Those of you who have read my books carefully . . . as well as this blog . . . know that I’m not an advocate of “house church.”
Asking me if I endorse a house church is like asking me if I endorse plants. To which my response is, “what kind of plant are you talking about? I like crape myrtle trees, but I don’t like cactuses or poison ivy.”
House churches are like plants. There are extremely different varieties.
As I’ve often said, a house church is simply a group of Christians who hold their meetings in a home.
That can range from a scaled-down version of the institutional church (very common), to a glorified bible study (even more common), to a once-a-week songfest accompanied by a potluck, to a grade-A, certified cult.
There’s nothing magical about meeting in a home. And a physical house isn’t God’s passion, nor is it mine. Never has been.
Some “house churches” (so-called) are organic. Many others are not. George Barna and I make this exact point in Pagan (p. 240).
Despite the fact that what I’ve written above has been repeated on this blog, in my books, and on my podcast, some folks continue to benightedly engage in straw-man argumentation by falsely stating that I believe house churches are “the only way to do church.” [Cough, #Fail.]
To add to the confusion, over the last several years, the phrase “organic church” has been hijacked to mean 1,000 different things.
So the term “organic” is pretty much meaningless now. For that reason, I rarely use it anymore.
And I guess I can say that I don’t advocate “organic church” in the way that it is so often employed today.
In short, my view of church is quite simple. The New Testament vision of ekklesia is group of Jesus followers who are learning to live by the indwelling life of Christ together and who are expressing that life in close-knit community. That’s it in a nutshell. My conference message, Epic Jesus, unpacks that statement.
For much more, get my new Rethinking Series. One of the volumes is called Rethinking the Church.
See also Stop Looking for an Organic Church!