So, How Does a House Church Worship Anyway?

I’ve been at this house church planting thing for about 5 months now. But, I realized that I really hadn’t written anything about how we are as house churches. Just because I immersed myself in this stuff doesn’t mean everyone has, so hang on for three posts about my thoughts on the nature of house churches.

While I want to say that house church is better than traditional church, it would be more accurate simply to say we’re different. There’s a place for both traditional and house church options. For each of us, we do what we do not because of a commitment to a style of worship or the type of place we meet but because of our passion for helping people become fully human in the way God intended, otherwise known as becoming committed followers of Jesus Christ. I love house church worship for its simplicity. There are no worship planning meetings or rehearsals because worship arises out of sharing our lives. Everyone participates, bringing with them something that has been meaningful in their lives to share with others. It could be a song or a reading or poem or a story or a Scripture about where they have seen God at work in their lives. House church worship gives us the place and opportunity to share those things in our spiritual lives that we usually just comment about to ourselves. There’s space for us to work out together what’s really happening in our lives and maybe even what it means for us as friends together.

 

About Rev Uch

I'm a United Methodist pastor serving Hyde Park United Methodist in Tampa, Florida. My husband and I have been here since July 2016. We are thrilled to be back in this area closer to most of our immediate family. In Tampa on a Sunday? Stop by one of our six weekly services. Find out more at www.hydeparkumc.org/worship.
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7 Responses to So, How Does a House Church Worship Anyway?

  1. house church will seem differently comparable to a steepled or pulpit church until Christ has fully transformed the paradigm of “church” in you or me. This may be further explored within the difference between “becoming committed followers of Jesus Christ” and of being committed followers of Jesus Christ. The Acts 2-28 ekklesia wasn’t holding “worship planning meetings”, and they weren’t even gathered together to be “sharing our lives”. Of course, similar observations may seem irrelevant or obscure unless/until the Spirit of God has first arrested you from religious-social exercise.

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    • Pastor Kim says:

      Certainly we won’t worship as God created humankind to worship until the Holy SPirit has his way with us, including when we receive the Holy SPirit fully at our death or when Christ returns, whichever may come first. However, sharing our lives together is truly part of the Great Commandment as we love one another as ourselves. And the myriad of ‘one another’ statements in the Bible point to God’s desire that we not live in isolation. Sharing the journey of faith together in worship, study of Scripture and service by default means that we do share our lives but in the best and truest sense of ekklesia as the Holy Spirit knits us together into the Body of Christ.

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  2. Amber says:

    Sounds fabulous! I imagine it is a lot like Christ Care and Emmaus groups. In Middle and High School I went to a very small church so I guess the house church is similar. I am so excited to see that you are really taking this one by one discipleing mantle on.

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  3. May I ask an honest and simple question (I know the basic answer has already been answered by the councils of the Methodist church but I would like your answer according to scripture please)?

    How can you refer to yourself as a pastor when the clear and indisputable evidence is that pastors in the NT pattern were men (Acts 20:17,28; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Titus 1:5-9). A pastor in the NT times was the same as an elder and elders have qualifications to fulfill. I believe if the Spirit of God gave qualifications for this office they should be followed accordingly. Scripture that was written then was written to be God’s word for today; not an opinion based on culture (2 Timothy 3:16,17; 1 Corinthians 14:37).

    Thanks for your time.

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    • Pastor Kim says:

      I refer to myself as pastor as a result of my call to ordained ministry, which has been affirmed by my local church, our district committee on ordained ministry and our conference board of ordained ministry resulting in my ordination after a probationary period of three years. In terms of Scripture, I look at Galations 3:25-29. While you say you know the basic answer has been made by our councils, perhaps you have not read anything about the way the United Methodist Church supports ordination of women. The response at the following link is substantially the same reasoning as my own and one that I find lays it out over against the very Scriptures you mention located at http://www.umc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content.aspx?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=5852259&ct=8074145
      I understand that you fervently believe that women may not be elders. Please understand that I just as fervently believe that they may be elders. We may not settle it before Christ comes, but I think we can agree that there are far too many who have yet to hear the gospel message. Therefore, let us both be about that work that is for every one of the priesthood of all believers to engage in. God bless you and your ministry.

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      • Marshall says:

        if I may offer… western culture often uses labels/titles as a means to identify what is in the vessel. To contrast, early believers moreso identified with function. If a person is faithfully completing the work of a shepherd/pastor, then that is how they were understood to be functioning; being. If not so functioning, no quantity or degree of credential, designation, or name tags would persuade the heart otherwise. We know that no one can do the faithful work of God without His enabling by Grace. Therefore, let us regard how we function above the names or titles we may be called by.

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      • Pastor Kim says:

        A good word, Marshall. It’s at times like this that I get a glimpse into what a product of my culture I am, where those titles have such currency. I, perhaps all of us, sometimes forget that our ‘worldview’ is shaped by how and where we grew up, the kind of family in which we were reared, the faith community we inhabited and even the educational system in which we were taught. No matter how much we try to get outside of some of those influences to have a measure of objectivity, there are subtle ways they show up every day. Thank God for his Grace and thus the enabling of all of us to take up the work for which His Holy Spirit has gifted us, even in the midst of our enculturation.

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