My friend Eric at “A Pilgrim’s Progress” is writing a series about why he prefers “house church.” Many of his posts would be applicable to churches that meet in any kind of building – although I agree with Eric that houses (or at least a smaller, more intimate venue) more readily allow for some things.
For instance, in the latest post in the series, Eric writes about “House Church – Seeking Community.”
With Jesus Christ as its head, the church seeks to live in community with one another. The people truly desire to share in each others lives. This is much more than surface level relationships; I’m instead talking about Christians acting like family – real brothers and sisters. This, of curse, can get messy because people’s lives are messy. However, it is also wonderful because we can know so much better how to build one another up in Christ.
Later, after listing several passages of Scripture concerning our relationships with one another, Eric cautions:
In order to live in community the church needs to do more than meet once per week. The one anothers should be happening all the time. As Christians, we should all be striving for this.
To me, this last statement is key. If you are only spending time with your brothers and sisters in Christ one day out of the week, then you will not develop the kinds of relationships that you need (regardless of the venue in which you are meeting). Instead, we must make efforts (or “we should all be striving for” to use Eric’s language) to spend time with one another often.
Or, as the author of Hebrews puts it: Exhort one another daily. (Hebrews 3:13)
(By the way, that’s not Eric in the picture. That’s my wife and me hanging out with a couple of friends.)