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View Full Version : Home fellowship (Church) vs worshiping in a Church



Seeker of truth
Mar 7th 2008, 08:20 PM
Which do you prefer and why?

In my former Church they started home fellowship last Summer but only for certain people. Wednesday night services at the Church were cancled. The rest of the congregation ended up going elsewhere for Church as they were pretty much left high and dry. Finally even the Sunday service went to home fellowship with the exeption of the last Sunday of the month. Again, not everyone was involved in the home fellowship. As a result attendance dwindled to one or two families and the Church is now being sold.

I said all of that to say this.....if home fellowship is done correctly I believe it can be a very good thing. It must be organized and some of the congregation should not be left hanging. Every member of the Church must be fed be it by home fellowship or meeting at the Church for services.

Whispering Grace
Mar 7th 2008, 08:30 PM
I've never been involved in home fellowship, but have no problem with it.

I can actually see it being cost-effective for smaller groups because there is no need to pay for and maintain a church building.

menJesus
Mar 7th 2008, 08:33 PM
What a sad ending of the church!

I have been involved in home church cells - prayer meetings, Bible study, or just fellowship - but never on any morning or night when the church was open for worship.

These extra meetings were great - but extra. Nothing can beat a church service.

Seeker of truth
Mar 7th 2008, 08:40 PM
My former Pastor had a wonderful vision for this. I also feel home fellowship can be a very good thing.

I feel it should either be in place of meeting in the Church or along with regular services at the Church so no one is left out.

menJesus
Mar 7th 2008, 09:29 PM
But why not go to the church when you can? Why a home service instead?

And indeed, no one should be left out!

doppelganger
Mar 7th 2008, 09:29 PM
Both are important. You can't have close relationships and accountability with hundreds of people, so a "house church" is invaluable. However, we also need to experience corporate worship and a higher level of accountability to church leaders than breaking off into a bunch of "splinter groups."

Seeker of truth
Mar 7th 2008, 09:33 PM
But why not go to the church when you can? Why a home service instead?

And indeed, no one should be left out!

Because Church is more than a building. It's wherever two or more are gathered in His name and He will be there :)

Seeker of truth
Mar 7th 2008, 09:34 PM
Both are important. You can't have close relationships and accountability with hundreds of people, so a "house church" is invaluable. However, we also need to experience corporate worship and a higher level of accountability to church leaders than breaking off into a bunch of "splinter groups."

I agree.

My former Church had a very small congragation (less than 40 people) so the idea of a few being invited to attend home Church wasn't the best idea.

menJesus
Mar 7th 2008, 09:43 PM
Because Church is more than a building. It's wherever two or more are gathered in His name and He will be there :)

Well, thats true, but in a home, no one is likely to walk in off the street for the service.

On the other hand, if the church is lit and open, people will often stop and attend the service. Sometimes they get saved and become members! :)

Plus, I always LOVED being in the church - any church! God`s house! :)

We used to go to homes because the pastor would not let us gather at the church, other than at the regularly scheduled times...

ravi4u2
Mar 7th 2008, 09:50 PM
Plus, I always LOVED being in the church - any church! God`s house! :)The thought that "God is in the house", is contrary to the new covenant.

Seeker of truth
Mar 7th 2008, 09:53 PM
I love being in the Church as well :)

I also really like programs such as adopt-a-block to get others involved in the Church. Community Benevolent dinners are good too :)

menJesus
Mar 7th 2008, 09:55 PM
Who is thinking that?

menJesus
Mar 7th 2008, 09:57 PM
I love being in the Church as well :)

I also really like programs such as adopt-a-block to get others involved in the Church. Community Benevolent dinners are good too :)

Well, I hear that mega-churches and home churches are the future homes of the churches...I don`t know...

Seeker of truth
Mar 7th 2008, 10:14 PM
Well, I hear that mega-churches and home churches are the future homes of the churches...I don`t know...

The Church I attend now has maybe 150 to 200 members. I am quite cmfortable there :) Nothing against the mega Churches. I jsut prefer a smaller Church.

menJesus
Mar 7th 2008, 10:31 PM
Same here. It would be a sad thing to see all the little neighborhood churches close up.

