Mega Church or No Name Church

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Relic

Active member
Apr 29, 2020
249
104
28
#1
Full disclosure: I am not affiliated with any church.

I am fully aware that of the verses that mention churches so none need be required here.
The one I am connected with is fifteen people, somewhat like the early church when the
new Christians went to temple and then broke bread at a home. There isn't a leader and
never will be because it will open a danger to create a cult. We read scripture every
Sunday and instead of sermons we do each do a random short scripture. Then we discuss
have discussion about them. No winners or losers just getting closer and closer to the
one Commandment of Jesus; Love the Lord Your heart and your neighbor as yourself and
obviously that is our only Commandment since that is what scripture says. So we rely
on scripture as written. Christ gave us all the ingredients to journey to His mansion.
And all the ingredient for loving everyone in this life. That is all we need. We don't
need big building money grabbers or preachers with agendas. All of that is totally un
unnecessary. It brings up something that Jesus mentioned on money changers. Also
we see each church as little cults, if you don't follow and toe the line, you are gone.
For us it is Our Lord Jesus Christ, no third party necessary.
 
Jun 11, 2020
1,371
421
83
70
#2
Full disclosure: I am not affiliated with any church.

I am fully aware that of the verses that mention churches so none need be required here.
The one I am connected with is fifteen people, somewhat like the early church when the
new Christians went to temple and then broke bread at a home. There isn't a leader and
never will be because it will open a danger to create a cult. We read scripture every
Sunday and instead of sermons we do each do a random short scripture. Then we discuss
have discussion about them. No winners or losers just getting closer and closer to the
one Commandment of Jesus; Love the Lord Your heart and your neighbor as yourself and
obviously that is our only Commandment since that is what scripture says. So we rely
on scripture as written. Christ gave us all the ingredients to journey to His mansion.
And all the ingredient for loving everyone in this life. That is all we need. We don't
need big building money grabbers or preachers with agendas. All of that is totally un
unnecessary. It brings up something that Jesus mentioned on money changers. Also
we see each church as little cults, if you don't follow and toe the line, you are gone.
For us it is Our Lord Jesus Christ, no third party necessary.
I agree with much of what you say. Before moving I was in an Assembly which met in a renovated carpenters workshop and the homes. Both Elders held steady jobs. Money was never mentioned and no collections were taken. There was a curtained-off corner with a box if the Spirit moved you. If you want to go strictly according to scripture, here are some more points:
  • The word we render "Church" is "Ekklesia". It means, "the gathering of the select ones"
  • The gathering of two or more in Jesus' Name puts Christ in their midst
  • There should be one Church per locality. The Bible only recognizes "The Church at .... ."
  • There can be multiple meetings in one city, but one Eldership
  • Division, or "Denominations" are a work of the flesh (1st Cor.1 & 3)
  • When our Lord Jesus revealed His Church for the first time in Matthew 16 his first act was to institute government. He gave the Church power to judge and bind or lose
  • When our Lord revealed His Church for the second time in Matthew 18 he confirmed government in the Church with the power to bind and lose members. The highest instance is the Assembly, not an Elder. See Acts 11, 15 and 1st Corinthians 5 and 6
  • All the spiritual gifts are "speaking gifts". Even the gift of miracles causes testimony (Act.9:42)
  • If the Church in a locality has a full-time worker, he is worth double (average) salary (1st Tim.5:17). I have seen over the years that a Church under about 100 members does not need a full-timer
  • The Church is designed to function under extreme persecution. It can meet in a wharehouse, a cellar, a disused pub or a snowy slope in Siberia. Singing, while recommended, is not required as it can attract the authorities and cause the death of some saints (e.g. China)
  • Because the gifts are "speaking" gifts, all may speak in the Assembly.
  • When our Lord started His Church He gave spiritual gifts to build it. No gifted ones - no building
  • Financial support for the Assembly is a private matter between the individual saint and the Holy Spirit
The principle of the Assembly is found in the Old Testament. Three times a year all male Israelites were obliged to gather at Jerusalem with their tithe of crops and cattle. They were to feast before the Lord at the place "where He put His Name". The New Testament Church is no different in principle. The Church, which carries the name of Jesus, gathers as often as they like. Each saint is expected to work at the Word during the week, and then bring the best "tenth" to the Assembly and share it. Thus is everyone exercised and everyone contributes to the spiritual nourishment of all present. The tradition of men that only one man speaks a sermon and the rest keep quiet, is unknown to scripture.
 

