Wednesday, October 31, 2012


You probably already know that I walked away from pastoral ministry at a traditional church about six years ago to start a church that meets in homes around Orange County, California where 100 percent of the offerings go to support the poor in our community. You probably also know that I’ve written a book called “This Is My Body:Ekklessia as God Intended” a few years ago about how God’s design for His Church has always been about people as living stones where everyone is a priest of God offering themselves as daily, living sacrifices.

So, it might be a shock to you that I would say, “House Church is not the answer”. But, I’m saying it. It’s not the answer.

Jesus is the answer. The Gospel of the Kingdom is the answer. Surrender to Christ alone as a daily follower of Jesus is what counts, not where you meet on Sunday mornnings.

Does it matter how you gather? Yes, I’d say it does matter. Especially if you have any real hope of stepping into the awesome reality of having Christ as your functional leader and head in the Church.

Does it matter if you submit to a pastoral authority? Yes, I’d say that you shouldn’t do that. Especially if you have any real desire to become a member of the priesthood of all believers and fulfill your calling within the Body of Christ.

Does it matter if everyone in the Church has an equal opportunity to speak, and teach, and share, and use the spiritual gifts God has given them? Absolutely! Without this the Church is not a Body at all, according to Paul the Apostle. What makes us a “Body” is when Christ alone is our actual head and when everyone else is working together to share their spiritual gifts for the building up their brothers and sisters in Christ.

But gathering in a home won’t cut it. Meeting in a circle and singing songs won’t accomplish anything. Having a great meeting about Jesus is not the same thing as having an actual meeting with Jesus.

House church is not the answer. Jesus is. And learning to gather beneath the shadow of His wings, and learning to hear His voice together, and actually encountering the Risen One in the fellowship of other submitted and surrendered believers is what every follower of Christ is made for.

Whatever you do, please don’t settle for house church. Gather together with Jesus as your only focus, and accept no substitutes.



Anonymous said...

Gathering together is not the answer either. Living our lives so intertwined and exhorting each other daily is moving in the right direction. We can all "gather" as time permits and we decide to work it out according to our own schedules. Living intertwined lives where we are daily invested, admonishing, exhorting and applying the cross to our lives in a manner that is not according to our schedule or our convenience is something altogether different. Most of us are individual potatoes as opposed to being mashed potatoes which costs us greatly.

charlestace said...

Anything temporal (and visible) can become an idol, especially if it's a "good" thing.

Michael Spindler said...

Very good balance!

Jonathan said...

Part of me feels lost now in a wilderness without a system to follow. I'm so used to doing church, I'm still looking for an alternate way of doing it to replace the system I'm questioning. But yes, then I realize it is not a system or structure I need to follow but a person. A system would be easier to tell who is in and who is out. If I could only figure out the best way to do church, I could rest in knowing I was doing it correct. But after time, following any system turns into rote religion.
Following a dynamic person like our Lord keeps us on our toes. I don't know what following Jesus will look like for me tomorrow. And I can't claim to know what following Jesus will look like for you.
But yes, Jesus is the answer to the questions I'm asking.

Mick Smith said...

A good word!!!

Kathleen Ward said...

This is a great post, Keith, and a great reminder of what it's all about.

- Kathleen

Martin said...


Harry Smith said...

The key to unleashing the promise of the Kingdom does not lie in our figuring out how to “do church better.” We have great bands, laser light shows, amazing health clubs, incredible worship extravaganzas, engaging sermons, and good coffee— finally! In other words, we do church fabulously well. Obsessing over this issue is an unworthy and unbiblical, even idolatrous, pursuit. Instead, the church must embrace and embody a new narrative driven by Kingdom concerns instead of church issues.
Reggie McNeal