MMC
Mar 8th 2008, 01:26 PM
What does that mean, home fellowship but only for certain people?! That is a travesty, in my opinion.

In my church - I attend Sunday worship services, but we also have smaller group meetings in homes (called "covenant groups") to which all are invited (encouraged, actually) which are for fellowship, study and prayer. It is an opportunity for people to get to know each other on a more intimate level than what they can in the larger church setting. And people rotate around in these groups so we can all know each other like one big family. But it doesn't replace corporate worship. Just a really nice addition to it.

I love my new family.

Seeker of truth
Mar 8th 2008, 03:07 PM
What does that mean, home fellowship but only for certain people?! That is a travesty, in my opinion.

In my church - I attend Sunday worship services, but we also have smaller group meetings in homes (called "covenant groups") to which all are invited (encouraged, actually) which are for fellowship, study and prayer. It is an opportunity for people to get to know each other on a more intimate level than what they can in the larger church setting. And people rotate around in these groups so we can all know each other like one big family. But it doesn't replace corporate worship. Just a really nice addition to it.

I love my new family.

Only certain families were involved in the home fellowship. The Pastor had planned to open more homes for fellowship but it never quite happened. The rest of the congregation had to go elsewhere for Wednesday night Worship service.

MMC
Mar 8th 2008, 03:50 PM
That is so sad. I still don't understand the whole it was only for certain families thing....

Seeker of truth
Mar 8th 2008, 04:04 PM
That is so sad. I still don't understand the whole it was only for certain families thing....

My former Church had become a clique. It was leadership and one or two other families, then there was the rest of us. That is possibly why they are on the verge of closing :(

To me a home fellowship should be like a Church. Everyone is welcome and if we need more chairs we'll get them :)

turtledove
Mar 8th 2008, 04:12 PM
We go to a mega-church where small groups are offered in various locations and involving different purposes in order for people to become friends, support one another, and reach personal needs. It works for some to attend and not for others.

I don't think it should replace the Sunday worship time; but because some get so involved in their small groups they tend to skip Sundays and think just going to their group is enough. Others, however, actually use the sermon of the week to discuss in their groups which they can either buy or get on line.

The only mid-week service is a monthly thing for the leaders and various people serving in specific capacities in the church. It's no longer for the congregation as a whole and guests.

Small groups are advertised every week on our overhead, the bulletin, from the pulpit (almost every Sunday), and there are booklets and brochures about them. All are excessively encouraged and pretty much pressured to attend. Yet no assistance is offered to give rides (if needed for some) and help in deciding where to go. Everything is left to the small groups themselves to meet needs when they are formed. These groups are spread out all over the city and country, and are held mostly in homes. And most are held in the evenings when much rain (this is near Seattle) and poor visibility and heavy traffic can be a problem especially for older persons.

The ones which are support groups for specific purposes appeal to some and some of them have replaced the 12 step programs available outside the congregation.

I think that having small groups/home fellowships is fine as they do accommodate certain needs as well as provide closer fellowship. It's a great place to find friends; but those who can't go to these for some good reason shouldn't be left out. That is why...

I think mid-week services were and are very important. We used to have a family night mid-week; but that has been canceled as well. And I dislike seeing that fade away. I also think the main thing is to worship together (even if different services) on Sundays. (We have five services including one on Saturday evening and one in a rented auditorium to accommodate the numbers who attend. )

I also am sad to hear that a small church folded when they tried to move into more small group fellowships. Having "smaller groups" just to have smaller groups is not the answer. Having them with larger congregations seems to work for many churches. But I still think we need both and should continue having mid-week services or family nights together as a congregation. I miss them.

menJesus
Mar 8th 2008, 04:12 PM
My former Church had become a clique. It was leadership and one or two other families, then there was the rest of us. That is possibly why they are on the verge of closing :(

To me a home fellowship should be like a Church. Everyone is welcome and if we need more chairs we'll get them :)

They should have known there would be a lot of hurt feelings... :( Wow.