Blain

The Word Weaver
Aug 28, 2012
17,356
1,803
113
#3
It's interesting how churches have so vastly strayed from how the church originally was, I have gone to all kinds of churches baptist Pentecostal even Catholic but even with all of that I never found one I truly belonged in.
To me the church should be a like a second home to you, they should be like family you should be excited to be with them again you should feel comfortable telling them anything without feeling like you will recieve backlash.
The thing I love most about bible study is that it is a small group of people being together as simple as that may sound it also in my experience has brought the group together more than I have seen in a sermon full of people.
I think there is a simple but beautiful thing about a small church, sure it isn't well known like big churches but maybe the reason small churches seem to have more people being close together is specifically because it is small.
 

Relic

Active member
Apr 29, 2020
249
104
28
#4
I agree with much of what you say. Before moving I was in an Assembly which met in a renovated carpenters workshop and the homes. Both Elders held steady jobs. Money was never mentioned and no collections were taken. There was a curtained-off corner with a box if the Spirit moved you. If you want to go strictly according to scripture, here are some more points:
  • The word we render "Church" is "Ekklesia". It means, "the gathering of the select ones"
  • The gathering of two or more in Jesus' Name puts Christ in their midst
  • There should be one Church per locality. The Bible only recognizes "The Church at .... ."
  • There can be multiple meetings in one city, but one Eldership
  • Division, or "Denominations" are a work of the flesh (1st Cor.1 & 3)
  • When our Lord Jesus revealed His Church for the first time in Matthew 16 his first act was to institute government. He gave the Church power to judge and bind or lose
  • When our Lord revealed His Church for the second time in Matthew 18 he confirmed government in the Church with the power to bind and lose members. The highest instance is the Assembly, not an Elder. See Acts 11, 15 and 1st Corinthians 5 and 6
  • All the spiritual gifts are "speaking gifts". Even the gift of miracles causes testimony (Act.9:42)
  • If the Church in a locality has a full-time worker, he is worth double (average) salary (1st Tim.5:17). I have seen over the years that a Church under about 100 members does not need a full-timer
  • The Church is designed to function under extreme persecution. It can meet in a wharehouse, a cellar, a disused pub or a snowy slope in Siberia. Singing, while recommended, is not required as it can attract the authorities and cause the death of some saints (e.g. China)
  • Because the gifts are "speaking" gifts, all may speak in the Assembly.
  • When our Lord started His Church He gave spiritual gifts to build it. No gifted ones - no building
  • Financial support for the Assembly is a private matter between the individual saint and the Holy Spirit
The principle of the Assembly is found in the Old Testament. Three times a year all male Israelites were obliged to gather at Jerusalem with their tithe of crops and cattle. They were to feast before the Lord at the place "where He put His Name". The New Testament Church is no different in principle. The Church, which carries the name of Jesus, gathers as often as they like. Each saint is expected to work at the Word during the week, and then bring the best "tenth" to the Assembly and share it. Thus is everyone exercised and everyone contributes to the spiritual nourishment of all present. The tradition of men that only one man speaks a sermon and the rest keep quiet, is unknown to scripture.
Thanks for your commentary and God bless you. Yes our tithe is someone bring donuts and someone els
It's interesting how churches have so vastly strayed from how the church originally was, I have gone to all kinds of churches baptist Pentecostal even Catholic but even with all of that I never found one I truly belonged in.
To me the church should be a like a second home to you, they should be like family you should be excited to be with them again you should feel comfortable telling them anything without feeling like you will recieve backlash.
The thing I love most about bible study is that it is a small group of people being together as simple as that may sound it also in my experience has brought the group together more than I have seen in a sermon full of people.
I think there is a simple but beautiful thing about a small church, sure it isn't well known like big churches but maybe the reason small churches seem to have more people being close together is specifically because it is small.
Thanks for that comment....God bless.
 
Mar 28, 2016
15,958
1,526
113
#5
Full disclosure: I am not affiliated with any church.

