In the year 2000, there were only 500 house churches known to be in America. In 2009, there was an estimated 60,000 such fellowships across the nation, as more people are finding problems with institutionalized church and long for the family atmosphere that the church was originally founded upon. Kingdom Star Ministries is one such fellowship and desires to network and support other home fellowships in the area.
"Like a straitjacket, too much organization has the potential of restricting and choking the organism simply out of fear that something might go wrong." [Wolfgang Simson, The House Church Book; 2009]
Home fellowships are not churches or synagogues and should not attempt to operate as such. Those that attend or lead house churches are not neglecting the larger local congregation, rather they are taking part in viable, living, organic expressions of faith and worship to Messiah Yeshua. Such congregations need support, not ridicule. As we network together, we can provide this support, shared resources, and ideas. There can be a level of accountability without unnecessary control that is found in hierarchical leadership structures of churches and church organizations. Such fellowships can come together for special events, holidays, and outreach projects.
In the unstable nature of our present government, the church has to begin to prepare to go underground if society gets to a point where such invisibility becomes necessary. The house church is perfect for this. Also, potential growth is much greater than that of the church, because size is not dependant on the size of the building.
Church buildings, along with hierarchical leadership, sermons, order of service, sacraments, and so on did not come until the 3rd and 4th century. This was mostly brought about by Emperor Constantine as he melded Christianity with pagan religion and Greco-Roman governmental customs. Most of what we call church today has little or nothing to do with God’s Word and breeds value and mindsets which are contrary to Biblical principle and the practice of the early church. The house church/fellowship seeks to peel back these traditions of paganism which have crept into church polity in the last 2,000 years and find the heart of our faith, Yeshua the Messiah.
With this being said, the modern church today has been used by God to further His Kingdom and build the Body of Believers. However, as I read God's Word I see this as not being God's ideal. Where any human institution will have its faults, the house church comes closer to what God intends for His people than the conventional church concept.
The following are some good books on this subject for further study if you wish to find out more:
The House Church Book, Wolfgang Simson; BarnaBooks, 2009
Finding Organic Church, Frank Viola; David Cook, 2009
Pagan Christianity?, Frank Viola and George Barna; BarnaBooks, 2008
If anyone has read other good books relating to home fellowships, let me know, and I will add it to the list. If you are a home fellowship and would like to be added to the network give me your name or the name of your fellowship, address, phone number, and e-mail address if you have one. If you are open to other people joining you include that information as well.
Kingdom Star Ministries
2127 E 5th Ave, Spokane
Anyone is welcome to bring in Sabbath with us at 6:00 every Friday and stay for food, fellowship, prayer, and open discussion often, but not always on the Torah portion.
Refer to our calander for other events and holiday observances.