A whole congregation is moving

Here in SJCampos, the Esplanada congregation, with which we worked for several years before beginning an effort in our home, is leaving the rented quarters that they have used for years. Because of losses due to moves and some falling away, with evangelism not keeping up, they can no longer afford the meeting room at that location. They have decided to meet in a brother’s home.

I’m going this morning to speak during the Bible class time, to help them in this transition. My first point will be to look at it in a positive light, as a new opportunity that presents many advantages. Since 2014, we’ve seen the advantages first-hand. Please pray for them during their move.

#house-churches #Brazil #progress

Might a new congregation be coming to this city?

Please excuse the inclusion here of this link, but since TFR is a work of Forthright Press / GoSpeak, we’ll impose upon your forbearance. We covet your prayers for this possible beginning in a neighboring city. No NT church has ever met here, as far as we know.

We recommend the new GoSpeak site. It shares news of our efforts to supporters and interested friends. It doesn’t yet have a feature to follow or sign up to the site. (Some services do this for free, but I’m not familiar with any to be able to recommend one.) For now, I’m notifying folks by email. I can add yours if you want to know when the site is updated. JRM

#church-planting, #evangelism, #house-churches

Article “House Church: Skip the sermon, worship at home”

Given the discussion on “house churches”, I thought it interesting this article just came out.

House Church: Skip the sermon, worship at home

The practice discussed here is not, as far as I can tell, scriptural at all.  Besides all the unscriptural things they engage in, they purposely keep the groups to under 15 people and separate when they reach that number. While I appreciate wanting to move back to the Bible and away from the “clergy/laity” pattern developed by men, I question how a church can grow to have elders and deacons as commanded by God if they do this? The way things are described here, it sounds more like people want *no* leadership, which is just as bad as a congregation meeting in a “church building” that refuses to appoint elders (yes, those exist).

#current-trends, #house-churches

House churches

Mike R. asked about house churches. The subject generates a lot of heat among us. First, however, it warrants a better definition. Much written about house churches deals, it would appear, with cell groups, not independent bodies meeting as separate congregations. I understand a house church to be an independent group meeting at least on Sundays, if not more frequently, that considers itself complete as a congregation rather than a subset of a larger body. But apparently not everyone uses the phrase this way, so we’ll have to make the best of it.

If considered a fad, it would do well to remember that buildings used exclusively for church meetings began as what we today might call a fad. We all recognize that the early church met almost exclusively in homes. While much of the modern American tendency in house churches may be fueled by the emerging church movement, I see it as an improvement over denominations which control the preaching and beliefs of their adherents. Seems there might be a better chance of a group reading their Bibles and coming to faith in some independent house church than in a denomination where the teachings are closely controlled. Would you agree? Continue reading

#house-churches