MMC
Mar 8th 2008, 04:29 PM
To me a home fellowship should be like a Church. Everyone is welcome and if we need more chairs we'll get them :)

Indeed. My church is like that. (You should see us cram into a living room sometimes - too funny!) But we break up into smaller groups and have MANY different groups in the church. Cause you just can't fit 500 people into a living room, and even if you could, you lose the intimacy of relationship in it. So people sort of rotate around every couple of years, "swapping" groups. And we over time, begin to get to know well everyone in our church.

Even people who aren't members of the church. Visitors, friends, regular attendees - all of them are invited to covenant group meetings. It's one way to get to know them better, too.

Seeker of truth
Mar 8th 2008, 05:05 PM
Indeed. My church is like that. (You should see us cram into a living room sometimes - too funny!) But we break up into smaller groups and have MANY different groups in the church. Cause you just can't fit 500 people into a living room, and even if you could, you lose the intimacy of relationship in it. So people sort of rotate around every couple of years, "swapping" groups. And we over time, begin to get to know well everyone in our church.

Even people who aren't members of the church. Visitors, friends, regular attendees - all of them are invited to covenant group meetings. It's one way to get to know them better, too.

One of the things I like about home fellowship is that it reaches the people who aren't willing to go a Church.

I enjoy Bible studies also. The Church I now attend has a lot of opportunity for fellowship. They have a lof of activities within the Church. I love it :)

threebigrocks
Mar 8th 2008, 05:54 PM
I am a fan of smaller groups. They are just as important as corporate worship as a whole. When there is only corporate worship and no time spent to get to know each other that is a loss to the whole. That is where accountability is found, friendships formed, deep prayer can happen between a handful of people. I've seen the Spirit work through both, and that is where all should be looking for direction - to the Spirit.

Just as the early church in Acts - they met in homes in smaller gatherings and together corporately. Both are a testimony and let's each type of group be the hands and feet of in different ways.

baxpack7
Mar 10th 2008, 01:12 AM
My wife(Studyin'2show) and I not only attend a house church in Lauderhill Fla., she preaches the word on Sundays while I am the minister of music and youth. I also contribute to other, larger churches with my time and teaching, since we both have experience working with a larger group of kids. Which do I prefer? I'd say both because both have their merits. You gotta go where God wants you to go.

Sold Out
Mar 10th 2008, 10:20 PM
I said all of that to say this.....if home fellowship is done correctly I believe it can be a very good thing. It must be organized and some of the congregation should not be left hanging. Every member of the Church must be fed be it by home fellowship or meeting at the Church for services.

We have a 8000+ member church in our town that started as a home fellowship!

What must be considered is that the focus of the local assembly is to bring others to Christ by sharing the Gospel. At some point the assembly will outgrow the home due to new converts.

waltjam
Mar 13th 2008, 06:56 AM
I tend to view home church and home study groups as separate subjects.

I have visited a few home churches albeit along time ago and found that they were largely comprised of small groups of people who broke away from a larger congregations. Some broke away due to conflicts in the congregation over relationships, jelousy, politics(within the church) and some due to doctrinal differences. Some formed out of necessity due to there being no formal "church" building to go to that was close for the conveniance of the members who attend them.

As long as they are a bible teaching/preaching church I don't really see where there is a problem. We are told not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together because of the benifits of sharing experiences and troubles and recieving wisdom from those who have gone through similar troubles. There was no instruction that this assembly be of a certain size or at a specific location or in a specific type of building. We are also told that Where two or three gather in his name there he will be also.

For that matter It could be an assembly in a public park, movie theater, or any place that some could assemble. I think that one problem today is that people put too much emphasis on structures and traditions.

AS for home study groups, It depends on the goal of the group or what is being studied. I agree all should be welcome to the group but if the group is targeted for Young Adult singles and the study of biblical texts that pertain to their situations a middle aged married couple may be "out of place" or discussions my not be suitable for young teens to attend. So exclusion in this example shouldn't hurt anyones feelings.