I am fully aware that of the verses that mention churches so none need be required here.
The one I am connected with is fifteen people, somewhat like the early church when the
new Christians went to temple and then broke bread at a home. There isn't a leader and
never will be because it will open a danger to create a cult. We read scripture every
Sunday and instead of sermons we do each do a random short scripture. Then we discuss
have discussion about them. No winners or losers just getting closer and closer to the
one Commandment of Jesus; Love the Lord Your heart and your neighbor as yourself and
obviously that is our only Commandment since that is what scripture says. So we rely
on scripture as written. Christ gave us all the ingredients to journey to His mansion.
And all the ingredient for loving everyone in this life. That is all we need. We don't
need big building money grabbers or preachers with agendas. All of that is totally un
unnecessary. It brings up something that Jesus mentioned on money changers. Also
we see each church as little cults, if you don't follow and toe the line, you are gone.
For us it is Our Lord Jesus Christ, no third party necessary.
In that sense God defines a assembly the smallest where two three gather together. A family unit gather together. Or two or there thousand if they are gather together in respect to the power of the gospel. some use different formats but the same spirit of faith that works mutually in all .

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

It would seem to be a reflection of the trinity the image and likeness of God . The father and Son working together as the one unseen. . witnessed of God . The design of mankind before the fall And mankind sought after the gospel of lying wonders. . no power of faith needed .look and believe.
 

Relic

Active member
Apr 29, 2020
249
104
28
#6
In that sense God defines a assembly the smallest where two three gather together. A family unit gather together. Or two or there thousand if they are gather together in respect to the power of the gospel. some use different formats but the same spirit of faith that works mutually in all .

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

It would seem to be a reflection of the trinity the image and likeness of God . The father and Son working together as the one unseen. . witnessed of God . The design of mankind before the fall And mankind sought after the gospel of lying wonders. . no power of faith needed .look and believe.
Thanks for the comments. well as long as all our intentions are for God, we will be good. God bless you.
 
S

Scribe

Guest
#7
Three thousand saved on the day of Pentecost. Since 2000 or more is usually the definition of a MegaChurch today then the first church was a mega church. They broke bread from house to house and we should be constantly inviting people over to eat with us from the church and going to their house to fellowship as well. They met at the temple in the court area and it was a probably a big crowd. There were so much large group church activity going on that the Greek Hebrew widows were complaining about the funds running out before they got their daily provisional funds, they had to assign 7 deacons full of the Holy Ghost and Faith to distribute the funds. This was a large church active and vibrant and growing. Don't let people rewrite history on what the first church was like. I do not understand why people can read the book of Acts or any description of any church in the New Testament and say they met in small groups. Their houses had court yards. Those that had larger houses opened them up to be meeting places. You could get several hundred in a large courtyard of a wealthy person. Now there were seasons of persecutions where they had to sneak about, but at the very first they were meeting in large groups.
I have wondered about the letter to the angel of the seven churches. It describes these individual churches in cities like Ephesus as if they were one local congregation meeting together in mass and I suppose when they were not having to hide from a current wave of persecution they did. If we are wanting to match exactly what a house church looked like get a big house with a courtyard like they still do in many countries where you can seat a couple of hundred or more in the courtyard and then you will have a New Testament house church.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
15,349
7,538
113
#8
Full disclosure: I am not affiliated with any church.
The fact that there is a small group with whom you fellowship and worship means that you are affiliated with a church. Perhaps not a denomination, but an assembly of believers. And sooner or later you will need to come up with a Statement of Faith, so that other Christians will not regard yourchurch as a cult.

What is rather disturbing these days is that many churches (as presented on their web sites) do not have clear biblical Statements of Faith.
 

jb

Senior Member
Feb 27, 2010
4,417
353
83
#9
Full disclosure: I am not affiliated with any church.

I am fully aware that of the verses that mention churches so none need be required here.
The one I am connected with is fifteen people, somewhat like the early church when the
new Christians went to temple and then broke bread at a home. There isn't a leader and
never will be because it will open a danger to create a cult. We read scripture every
Sunday and instead of sermons we do each do a random short scripture. Then we discuss
have discussion about them. No winners or losers just getting closer and closer to the
one Commandment of Jesus; Love the Lord Your heart and your neighbor as yourself and
obviously that is our only Commandment since that is what scripture says. So we rely
on scripture as written. Christ gave us all the ingredients to journey to His mansion.
And all the ingredient for loving everyone in this life. That is all we need. We don't
need big building money grabbers or preachers with agendas. All of that is totally un
unnecessary. It brings up something that Jesus mentioned on money changers. Also
we see each church as little cults, if you don't follow and toe the line, you are gone.
For us it is Our Lord Jesus Christ, no third party necessary.
You should find This helpful...
 

p_rehbein

Senior Member
Sep 4, 2013
27,881
5,103
113
#10
Full disclosure: I am not affiliated with any church.

