5 Myths about house churches:
You cannot hide in a house church.
Many people are under the impression that since you go to a small house church you have close knit relationships. This isn’t necessarily the case. My experience with house churches over the years is that you get out what you put in. Just as with any relationship, you have to make the decision, inside your own heart, to let down your guard and let people into your life to know the real you. Many people in house churches still have a hard time letting people in. Granted, people will pick up on your walls quicker, but this has nothing to do with the fact that you’re in a house church versus a small group.
Churches have to be small in size
I don’t believe anything God does is small. I’m not saying God doesn’t care about details, but ultimately its in God’s nature for expansion, healthy growth, multiplication and large vision. He wants no one to perish without knowing Him. Rather than keeping house churches small, we should be encouraging growth with new disciples. Once the church grows larger in numbers, the natural response should be to multiply. House churches don’t have to be small, they just have to multiply quicker.
House churches have no leadership structure.
There is clear servant leadership defined in the Bible for the Body of Christ. The church is led by Ephesians 4 leaders and Elders. Churches without leadership in place is either really in the infant stages of becoming a church or not a church at all in my opinion. Many in house churches have been wounded by careless, so called “leaders” in churches who were doing what they were doing because of a job. Rather than dismantle leadership, house churches should foster true Christ-like leaders who submit to Christ and to one another.
I don’t have to give my money in a house church.
The house church we belong to is one of the most generous churches I’ve been a part of. We have participated and seen with our own eyes the people of this church give thousands of dollars to legitimate needs to those inside and out the church. There are those who think that since the house church may not be a 501c3 organization with bank account in place that they don’t need to give. Scripture is clear on the generosity of the Christian and giving to both the poor, those in need and to those who are preachers of the Gospel. There is no room for stingy Christians in the house church. Because we have less overhead expenses, we should allow our financial resource to become an even greater driving force to promote true ministry to take place.
House churches don’t work in urban environments.
Quite the contrary. In large urban environments, people are craving connection more than ever. Neighborhood, house churches can be a viable solution to this great human need. In the business of urban lifestyle, house churches fit right in style. Oh sure, they may meet in apartments or condos, but the structure is not exactly the point. What happens in these Jesus gatherings and the wine of the Holy Spirit that is poured out during them is what matters. The cultural trend right now is for people to move into city life, despite the desire for suburban sprawl. There is room for vibrant, beacons of light in houses all over the urban context.
All this to say that the issues and problems surrounding church and models of church are often not the actual problem. If we really take a good look, house churches don’t solve anything. They can be just as problematic, dry and lifeless as any other church. Many of us need to take a good introspective look at our heart…or rather let God search us, to see what is really there. Surprisingly, we may find rebellion, bitterness or hurt that has caused us to misjudge the church in general which has led us to another movement, book or conference to run for cover to. The same goes for traditional churches that continue to feed the sensationalism, hype and consumer culture that is so foreign to the Gospel. What is really in our hearts? Do we dare find out?