In our church, we meet primarily in homes. Sunday morning, we have groups in homes. We have children's Bible study at someones house. We have our ladies group in a home. We meet as men at someones house. Much of church life is expressed in homes, restaurants, and other real life settings. We do meet once a month for a corporate service so that all of our people can be together in one setting, but that is more of the exception.
So why do we choose to practice church like this?
There is a lot to it, but I would begin by saying that it is not out of a belief that meeting in homes is the only way that church should be done. I believe that the traditional methods of church in the west are good options.
So here are a few of the reasons that I gave as to why we have chosen to practice church in this way:
- It costs less money. (We are a small church on the west side of Chicago with few resources. We just feel that what we have should not be spent on a building. Those resources are better used for us by investing in people.)
- We value people more than programs. (Church being practiced in homes is by nature very relational. We emphasize the "one anothers" of scripture. We emphasize church as "family".)
- We want to reach the lost and those who have a reason to not like "church". (Some people are looking for something that doesn't seem like church. They want something that feels more authentic and not like a show. These tend to be the people that we attract.)
- We want to develop leaders. (We are an elder led church, not a senior pastor led church. We have a goal of turning people into leaders. I have seen our style of church allow for all types of people to feel comfortable leading.)
These are a few of the reasons that I shared. All of them have much more to the explanation. There are a number of other reasons why we do things the way we do. It is not perfect, but it is the reality that we feel that God has called us too.
What types of things has your church done to be effective in your context? What would you change about the way church is done? Do you think that new forms of church are becoming more common?