I am fully aware that of the verses that mention churches so none need be required here.
The one I am connected with is fifteen people, somewhat like the early church when the
new Christians went to temple and then broke bread at a home. There isn't a leader and
never will be because it will open a danger to create a cult. We read scripture every
Sunday and instead of sermons we do each do a random short scripture. Then we discuss
have discussion about them. No winners or losers just getting closer and closer to the
one Commandment of Jesus; Love the Lord Your heart and your neighbor as yourself and
obviously that is our only Commandment since that is what scripture says. So we rely
on scripture as written. Christ gave us all the ingredients to journey to His mansion.
And all the ingredient for loving everyone in this life. That is all we need. We don't
need big building money grabbers or preachers with agendas. All of that is totally un
unnecessary. It brings up something that Jesus mentioned on money changers. Also
we see each church as little cults, if you don't follow and toe the line, you are gone.
For us it is Our Lord Jesus Christ, no third party necessary
.
Sadly, you totally blew the Gospel of Christ............ And, this appears to be just another hate statement on Preachers, Pastors and such............ I don't care if you want to attend a Home Church, that's up to you, but do not pretend that God DID NOT call peoples into His Ministry. My goodness............

CHRIST HIMSELF APPOINTED WAY OVER 70 DISCIPLES TO GO FORTH AND PREACH AND TEACH HIS GOSPEL!

Clearly, Christ WANTED there to be Preachers, Evangelist, Pastors, and Teachers........

Do you not know that these are one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?

How could anyone miss the mark so far??????????????????????????

Don't take my word for it.............................believe Scripture.

Romans, Chapter 10:

8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
 
S

Scribe

Guest
#11
The fact that there is a small group with whom you fellowship and worship means that you are affiliated with a church. Perhaps not a denomination, but an assembly of believers. And sooner or later you will need to come up with a Statement of Faith, so that other Christians will not regard yourchurch as a cult.

What is rather disturbing these days is that many churches (as presented on their web sites) do not have clear biblical Statements of Faith.
I have noticed that. My guess is that they want you to come visit and figure it out that way.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
18,557
10,306
113
#12
I agree with much of what you say. Before moving I was in an Assembly which met in a renovated carpenters workshop and the homes. Both Elders held steady jobs. Money was never mentioned and no collections were taken. There was a curtained-off corner with a box if the Spirit moved you. If you want to go strictly according to scripture, here are some more points:
  • The word we render "Church" is "Ekklesia". It means, "the gathering of the select ones"
  • The gathering of two or more in Jesus' Name puts Christ in their midst
  • There should be one Church per locality. The Bible only recognizes "The Church at .... ."
  • There can be multiple meetings in one city, but one Eldership
  • Division, or "Denominations" are a work of the flesh (1st Cor.1 & 3)
  • When our Lord Jesus revealed His Church for the first time in Matthew 16 his first act was to institute government. He gave the Church power to judge and bind or lose
  • When our Lord revealed His Church for the second time in Matthew 18 he confirmed government in the Church with the power to bind and lose members. The highest instance is the Assembly, not an Elder. See Acts 11, 15 and 1st Corinthians 5 and 6
  • All the spiritual gifts are "speaking gifts". Even the gift of miracles causes testimony (Act.9:42)
  • If the Church in a locality has a full-time worker, he is worth double (average) salary (1st Tim.5:17). I have seen over the years that a Church under about 100 members does not need a full-timer
  • The Church is designed to function under extreme persecution. It can meet in a wharehouse, a cellar, a disused pub or a snowy slope in Siberia. Singing, while recommended, is not required as it can attract the authorities and cause the death of some saints (e.g. China)
  • Because the gifts are "speaking" gifts, all may speak in the Assembly.
  • When our Lord started His Church He gave spiritual gifts to build it. No gifted ones - no building
  • Financial support for the Assembly is a private matter between the individual saint and the Holy Spirit
The principle of the Assembly is found in the Old Testament. Three times a year all male Israelites were obliged to gather at Jerusalem with their tithe of crops and cattle. They were to feast before the Lord at the place "where He put His Name". The New Testament Church is no different in principle. The Church, which carries the name of Jesus, gathers as often as they like. Each saint is expected to work at the Word during the week, and then bring the best "tenth" to the Assembly and share it. Thus is everyone exercised and everyone contributes to the spiritual nourishment of all present. The tradition of men that only one man speaks a sermon and the rest keep quiet, is unknown to scripture.
There are several instances in your post where you have made doctrine from narrative. That's a bad idea, because it leads to conflicting interpretations that cannot be "proven" one against the other. It's better to take narrative simply as, "what did happen" rather than as "what should happen". Didactic passages should be used for doctrine, and narrative for illustration. Otherwise you get people arguing that preachers should only stand in boats and on mountainsides, or in third-floor rooms with open windows if they are going to preach all night.

