House Church Formation – Part 2 – What Is A House Church?
A House Church is a small group of followers of Christ, who take seriously their responsibility for the purposes, practices and rites of Christianity.
As such, they will have regular expressions of worship, fellowship, service, evangelism, and ministry, as well as communion, water baptisms, Christian education, pastoral care, weddings, funerals, missions, and so on, but all within the confines of their community of believers.
As a result, they are self-supporting (they take responsibility for their own finances for all of their needs), they are self-propagating (they take responsibility for their own growth and multiplication) and they are self-governing (they take responsibility for their own vision, direction, and ministry). A healthy house church, though, will have voluntary relationships with other house churches and church networks.
Their expressions may vary greatly between house churches, and may be very different than the institutional church, but they will be involved in all of these activities. They may share some of these responsibilities with other House Churches (for example, evangelism or training), but they will not neglect their responsibility to ensure that they take place.
Therefore, a small group of believers who only meet for Bible study, or only meet for fellowship, or only meet for pastoral care, or only meet for worship, are not true house churches.