the weblog of Alan Knox

Do we put the pulpit by the fireplace?

Posted by on Oct 17, 2010 in blog links, gathering | 4 comments

Do we put the pulpit by the fireplace?

Felicity Dale from “Simple Church: A House Church Perspective” has written a very important post called “What’s the difference between a church that meets in a house and a simple/organic/house church?

While I’ve met a few “house church” (or simple/organic/whatever) enthusiasts who demand that the church must meet in a house, most don’t. (For those who do, what do you do with the hall of Tyrannus in Acts 19:9-10?) No, it’s not the place that matters.

So, what matters? How the church relates to one another when they meet together (for one thing).

As Felicity warns:

We suspect that many people in house church still do what they used to do in the buildings–and usually they do it badly. Someone has been asked to lead the worship, another person gives a talk, another is responsible for the kids. Unfortunately, the lone guitarist lacks the professional expertise of the worship band that led worship in the building and the person who gives the sermon hasn’t had hours to prepare a stimulating talk because he’s been working at a job all week. To be honest, we might be better off staying in the building!

Yep. If you’re just going to do the same ol’ thing, then why change location?

If, instead, you start with how the church should meet together (and I think Scripture is a good starting point for this) you might deciding that meeting in a different location would be better. (Or, you might not decide that.)


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  1. 10-17-2010

    How about we put the pulpit IN the fireplace? 🙂

  2. 10-17-2010

    I don’t have a fireplace … oh well, no pulpit then 🙂

  3. 10-17-2010


    Why would we not put the pulpit in the same place that Scripture puts it?

  4. 10-31-2010

    About a decade ago, when I was serving in a multi-staff church, the pastor called all of us on staff to go on a weekend retreat with him, so he could share with us his vision and ministry plans for the church over the next 5 and 10 years.

    We went.

    After the opening prayer time and some food we all sat around on the floor or chairs in the cabin we had been given to stay in. The pastor picked up a music stand and placed his sermon notes on them, then preached to the 8 of us for the next hour.

    It seemed that he was so accustomed to preaching, that he didn’t know how to communicate any other way. After the sermon, we went to dinner. Over pork chops, I asked him what he meant in his sermon when he talked about planting a daughter church, because that was something that was very interesting to me.

    “Let’s not talk about that right now.” He said. “We’re eating.” We never talked about it again.

    The pastor left for another ministry later that year.