Case in point: "the church at...". There is no direct teaching anywhere in Scripture declaring that a city should have only one assembly. You have made the structure of the local church a doctrinal issue, but it is not presented as such in Scripture. There is nothing inherently unbiblical about having several small fellowships in a city, each independent from the others. The key is in having each recognize that they are part of the Church, and that cooperation among them to bring the gospel to the city is worthwhile.
 
S

Scribe

Guest
#13
Those that think it is nice to meet in small groups in someones living room need to understand that the vast majority of people do not want to do that. It is a too much of someone's personal space. I do not want to meet in your private living room. Your house smells like your family. You just don't notice it and you think your candles mask it.

If you were to go back to the first century court yard of a house and match that today it might be better to meet in your back yard under a tent. They would not have taken you into the family living room area, that would have been off limits. Too personal.

Wierd things are being said about what the first church was like that is not found in scripture. It comes from applying a modern idea about cultural when phrases like "house to house" is used without comprehending what that looked like 2000 years ago in Jerusalem or in Asia Minor. The architecture of common houses with courtyards for example.

Also people who understand the doctrine of the ministry and the scriptural foundation behind the calling of the fulltime minister (which is all biblicaly literate saints) would reject the idea that elders should spend most of their waking hours in secular work. This is not the recipe for a healthy church.

To receive money that can be freely distributed among the saints as there is a need still requires compliance with tax laws and therefore you must have a nonprofit name and that is not going to make it less 1st century to do so. People always end up with names even if it is what others call you, "that group that meets at the Johnsons house" is a name.

Now planting a church could start out as a bible study that grows into an organized local assembly but the bible study should grow or people are not doing what they are called to do. If you are fulfilling the Great Commission and having great success (and who desires to be unsuccessful at this?) you will be growing daily and no living room will be able to hold your group.

Mega Churches are not proof that you are pleasing to God but certainly God is pleased with a Mega Church that is preaching truth and seeing genuine conversions. Why would anyone not be excited about starting a bible study in a living room that turns into a Mega Church. The idea that we should keep it small is not biblical.

A healthy Mega Church is a great place to find opportunities to get involved in ministry and to find people in your age group to hang out with and do the work of God together. I believe Mega Churches are God's plan and I hope to plant 40 or 50 if the Lord wills.
 

Relic

Active member
Apr 29, 2020
249
104
28
#14
Sadly, you totally blew the Gospel of Christ............ And, this appears to be just another hate statement on Preachers, Pastors and such............ I don't care if you want to attend a Home Church, that's up to you, but do not pretend that God DID NOT call peoples into His Ministry. My goodness............

CHRIST HIMSELF APPOINTED WAY OVER 70 DISCIPLES TO GO FORTH AND PREACH AND TEACH HIS GOSPEL!

Clearly, Christ WANTED there to be Preachers, Evangelist, Pastors, and Teachers........

Do you not know that these are one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?

How could anyone miss the mark so far??????????????????????????

Don't take my word for it.............................believe Scripture.

