House Church Meeting 01 – Purpose: The Lord’s Table # 1
The purpose of a House Church is to live life together, not just have meetings. The only agenda for each house church is to have Jesus in its midst. Take these ideas as a starting point and do what you need to do to achieve the aim.
Warmth (Fellowship) [60 min]
1. Supper: Gather for a “pot-luck / pot-bless” supper. Eat together, share together, laugh together, and be amazed at each others’ cooking talents.
Worship [20 min]:
1. Said Worship: Have each person think of something for which they are thankful. Then have them turn their thankfulness into an audible prayer of thanksgiving to God.
2. Sung Worship: Sing a couple of worship songs, allowing lots of time for spontaneous prayers of thanksgiving, worship, and intercession for the lost.
- Song 1: Thank You Lord – Paul Baloche & Don Moen
- Song 2: Jesus Be The Centre – Michael Frye
Witness / Evangelism [10 min]:
1. Prayer: Have each person pray for someone who does not yet know Jesus.
Word / Discipleship [40 min]:
1. Review Vision For House Churches
- House Churches are a place to experience Christ together, through:
- Worship – Focusing on Jesus at the centre as we gather together.
- Fellowship – Experiencing and sharing God’s Life together.
- Ministry – Serving one another in love using our gifts.
- Discipleship – Applying God’ Word together to grow and become like Jesus.
- Evangelism – Reaching out to others together with God’s love.
2. Review Seven Guidelines For House Church Meetings (1 Corinthians 14:26-40)
- Everyone should be encouraged to contribute.
- The goal is for the church to be strengthened.
- Spiritual manifestations are encouraged as long as they benefit the group.
- Everything shared in the group should be tested.
- Spirit manifestations should be ministered in an orderly fashion.
- Men and woman can both freely and equally contribute.
- We must balance order and spontaneity.
3. Read God’s Word And Enlist Insights From The Group
- 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, NIV – (16) Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? (17) Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
(Following are our group’s insights. We assigned one person to be “scribe”.):
a) The Cup (verse 16)
- Notice that the cup is a cup of thanksgiving.
- It is not the cup of remorse, of regret, of condemnation, of fear, of guilt, of legalism, of anxiety, or of judgement. If in celebrating the Lord’s Supper, any of these things are stirred up, then we are not properly celebrating the Lord’s Supper as it was meant to be celebrated.
- It is the cup of thanksgiving, for all that Jesus has done for us. Therefore it is the cup of freedom, it is the cup of recognizing the privilege we have in Christ, of communicating to Him our gratefulness, of encountering the Risen Christ in our midst as we partake. It is the cup of celebrating our reconciliation and justification in Christ. Truly it is the cup of joy!
- It is also the cup of participation in the blood of Christ, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:28). Therefore the cup is all about forgiveness … considering our forgiveness, embracing our forgiveness, celebrating our forgiveness, and ensuring that our conscience remains clean, as His blood has purified us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
b) The Bread (verse 16-17)
- The bread is a participation in the body of Christ. Therefore it is a celebration of our healing, because “by His wounds we were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). This healing includes healing in our body, healing in our souls, healing in our minds, and healing in our emotions.
- It also includes healing in our relationships, as there is one loaf, and so we, who are many, are made into one body, the body of Christ. Therefore in sharing the bread, we are celebrating that Christ has reconciled us to Himself, and to His family, the church. (2 Corinthians 5:19, Romans 12:5). With the help of the Holy Spirit, we, who are many, are reunited pieces, made into one body in Christ (Romans 12:5), and we all partake of the one loaf, who is Jesus. As we all partake of the one loaf, we are made into and experience oneness in Christ (John 17:22). Also because we eat of the same loaf, we experience the love of Christ, which becomes the glue that binds us together (Colossians 3:14).
- As that old chorus says,
“Oh I love you with the love of the Lord, Yes I love you with the love of the Lord,
For I can see in you the glory of my King, And I love you with the love of the Lord.”
