House Church Formation – Part 6 – Suggested House Church Meeting Format.
A time of relaxed fellowship around either a dessert, or a “potluck” supper. Perhaps every second meeting would be “potluck”, and the other meeting begin with a dessert.
This is the time to connect on the horizontal plane, heart to heart with each other. There is nothing like eating together, that opens people up to each other, and they share their stories and their lives with each other.
A time of worshipping God, in song, or in word, or in some other creative expression, often including celebrating the Lord’s Table.
Worship could be singing a capella, or with guitar accompaniment, or with a music videos (such as iWorship videos from Integrity Music). But worship could also be declaring what you are grateful for or thankful for, to each other, and then to God. It could also be reading a responsive Psalm together as an act of worship.
A time of interactive teaching and sharing of insights and revelations, so that we fully understand how Christ is wanting us to respond.
Jesus taught, but He also told parables, and pointed to familiar everyday happening as object lessons, and always with lots of questions. It’s not a time to preach at the people, but to look at the scriptures together, as fellow students, to understand what God is saying to the group. And remember, discipleship includes not only instruction and understanding, but also confession and application. In fact, discipleship does not really begin until a commitment to action is made.
A time of serving one another, through prayer, encouragement, or other appropriate ministry.
People can share prayer requests for the whole group, or pray about something that was revealed while eating together. Ministry can follow the discipleship time, as a response to the teaching, or come before the discipleship time, in response to how God moved on people’s hearts during the worship time. The goal is not a programmed time of ministry, but a sincere response to the needs of the group members, as well as the moving of the Holy Spirit in the meeting.
A time of either praying for others, or strategizing on how to reach others with the Gospel of the Kingdom, and incorporating them into community.
You can pray for people by name, one by one, or corporately pray for the spiritual atmosphere to change, hearts to be awakened, spiritual blindness to be healed, and people to be made open to the Gospel and the Spirit.
You may also plan an evangelistic community outreach, an “invite night”, a time for a prayer walk, or any other outreach activity that God inspires to the group.
Schedule … Day And Time
House churches can meet every week, every other week, twice a month, or whenever the group decides. Remember that you are not trying to copy institutional church structure or programs, but to create a Christian community. The goal is building community, not creating another program.
You could meet Sunday mornings, or afternoons, or evenings, or sometime on Saturday, or even during the week, depending on your group. Remember that many people must work Sunday (especially doctors, nurses and retail sales clerks). So perhaps Saturday evening would be a good time. Discuss this with your group, and then start to meet!