Romans, Chapter 10:

8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
I am not bashing anyone, I don't need to. Their own words betray them. Instead of preaching
Christ crucified and surrender to the Holy Spirit where they teach from the love of Jesus Christ,
they throw scripture at them just as you just did. Then do not have the Spirit in them, they
live in the flesh and will never gain the Spirit because words will never get anyone there.
In Acts 4:13, people of Israel saw some of the disciples there and they saw Jesus in them.
No one is going to see Jesus in someone who stands and throws words at them day after day.
The disciples were teaching with Christ in them. So I understand why you throw those
scathing remarks about me because you are not speaking from the Spirit but the flesh.
That was what why Jesus was killed, because the Pharisees of the day could not understand
the higher road that Jesus preached and all Jesus preached was in the scriptures long before
Him. Jesus was fulfilling the words so people could understand and know and live a life a
life of love in the Spirit. Now the third millennium Pharisees quibble and argue a word even
just one word sometimes. That is not Jesus. Jesus set us free on the cross and we don't need
to know words, we need to know Jesus intimately. To know Him, to love Him to follow His
one Commandment. That being: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor
as yourself. If you know the scriptures inside out like the Pharisees did, but you don't love
God intimately. And that is by loving your neighbor. If you don't love your neighbor, you
don't know God or Love Him. I did not publish that post to hate anyone as you intimated
that I held the status quo in disdain. I posted it for people who want to go to a higher
level an alternative to the status quo. You are welcome to live life with your feet nailed to
the ground but there is an higher way. As Isaiah said. We will run and not grow weary for
our God will be our strength we will fly like the eagle, we will rise again. I choose to be
guided by God and not preachers.
 

Relic

Active member
Apr 29, 2020
249
104
28
#15
There are several instances in your post where you have made doctrine from narrative. That's a bad idea, because it leads to conflicting interpretations that cannot be "proven" one against the other. It's better to take narrative simply as, "what did happen" rather than as "what should happen". Didactic passages should be used for doctrine, and narrative for illustration. Otherwise you get people arguing that preachers should only stand in boats and on mountainsides, or in third-floor rooms with open windows if they are going to preach all night.

Case in point: "the church at...". There is no direct teaching anywhere in Scripture declaring that a city should have only one assembly. You have made the structure of the local church a doctrinal issue, but it is not presented as such in Scripture. There is nothing inherently unbiblical about having several small fellowships in a city, each independent from the others. The key is in having each recognize that they are part of the Church, and that cooperation among them to bring the gospel to the city is worthwhile.
point take, thanks for participating....God bless
 

Relic

Active member
Apr 29, 2020
249
104
28
#16
Those that think it is nice to meet in small groups in someones living room need to understand that the vast majority of people do not want to do that. It is a too much of someone's personal space. I do not want to meet in your private living room. Your house smells like your family. You just don't notice it and you think your candles mask it.

If you were to go back to the first century court yard of a house and match that today it might be better to meet in your back yard under a tent. They would not have taken you into the family living room area, that would have been off limits. Too personal.

Wierd things are being said about what the first church was like that is not found in scripture. It comes from applying a modern idea about cultural when phrases like "house to house" is used without comprehending what that looked like 2000 years ago in Jerusalem or in Asia Minor. The architecture of common houses with courtyards for example.

Also people who understand the doctrine of the ministry and the scriptural foundation behind the calling of the fulltime minister (which is all biblicaly literate saints) would reject the idea that elders should spend most of their waking hours in secular work. This is not the recipe for a healthy church.

To receive money that can be freely distributed among the saints as there is a need still requires compliance with tax laws and therefore you must have a nonprofit name and that is not going to make it less 1st century to do so. People always end up with names even if it is what others call you, "that group that meets at the Johnsons house" is a name.

Now planting a church could start out as a bible study that grows into an organized local assembly but the bible study should grow or people are not doing what they are called to do. If you are fulfilling the Great Commission and having great success (and who desires to be unsuccessful at this?) you will be growing daily and no living room will be able to hold your group.

Mega Churches are not proof that you are pleasing to God but certainly God is pleased with a Mega Church that is preaching truth and seeing genuine conversions. Why would anyone not be excited about starting a bible study in a living room that turns into a Mega Church. The idea that we should keep it small is not biblical.

A healthy Mega Church is a great place to find opportunities to get involved in ministry and to find people in your age group to hang out with and do the work of God together. I believe Mega Churches are God's plan and I hope to plant 40 or 50 if the Lord wills.
I take your point about living rooms, but we have a small facility available to us. Before I made this post
I was cognisant of the point that this was not going to be for everyone. Thanks for participating.
 

Chester

Senior Member
May 23, 2016
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#17
The fact that there is a small group with whom you fellowship and worship means that you are affiliated with a church. Perhaps not a denomination, but an assembly of believers. And sooner or later you will need to come up with a Statement of Faith, so that other Christians will not regard yourchurch as a cult.