4. Read God’s Word And Enlist Insights From The Group
- Matthew 26:26-28, NIV – (26) While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” (27) Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. (28) This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
(Following are our group’s insights. We assigned one person to be “scribe”.):
a) The Bread (verse 26)
- Jesus took the one loaf, and He broke it. We should not despise the breaking of the Lord, for whatever He breaks in us, is for a divine purpose. So as He broke the bread and gave thanks, we should give thanks for what He breaks in our lives.
- Jesus declared that the bread represents His body. Therefore as we partake of the bread, we need to receive, in faith, everything that His broken body won for us, such as healing (1 Peter 2:24), reconciliation (Colossians 1:22), and Life.
- Jesus offered the bread, but then emphasized, “Take and eat”. Jesus was strongly urging us not to take the bread in a flippant or casual manner, but to be mindful of how important this act was, and make sure that we purposefully receive all of the grace available through the eating of the bread. Jesus didn’t want anyone to miss out on the grace that was available through the giving of His body.
- Again, we should also value the things that Jesus breaks, and we need to receive the full benefit of all He breaks, including the benefit of His body being broken.
- Also, the bread was broken in order to be shared. We should appreciate that Jesus was willing to be broken for us, that the benefits of His death could be shared with all of mankind.
b) The Cup (verse 27-28)
- Jesus also gave thanks for the cup, which represented the shedding of His blood. So we should always be thankful for the shedding of Jesus’ blood.
- Jesus again made a specific command, “Drink from it, all of you”. Jesus wanted to make sure that all His disciples, both then, and in the ages to come, understood the importance of receiving all the benefits of Jesus shedding His blood for us, including entrance into a New Covenant relationship with Him, through the forgiveness of our sins (Hebrews 9:22). Everyone who comes to Christ must partake of the blood of the Covenant.
- Jesus said that His blood was poured out for them (and for us). His blood was freely given, and was given for all who would receive it.
- Jesus didn’t say, “Drink from it if you are without sin”, or “Drink from it if you won’t deny me later tonight” (John 13:38), or “Drink from it if you don’t have competition or envy in your heart” (Luke 9:46), or “Drink from it if you don’t struggle with fear”, or “Drink from it if you aren’t about to betray me” (John 13:27). Remember that Jesus said “Drink from it, all of you”. This is particularly important to take note of, realizing that Jesus was speaking to his very fallible disciples, including Peter, who was about to deny Jesus three times, and Judas, who was about to betray Him. Yet Jesus’ offer, even to them was “Drink from it, all of you”. Don’t miss the grace that is available for you, even right now, if you will receive it.
- How many people have missed the benefits of participating in the Lord’s Supper, because of shame, guilt, or remorse? So often our “sin consciousness” keeps us from receiving the grace that is available through celebrating the Lord’s Supper. The story was told of a woman who refused to take the bread and wine for twelve years, because she felt that she was unworthy of receiving, due to a perceived personal failure in her life.
c) The Free Gift of Grace
- Even though it cost Christ His life, receiving grace through the celebration of the Lord’s Supper is just as easy as eating the bread and drinking the wine. It is a matter of simply receiving in faith.
d) The Balance Of The Wine And Bread
- We know that wine also symbolizes the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and bread also symbolizes the Word of God (Matthew 4:4). In giving us the Lord’s Supper, consisting of both wine and bread, Jesus was not only emphasizing the important of receiving the full benefits of His shed blood and His broken body, He was also giving us an eternal reminder of the need to always balance the Spirit of God and the Word of God in our lives. The Word without the Spirit kills (2 Corinthians 3:6), and the Spirit without the Word results in confusion (1 Corinthians 14:16). Said another way, “The Word without the Spirit dries up, and the Spirit without the Word blows up, but the Spirit and the Word together grow up.”
5. Receive the Emblems
- Have everyone come to a small table in the centre of the room, and rip off a piece of bread from a loaf, and take a generous portion of grape juice. Then have them go back to their seats, and close our eyes, as they listen to “O The Blood” by M. Miller & T. Miller.
- Then have two people thank God for the grace available through Jesus’ broken body, and then have all eat the bread.
- Then have two different people thank God for the grace available through the shed blood of Jesus, and then have all drank the juice.
- Then have another spontaneous time of verbal worship to God.
Works / Ministry [10 min]:
- Having received fresh grace from God, break into groups of two, share a need with each other, and pray for each other.