “The M Blog“) called “How house churches get started in Guayaquil“, then go read that post now. If you haven’t read Guy’s post, then this post will probably not make much sense.
Guy’s post reveals one reason that the house church “model” will have a difficult time in the United States (and probably in other “developed” nations with “developed” churches). Notice how Guy describes the start of a new house church:
Monica was hired to clean the house of a believer, Martha. Monica began to open up with Martha about the problems she was having at home with the man she was living with. Martha would cry and pray with Monica. She openly shared Christ telling her He could heal her life and home if she would just trust him. Monica thought it too good to be true what Martha shared.
One day Monica decided to invite Martha to come to her house to share the Gospel with her family. Martha took along Marlene, a gifted evangelist from the house church she attends. Marlene and Martha arrived at Monica’s and gathered the family together to dialogue about spiritual matters. Monica felt strongly that she should give her heart to Christ. She was certain that she would be the only one to do so. Much to her surprise, Medardo, her daughter Aneida, and her daughter’s live-in boyfriend, David, ALL gave their hearts to the Lord! From the very beginning, Medardo and David were changed dramatically by the power of Jesus working in their lives. Monica and Aneida were overcome with joy in the Lord.
Marlene, Martha and others began 45-minute weekly bus trips to disciple their new converts. Both couples decided early on that it would be best to get legally married. All four were baptized in a nearby river (see video here.)
The church that now meets in their home.
And, thus, we see the problem. You do see the problem, right?
I mean,churches in the United States would certainly be excited that one of their members (i.e. Martha) was interested in the salvation of her housekeeper (i.e. Monica). And, churches in the United States would certainly be excited about sending someone (i.e. Marlene) to share the gospel with Monica. And, churches in the United States would certainly celebrate with Monica, Martha, and Marlene when Monica accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior and commited her life to following Jesus.
But, then we run into the problem. You see, churches in the United States would not be excited about Monica and her family starting to meet with friends and family in their own home. No, instead, for the most part, churches in the United States would want Monica and her friends and family to make the 45 minute bus trip to meet with them.
This is the huge problem with “house church”. Actually, its a huge problem whether that new church meets in a house or not. So, perhaps the “problem” is not with the house, but with something else. What do you think?