What is rather disturbing these days is that many churches (as presented on their web sites) do not have clear biblical Statements of Faith.
There are many groups out there that have gone years without ever coming up with a "statement of faith". There is no Scripture that says you must have one.

If a church decides to just believe what Scripture says and go with that, that is their prerogative.

My church has a "statement of faith" and I stick with this approach because it is best for the cultural and geographical setting I am in. But elsewhere and in different situation I might do otherwise . . .
 

Chester

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May 23, 2016
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#18
Full disclosure: I am not affiliated with any church.

I am fully aware that of the verses that mention churches so none need be required here.
The one I am connected with is fifteen people, somewhat like the early church when the
new Christians went to temple and then broke bread at a home. There isn't a leader and
never will be because it will open a danger to create a cult. We read scripture every
Sunday and instead of sermons we do each do a random short scripture. Then we discuss
have discussion about them. No winners or losers just getting closer and closer to the
one Commandment of Jesus; Love the Lord Your heart and your neighbor as yourself and
obviously that is our only Commandment since that is what scripture says. So we rely
on scripture as written. Christ gave us all the ingredients to journey to His mansion.
And all the ingredient for loving everyone in this life. That is all we need. We don't
need big building money grabbers or preachers with agendas. All of that is totally un
unnecessary. It brings up something that Jesus mentioned on money changers. Also
we see each church as little cults, if you don't follow and toe the line, you are gone.
For us it is Our Lord Jesus Christ, no third party necessary.
Interesting: thanks for sharing -- It sounds to me like you have been hurt by denominationalism and by big money grabbing preachers. I am sad about that -- but I can't rectify the problem.

I am happy that you have found a small group that loves one another and can fellowship and share together. Fellowship and brotherhood is at the heart of the Biblical idea of church.

So whether you are part of any denomination or not is not the point. You are a called out group and hence you are an ekklesia, a church, even if you do not use the term.

You do not have to formally ordain ministers, but I am sure that within your group there are and will be those who have different giftings of the Spirit. There are different ways to recognize "ministers" -- I don't know enough about your group to know, but you do need and probably already have Biblical leadership. Just because the Biblical concept of leaders and deacons is abused does not mean it is not edifying and upbuilding for the church.
 

Chester

Senior Member
May 23, 2016
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#19
Also people who understand the doctrine of the ministry and the scriptural foundation behind the calling of the fulltime minister (which is all biblicaly literate saints) would reject the idea that elders should spend most of their waking hours in secular work. This is not the recipe for a healthy church.

To receive money that can be freely distributed among the saints as there is a need still requires compliance with tax laws and therefore you must have a nonprofit name and that is not going to make it less 1st century to do so. People always end up with names even if it is what others call you, "that group that meets at the Johnsons house" is a name.
Scribe, you had an informative and well-written post there and I agree with a lot of what you write. So my comments here are not so much disagreeing with you as just replying to the above two paragraphs with a different perspective.

(1) I agree that the calling of a minister is Biblical - but the comment that elders should not spend much of their time doing secular work or the church will not be healthy? I do not agree -- Yes, we must be careful, but time, place, and culture, are all important considerations. I think the issue is that the local church must decide what approach to leadership and salary will bring the most benefit and glory to God's kingdom.

(2) A church is not required to have a nonprofit name and status. A church may do so if it benefits and brings glory to God. But you are right that the church with a nonprofit status and name and one that has a full-time paid pastor is not any less 1'st century than another house church group with nonpaid minister.
 
S

Scribe

Guest
#20
There are many groups out there that have gone years without ever coming up with a "statement of faith". There is no Scripture that says you must have one.

If a church decides to just believe what Scripture says and go with that, that is their prerogative.

My church has a "statement of faith" and I stick with this approach because it is best for the cultural and geographical setting I am in. But elsewhere and in different situation I might do otherwise . . .
My fellowship is dropping their branding from signage to present themselves to the public as nondenominational. This seems to be the trend among both pentecostal and nonpentecostal denominations that want to appeal to a new generation who are looking for authenticity over tradition. In other words, they are not withdrawing from their denomination, they are just not making it obvious to anyone that they are part of a denomination. You have to ask around and even then you may find that many of the members think that the church and the pastor is nondenominational. That is how rare it is to hear it mentioned from the pastor or staff.